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By Sue Cowleyexperienced classroom teacher and behaviour expert

Sue Cowley looks at typical scenarios NQTs might face when starting a new placement

Sue Cowley

I’m about to start my first teaching practice. What’s the best way to approach it?

See it as a learning opportunity, watching closely to see how other teachers work. When you spot an effective technique, store it in your ‘bank’ of useful strategies. If you see a teacher struggling, consider why they are having problems. Look particularly at classroom management – the practicalities that ensure effective learning. How does the teacher start and finish the lessons, or move between activities? Consider the elements of a teacher’s ‘style’. Are they strict or relaxed? How do they establish and maintain their expectations? What verbal and non-verbal signals do they use? Observe the children too, learning how to ‘read’ a class or individual.

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