It still baffles me a little bit that people would ask me for advice, as I still consider myself a fairly "new" teacher, but I did my best with a few bits of advice. There are far more comprehensive guides on the Internet - I'd recommend checking out TM4T's NQT guide, which has some fantastic tips for time management. Furthermore, I found it much more useful talking to colleagues working in my school for advice on how they manage day-to-day teaching, as every setting is different, and every school will have different policies and procedures that need to be followed.
Regardless, I thought a small series of "Tips for NQTs" might be a good use of some of my SBPC posts, if only to remind myself of the fundamentals of my teaching practice before September. Today's is probably my most important tip:
Establish good relationships and trust from the first lesson
Something that's far more important to me is the content of the first few lessons. Let's not forget that lots of pupils, despite our best intentions, really don't enjoy their maths lessons - however, the majority of the time, I think this is down to confidence and perception that maths is difficult and that they'll never manage to achieve whatever their target is, whether that's a C, an A*, or just surviving the year.
Many pupils pitch up to the first lesson with a new teacher with negative experiences of maths; they have already decided that they "don't get it" and that they consequently won't get it this year and that they'll find maths boring. There's a temptation to try to break this misconception from the start, but I haven't found that this works for me. I'm not saying that this approach doesn't work; in fact, one of my colleagues starts the year with a "Maths Magic" lesson with Year 7 based on solving equations, which works well for her, but every teacher is different.
Personally, I begin teaching with a topic that I know pupils will have some success with. This needs to be picked carefully - you don't want to patronise pupils by teaching them something that's way too easy, particularly with higher sets, but more importantly, you don't want to start off with something so complicated that they get lost halfway through the lesson.
Keep the first few lessons simple; there's time to break out the card sorts and treasure hunts later on. I don't think there's anything wrong with a bit of chalk and talk when you're getting to know a new class, and it helps build expectations for independent work. If your first few tasks are fairly straightforward, this frees up your time to circulate, check work and start working out the dynamics of the group.
One of the most important parts of my teaching is about establishing trust - pupils need to be convinced that they will achieve and understand maths in your classroom, but you can't do that straight away. Save the difficult topics for later on; if they trust you as a teacher and have experienced success before, they're more likely to buy into the idea that, even if they don't get it now, they will do in the future. For the first couple of weeks, make sure they leave the classroom in a positive frame of mind, feeling like they've "got" the stuff you've been doing.