Starting working in a school isn’t always easy but there’s lots that other members of staff can do to help. Beth Muckle started as a Chaplain’s Assistant at Dean Close Prep School last year after graduating from university. Now in her second year, she reflects on what can really help young Christian teachers to settle in.
Firstly, honesty really helps. Starting anywhere new can be an overwhelming experience, let alone a busy school environment. However, as Christians we can, and should, be honest about our weaknesses and struggles. Having this kind of honesty modelled from other members of staff opens a door for younger members of staff to be vulnerable and open about how they’re doing.
Secondly, accountability is important. Having someone you can be accountable to in setting new, healthy patterns in a busy school life that doesn’t switch off. Someone to ask how church or Bible reading is going, and how things are going outside of school – are they playing any sports / enjoying hobbies? It’s so important to establish a culture where new, young teachers feel unashamed to switch off and do something that energises them.
Thirdly, meeting up. Try to calve out half an hour in the week to meet together as Christians: share prayer points, encouragements, struggles and spend time in community. Having that time to truly get to know each other is so comforting and encouraging, especially for a new and young member of staff. Little and often is key; knowing that there are other Christian members of staff there for you, willing to pray and talk with you is more impactful that you realise!