I became a fully probated teacher last Friday! I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to all 540 or so people who liked my status and congratulated me. It means a lot!
It is a remarkable feeling being finished. The DIP is not at all pleasant. In my opinion it is simply a prolonged version of teaching practice. Sure it requires weekly rather than daily plans, but they end up taking almost as long. The worst part is the first few months, when you are waiting to be seen. I had no idea what was expected, how long should the plans be? How many assessment methods do they require? Am I differentiating enough? Is it recommended to use the text books at all? These were all the questions whirling around in my head for the first two months.
Once I had my first visit I relaxed a little as the inspector was happy with everything and I realised I had been worrying myself needlessly.
The following two months were much easier. I knew I was on the right track and I just had to keep going as I was. So when my inspector showed up on Friday I was absolutely overjoyed. I was just so relieved to have it over and done with relatively early.
Now that I am on the other side of that journey, I can share some pointers which I learned through trial and error in my time ‘doing the DIP’.
1. Arrive in school early and open all your documents, power-points etc which you will be using throughout the day. Inspectors don’t necessarily stick to the timetable- so have your ducks in order! I arrive in school at around 8:20. I go straight to my room, set up my resources for the day, and then head to the staff room for my third tea of the day.
2. Ensure your classroom is full of beautiful displays. I would recommend a display for each subject, which is what I had for my first visit. My second visit took place in my new classroom which wasn’t quite as decorated as I had hoped it would be! My inspector examined all my displays, and commented particularly positively on my maths wall. My maths wall contained all the children’s work, for example area robots, labelled circles, percentage squares etc. It is a perfect way to show case all the work you have done with the children.
3. Have a varied range of assessment methods. I had mostly written tests in mine for the first visit. By the second visit I had observation notes, children’s self assessments, learning logs, reflection sheets, and check-lists and so on.
4. Try to get the majority of your work done in school in the evenings. I used to spend hours researching resources every evening. I have since limited that to an hour or so. Pinterest is great but it can be a waste of valuable time too!
5. Use Irish informally throughout all lessons.
6. Have your own displays on show-resist the urge to download pretty printables! Or at least have a mixture of both.
7. Try integrating your lessons as much as possible, but if it doesn’t work don’t force it!
If you are currently doing your DIP and still waiting on your second visit, then hang in there! Hopefully it won’t be too long now!
There are sample short and long term plans in my store to download free of charge.
Lastly, enjoy having your own class for the first time!
My Most Used Resources during the DIP.
1. My art books which contained more or less full lesson plans. http://www.prim-ed.com/webshop/root/Visual-Arts/Primary-Art
2. My early finisher resources.
3. Go Noodle
4. Prim-Ed Comprehension Box and Prompt Cards.
5. CBBC for world news-great prompt for oral language, recounts etc.
6. TES.co.uk for power-points for SESE.
7. My primary science resource book. Again, it helped as it has the lesson plans in full which was a tremendous help.
9. Prim-Ed Listening Comprehension resource book.
10. PDST website- a great resource.
11. My maths target board. I foolishly bought mine but you can so easily make your own![pb_builder]