Congratulations – you are starting a teaching job! The school is responsible to provide you with some needed material. Here is a short list:
- Your own space – if you are teaching a class, you will have a desk or table. If you are teaching a subject, you will have an office – or at least, you will share an office, where you can leave your coat and bag, have a desk and lock the door. If you are not provided with a space, request one. Suggest sharing an office with someone. You can walk around the school and find a space you could suggest. I know one teacher who commandeered the art supply room. It had a window, he put in his desk and got a key. Every teacher should be provided with their own place – even if you are only there for 3 weeks.
- Keys to your room/office. You need a place to lock your valuables for the day – this is a reasonable request. Also, in case of a lock down or emergency, you need to be able to lock the door. In most boards of education, this is enforced, so get help from your union if you do not get a key from the school after having a conversation with the administration.
- A computer. In order to record marks, plan, email fellow teachers and your principal, you need a computer. Certainly you cannot do report cards without a computer nor can you hand in your long range plans or lesson plans for the day you are away on training. If the school is ordering you a computer, you can often use one of the student computers while waiting.
- Paper work including class lists, your schedule, fire drill and lockdown procedures, student safety and allergy plans etc. If you start your job suddenly, they may not be ready the first day, which is understandable. However, by the second day of your job, you should have these things. Ask the office staff if you don’t receive these on your first day.
- Someone to answer your questions. If you are teaching a grade, you may have a grade partner or a teacher next door. You may be part of a department and so have a department head. Ask who should you ask questions. Going to the principal every time is not optimal as they are busy. Even just asking teachers at lunch time around the table is a good way to get help. The person who is most helpful can be your unofficial choice for this job!