How To Impress A New School First Day


Culture & Relations
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Culture & Relations
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As short-term contract and supply teachers, there can be a lot of first days!

Every time you start a role at a new school, it’s essentially another  first day …. and first impressions count!

Most teachers (unless they dislike the school) will want to make a good first impression on their first day as this puts them in good stead for becoming a ‘preferred’ favourite for more supply work or longer term roles.

If making a good first impression is also of interest to you, read on for the Do’s and Dont’s we’d suggest, learnt from experiencing hundreds of ‘first days’ ourselves, either as teacher or Principal:

DO be prepared

Preparing your day can start with simple things like planning an outfit to wear, planning your transport to school ahead of time. Having a ‘survival pack’ of resources and activities for all year levels can also dramatically reduce stress as you head in to your first day at a new school.

DO accept the support of others

Not being in permanent work doesn’t mean you aren’t part of the team. So, make sure you ask plenty of questions and welcome the support / help from others. Often those people who are most connected with the school’s culture are first to help and can turn out to be your greatest advocates.

DO get a good night’s rest beforehand

Ensuring you get a good night’s sleep without too much screen time in the evening so your mind and body have their best chance to get you through what can be a stressful and unpredictable day. Mental health takes care as much as physical health.

DO work to create rapport quickly, particularly with school administration and students

Establishing a positive rapport with school administration is critical and sometimes overlooked by many supply and contract teachers. Administration staff often have their fingers on the pulse of school culture and can really impact the type of experience you have. class is a great start to a day. A great way to do this is remaining calm, patient and showing them the upmost respect. Remaining humble is a simple but effective way to help this happen.

DO remember to smile

It’s a great mindfulness trick to pause before starting a task and making yourself smile. It gives your brain a moment to compose itself and can help maintain a positive mood. This helps you avoid negative thoughts so you can emit a position, can-do attitude.

DON’T over plan

While this may seem to contradict the first tip its also important to take an openminded approach to your first day as all plans can change. So be prepared but also be flexible and don’t let a deviation derail you the rest of the day. Try to breathe, stay calm and focus on what is in your control.

DON’T turn down lunch

Lunchrooms are great chance to get to know other staff. Try and use your lunch break to build relationships with other colleagues and leave a memorable impression. Maybe even have a quick introduction about yourself and what you love about teaching ready to share.

DON’T ruffle too many feathers

Its important on a first day to be humble and accept advice and be slow to offer opinions. Often during a first day at a new school it is best to observe intently and learn to navigate the environment, both physical and social.

DON’T forget to take notes

Information will come thick and fast on a first day and it’s a big ask to just remember it all. Make sure you have a way of keeping notes and jotting down names and some things you learn about your colleagues. It can be very useful to refresh your memory before you arrive next time – everyone will be impressed by your recall.


DON’T forget to maintain your enthusiasm until the end of the day

The end of the day is the last, first impression you’ll make. While its tempting to rush out the door remember to show your enthusiasm to display your interest and suitability for further work. Providing feedback on the day can be a great way of engaging and thanking leadership and administration staff for the opportunity to work at their school will ensure you remain memorable.


Utilise all of these tips to help position you as an employee of choice and, most importantly, set yourself up to have an amazing first day!

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