Every month we give our blog over to one of our wonderful teacher sellers to give you some advice and tips for your classroom. Our October teacher is Kate and she has very kindly written a piece giving some tips for new teachers. Please visit her store: KB’s Classroom!

Hi everyone,

I’m Kate, and I’ve been a seller on Mash.ie for the past three years now (can’t believe it’s been that long myself) and I’m the girl behind ‘KB’s Classroom’! I’ve taught for over four years in a few different school types as both Class Teacher and SET Teacher.

Although my products can be bought and used by any teacher, I believe my shop mainly caters for TP and Dip students as having gone through it all myself I felt I had an insight into what exactly helps students and NQTS and that for me was the idea of ready made lesson packs that have everything you need included all ready to go for you to just, teach!

TPs and Dips are always going to be a stressful time, so I aimed to alleviate some of this by providing easy to use, adaptable, and engaging single use lessons or full two-week packs on all kinds of themes on my site which has over 90 products catering for infants all the way up to 6th class. This is my two-week pack for 5th or 6th class on the team ‘A Teilifís’ it’s a best seller, and lots of fun too! https://mash.ie/product/senior-classes-5th6th-gaeilge-lessons-on-teilifis-complete-resource/

Personally, I found most of my time was lost trying to find and make resources to go with lessons like PowerPoints, worksheets etc, hence my idea of these ready to use thematic packs.

I know everyone has a completely different experience on TP/doing Dips but, from my own experience here are some ways I tried (at least) to make it all more manageable:

R&R: It is vital you have time to yourself in the evenings to recover and do something you enjoy. Keep planning and resourcing to a minimum if possible as you have no idea how tired you’ll be especially in the first few weeks! Rest and recovery are key! 😊     

How did you keep planning and resourcing to a minimum during the week you ask? Time management.

I know you may have a part time job and other commitments during this TP/Dip period so of course it’s not going to work out like this for everyone. The best way I managed it all was to use the time given before TPs or holidays to get as much done in that time as possible (while also taking time for yourself somewhere in there!) It really takes the pressure off then during the TP. For my Dip I tried to do a big block of planning and resourcing on a Saturday or Sunday to plan for the week or fortnight ahead. Even now, this is still what I do and maybe spend one long evening in school twice a month to find everything I need for lessons and do my photocopying. This way you’re not worrying too much about tomorrow or day to day as most of it is ready! Organisation pays off in the long run!

Planning: Less is more! There really is no point typing loads of information that isn’t needed. Be clear and concise. Use exact headings and stick to them. Only put in what is relevant to this lesson or scheme. Planning is there to guide and help you and should be for yourself – not an essay to be put into a folder for the principal or inspector to read. Use it, and if you need to change it or think of something else (a different resource/a better art idea for that strand for example) – write on it/cross things out etc. Keep it as a working document on your desk. The NCCA Planning tool for your curriculum objectives and the NIPT site are both lifesavers and time savers! On my site I have lots of long and short term planning templates and completed plans like here for example:   https://mash.ie/product/easy-to-use-planning-templates-short-term-all-classes/edit/

Inspections: As scary as they seem the time absolutely flies while they’re in the room. Make sure you greet and welcome them to your class. Smile as much as you can and try to establish a professional and respectful relationship with them from the first visit. No inspector is out to get you. They want you to do as well as you can in that lesson or period, so they can grade you as high as they can. Do what you normally do with the class, try not to change things last minute because the inspector is there or throw the class by perhaps using a behaviour management or strategy you hadn’t used previously, be yourself. Read over your lessons or study up on anything you’re unsure of (I had to do this myself on Senior TP) Once you get into the swing of your lesson you’ll forget they’re even there. Remember any criticism you’re given is no personal reflection on yourself it’s to guide and help you for the rest of your time with the class and are often just little suggestions you may not have thought of. Inspectors must critique you and give you something to work on. Show them you took their advice on board by trying one out for a period or implementing some other suggestions given.

I hope this quick guide helps some of you and best of luck to anyone starting their Dips or TPs, try to enjoy your time and the kids as much as you can. I often get emails that can be sent through my shop to my email asking questions or for some advice and I’m always more than happy to get back to you! 😊

Just to say thanks, I am setting up a coupon for you for any of my products. It’s for 20% off the store for the whole month of November. Just type in KBNOV20

Until next time,

KB 😊



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