Saying goodbye to my first job

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I completed my NQT year in the summer at a school that I had also done part of my training at. It was a mixed academy in South West London. I had done the first term of my PGCE training there and got the job just before I left for my next placement in January. I looked forward to going back for the remainder of my training.

My NQT year was challenging. I had a challenging timetable with lots of different classes, year groups and split between old and new specifications in two subjects and in both KS4 and KS5. I also spent a half term teaching A Level at the school’s partner school, two half days a week, when their A Level teacher left for a new job.

I felt pulled in so many different directions a lot of the time and sometimes didn’t feel like I was doing my actual job that well at all. A Head of RE job at a nearby school came up, which I applied for and quite unexpectedly was offered. I accepted and looked forward for the rest of the year to starting my new challenge.

Part of the process of leaving my old school was saying goodbye to my classroom. Whilst I only taught eight lessons a week in this room, I had spent a lot of time making it a nice place to be.

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I had created these displays to reflect my teaching style. I had organised the room to how I wanted it to be. I mostly enjoyed being in here. I only taught KS3 lessons in this room and felt like I had made it an engaging and welcoming place for pupils to be.

I also had to say goodbye to my form. I co tutored a Year 7 form and got to know them all so well that I was sad that I am no longer going to see them grow up. I knew that it could always be the case that I wouldn’t see them through to Year 11, however it is always a nice thought to believe that you will see these thirty children grow up, change, develop and become their own people with their own dreams, plans and aspirations. Funnily enough, I still see some of them on my daily walk to my new school, so I have had a few quick chats with them and they seem to be loving Year 8!

The summer has given me time to reflect on my NQT year, and I know that although it was difficult, I feel like such a better teacher now. I can’t say for certain, but I feel like if I had had an easy ride last year, I may not have been so aspirational or well prepared for my new role as I feel now.

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