I have had so much thrown at me this year (as I'm sure every NQT has!) but I have come out of it on the other side and still feel the joy of teaching. I honestly feel so lucky to have found the career for me and owe part of this to the school I work at.
It's funny, because I swore I would get a job at a small village school just like the one I went to as a child. However, a couple of weeks into my second placement made me realise that a small school wasn't for me. I am able to make such a huge difference to the children I teach and it has opened my eyes to the struggles some families deal with.
I've pulled together a list of what I have learnt from my NQT year, which will hopefully help future NQTs :)
Just to give some context - I work in a school where they use a two-teacher model, so each classroom has two fully qualified teachers.
- Be flexible!
So important. I have had everything thrown at me this year and being flexible helps you to bounce back quickly. We began the year with a move into the hall, where we taught for half a term until the building work on our classroom was finished. We then had a relatively calm half term on the run-up to Christmas.
Spring term was possibly the craziest. My teaching partner and I gained and extra 8 children from year 3 for half a term. Then my teaching partner (and the 8 children) moved back to year 3. Looking back I feel slightly ridiculous at how nervous and anxious I felt because most other NQTs would have begun their year on their own. After a few weeks of adjusting to being at one teacher, my confidence grew and it was the best thing to happen to me this year.
- Show off your passion - Take the lead on something
Anyone who knows me will know I am quite quiet. Having organised an amazing STEM week for my class during my PGCE year, I knew I wanted it to be bigger and better this year. When they asked for someone to take the lead and organise a STEM week for the school I knew I could do it and do it well. So I went for it.
I was petrified when I did my first assembly during the week but it came together and actually went well (even though it felt like it went on forever and someone in the front row produced a very audible yawn). I managed to get engineers in for everyday and there was a huge buzz as the week ended. Next year will be even better!