How to get the most out of a staff room environment


How to get the most out of a staff room environment

Entering a new staff room setting can be daunting, but it’s also the environment where teachers can learn a great deal about their new school. If you’re new to a school, or are temporarily taking a position there, getting to know the other staff can play a big part in how much you enjoy the experience.

It’s a unique learning opportunity that needs to be grabbed with both hands, as the knowledge you glean can help your own personal development and shape your classroom teaching. Here we look at how to get the most of this new environment, which should also help you to settle in.

Talk to other staff

From providing you with basic information about the school to giving out teaching tips and tricks, the other staff will likely be very knowledgeable. Look to take advantage of this when the opportunity arises, by talking to staff from different year groups and subject areas. You should be able to find out about any niche areas of the school’s behavioural policy and pick up some useful methods for dealing with disruption in class. It also provides you with an opportunity to share knowledge too, which staff in a similar position may be keen to hear.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Alongside your mentor, if you’ve been assigned one, all of the other staff can also help to enhance your school experience. You just need to ask! There is a balance to strike so that you don’t bombard them with too many questions, so try to work out who the best people to ask are for each specific query. If you need to find something out, view every interaction as if you have nothing to lose – that way, every snippet of information you gather can be used to develop your teaching.

Be a voice of support

Integrating into a new staff room setting can be tough if you don’t know others there, but by providing a voice of support you should be able to build a good rapport early on. Speak up during different discussions and contribute positive thoughts and ideas, as it can help to get others on side. Try to keep the conversation positive and focused on what goes well in class too, as that can help to prevent a negative environment from being created.

Remember too, that every teacher will have been in a similar position to you at least once, and most will likely remember that feeling of walking into the staffroom for the first time. As a result, you might find that there are numerous individuals that you can ask for help.


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