What I have learnt in my first term as an NQT


It has been a long term, over 15 weeks by the time we get to Wednesday 21st December when term ends, and I have learnt a lot.

  1. Things cannot always be perfect. I love having my powerpoints and lessons in the my powerpoint and lesson templates. I enjoy making things colour coded and like to add images to my slides. However, whilst this was possible when only teaching a 50% timetable when training, it is not realistic anymore. I have learnt to prioritise the lesson over how the lesson looks.
  2. Show that you care. Pupils respond so much better to you when they can tell you care about them, academically and as a person. When my timetable changed in Week 9, I took over a Year 10 class that had had a teacher who they believed would be permanent and then a string of cover teachers. They were hard work at the start, but now they know that I am here to stay and have taken the time to get to know them, they are much more pleasant to teach!
  3. Ask for advice. I have sometimes been reluctant to ask for advice, as I want to appear like I am completely confident in everything I do. However, I have learnt that it is reasonable as a new teacher that you do not know the best thing to do in every situation.
  4. Keep up to date with your NQT folder. Whenever I had anything to put in my folder, from Week 1, it was filed straight away. Then when it came to handing it in, I had no work to do – it was ready to go. It saves so much time and effort when the deadline is looming and makes much more sense to file things at the time that you write the reflection/make the resource/mark the books.
  5. Do not work at home in the evenings. I have realised that I work so much better at school, and feel so much more relaxed if I leave school knowing that I am at least prepared for the following day. My aspirations of being photocopied and planned a week in advance for my whole timetable dissolved weeks ago, but I sleep so much better if I am at least prepared for the following day. This isn’t about not doing work at home (as I am definitely guilty of working at the weekend), but I would much rather spend an extra half an hour at school in the evening than worry at home about photocopying or marking in the morning.
  6. Record everything. Whether it is a behaviour incident, a significant conversion with a pupil/parent/colleague or a particularly impressive piece of work – record it. It will make writing reports or passing information on to other members of staff so much easier and useful when you have something concrete to refer to.

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