So with a job organised, the wheels were truly set in motion for the big move to the UK. The agency organised for me to go back to my school in July in order to meet the staff again and to meet the class I would teach in September. I arrived at the school with a list of questions as long as my arm but the majority were answered without me even having to ask. I was panicking about planning and the difference in the curriculum (be thankful for strands and strand units!). But as an NQT, I am appointed a mentor to provide support and guidance through the induction process. My mentor provided me with vital information and as well as reassurance which helped me no end. Each teacher is given a slot in their timetable for PPA (planning, preparation and assessment time) in order to help with their existing workload. I will be entitled to that as well as an additional slot for NQT time in order to further relieve the workload. Music to my ears!
Before the holidays begin, the school has a ‘Transition Day’ where each class spends the morning with their new teacher. The head teacher had asked me to prepare ‘getting to know you’ activities to do that morning and I enjoyed it immensely. When I gave the children an opportunity to give me advice about living in the area, they made sure I knew there was a McDonalds nearby but also suggested some tourist sites I might like to visit. I couldn’t help but laugh when one child asked if we had electricity in Ireland. I played games which allowed me not just to get the children, but them to get to know me also which I feel helped a sense of trust to start developing. I also created a worksheet to provide me with information about how the children liked to learn, e.g. I work best sitting at my desk, yes or no. As well as meeting my class and my mentor that day, I also met with their current class teacher in order to learn some more about the children and the various supports that they might need.
That night back at the hotel, I was once again filled with a mixture of anxiousness and excitement. And tiredness. Can’t forget the tiredness.New terminology and unfamiliar acronyms floated around in my head. After a few deep breaths and comparing notes with my friend who had also been given lots to think about, I thought aboutthe promises of support my mentor (and many other staff members) had given me and hoped it would all eventually fall into place. The information I had received was important and valuable so I took to my journal when I got back to Ireland to try and make sense of it all.
After the transition day, we headed straight to apartment viewings as it was something we wanted to organise sooner rather than later. The following day, we found an apartment we adored and we collected the keys this week. The ferry is booked so we will be setting sail in 2 weeks.
The next step is to get planning and organising my classroom and displays. Wish me luck!