If there is a birthday soon to any woman you love, mother, sister, girlfriend or friend let’s make her a gift by yourself. Making a gift could be a creative and interesting process and the gift will have a bigger meaning to her. Don’t make ‘a rod for your own back’: A new teacher may come in and have ridiculously high expectations.
Understand the culture: All schools have their similarities and their differences and its up to you to figure this out as soon as possible. Get involved in extra-curricular activites: Your teaching is the priority but I’ve always suggested to NQTs and new members of staff to get involved in, for example, the music production, school football teams, overseas trip etc.
Think about what she really wants and what makes her happy and let’s prepare that for her. Forget the number of years that you taught at your previous school or the months you taught as a trainee teacher. You’ve got to earn the respect of students and for me it comes from your qualities as a teacher.
You will come up against many obstacles at your new school and they will materialise in various forms. Connect with other teachers by simply having conversations with people who are not in your department. Make sure that all reprimands are proportional to the level of the misdemeanour other wise the students will disregard you as being ‘over the top’. Teaching is often a roller-coaster ride where the highs are high and the lows are very low.
This is not only a great way to get to know other members of staff but it shows that you are keen to develop yourself.


Yes – the students will test you so expect it: respond appropriately, sometimes with humour, other times with more decisive action, but don’t gain a reputation for being a tyrant!
Can you pop into the Headteacher’s office without an appointment or do you have to go though the secretary or Deputy first? Wherever possible, make use of opportunities that allow you to build your reputation with parents. Establish yourself as a caring, skillful and socially adept professional who seeks the best interests for their children. Talk to the people within your department and actively seek advice or answers to any questions that you may have.
At lunch time have a wander around the yard and get to know the kids that don’t teach.
Find out the names of at least 3 students every day – whether it is at lunch or at break.
Essentially, its all about building your Professional Learning Network: whose to say students can’t be a part of it? Much too much hassle, your modular approach is the way forward.I’ve carried a UK military wound dressing since it was the only compulsory item to carry on the Outward Bound course I was on in 1980. I’ve added a small roll of duct tape, some zip-ties and a Thermarest repair kit to mine for running-repairs. Only comment is that even with a fire steel fire making can be really difficult so, as always with any skill that you may actually be relying upon to save your bacon…. I have two fire steels, one that I use and practise with and one in the kit to be there in perfect condition should I ever need it. Knowing that you can use everything (legal) effectively will add to your confidence and positive attitude which could be the difference between success and failure.Reply Paul KirtleyHi BernieAbsolutely.


I remember you showing me a little ‘green box’ with a sealable lid in which you carried some sharpening stones ?? I try to spend as much time in the woods as humanly possible and you just never know what can happen.Reply PierreI have been struggling for a few days on the matter of matches.
I understand the need for a backup to the firesteel for convenience lighting some kindling. But if you already have a firesteel and a lighter, why bother with matches?Then it finally occured to me. Even if you keep it warm close to your body, once you get it out to use it you might only have a few seconds of pressure. That’s where, in my rationale, matches have a role to play.Do you see other distinctive advantages of matches? I never tested greased cotton wool in very cold and wet environment.Reply Paul KirtleyHi PierreGood questions! I travel a lot for work and I am interested to know what you would leave or replace had you wanted to carry a kit on an aircraft, obviously a knife is out etc regards DanoReply Paul KirtleyHi Dano Thanks for the comment and positive feedback on my blog. People underestimate the difference made to survival rates by taking full notice of this information. The terrain and mode of travel or situation where such a kit might be of use is a pretty rare event.Any how nice work on the blog.



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