Starting to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher

Starting to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher

Starting to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher

Starting to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher


Are you one of the 70 per cent of newly qualified secondary teachers who say that they are well-prepared for certain aspects of teaching their specialist subject - such as planning, selecting resources and assessing their own teaching - and yet feel very much less prepared in other professional areas? This completely updated edition tackles all the issues which new teachers find difficult. It builds on the skills and knowledge you will have learned on your initial teacher education or PGCE course and offers a planned process of professional development. The book is divided into four sections relating to the priorities which teachers will have at different stages in their first year and includes chapters on: * Managing yourself and your workload * Working as part of a team * Developing teaching and learning strategies * Challenging behaviour in the classroom * Assessing, recording and reporting * Values and Citizenship Education * The school sixth form and the growth of vocational qualifications * Continuing professional development. The book can be used either as a stand alone companion for newly qualified teachers, or as a follow-on from the editors' successful text book, Learning to Teach in the Secondary School , 3rd edition.


This chapter is not meant to scare you. However, teaching is a challenging profession and it is likely that you will feel stressed at some point - either during your newly qualified teacher (NQT) year or later in your career. You will not be alone, as many teachers experience stress at some point (see, for example, Burke et al., 1996; Dunham, 1994; Gold and Roth, 1993; Hart and Hurd, 2000; Mills, 1995; Phillips, 1993; Schamer and Jackson, 1996). There are many causes of stress:

Teachers complete paperwork, prepare for their classes, plan and prepare for future instruction, evaluate students, remain up-to-date in their teaching areas and maintain their instructional programmes. They regularly encounter both positive and negative interactions with students, colleagues, school administrators, support staff, parents and other community members.

Adams, 2001:223

One of the major stressors is workload and insufficient time in which to do everything that needs to be done.

A stressed teacher is unlikely to teach effectively and this can impact on pupils' learning. It is also worth remembering that pupils can be stressed too, e.g. when they are learning new or difficult material, and a stressed teacher may increase their stress, which may further impact on their learning. Therefore, it is important not to add to pupils' stress through your own. Although we do not address pupils' stress in this chapter, it should help you to recognise stress in pupils and enable you to help them manage that stress.

What is stress? Some stress is positive - we all need a certain amount of pressure to perform effectively - but too much or too little can result in negative effects. Today, reference to stress is generally negative, and when we talk about stress in teachers we are usually referring to too much pressure with which the teacher cannot cope effectively.

This chapter provides information about the causes, symptoms and ways of managing

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