NQT Advice: Handy to know!
Whether you’ve simply got an NQT joining the department or you’re taking on an NQT as a mentor, it’s always handy to have a little NQT advice to hand for when things start getting a little overwhelming. Here’s our top things you should tell your NQT.
It gets easier.
I know you’ve finished the end of a day with tears welling in your eyes. It’s a shock to the system: the sudden realisation of the responsibility you have; the challenge of a new school with new rules and new students and new staff and lots of newness to contend with; the underlying worry that you aren’t ready/old enough/good enough to do this. It’s a steep learning curve, but it’s ok, you’re going to make it and it’s going to make you better.
Ask for help.
That lovely mentor you’ve been given? Use her. That buddy you’ve got in the department? Go see him. Your head of department? Have a chat with them. They’ve all been there. They won’t think you are stupid or that you shouldn’t be working there. They have ideas and tips to help you. They have experience and wisdom. They can tell you that what you’re doing is fine, that you could try this technique, that you can borrow this worksheet.
Get into good habits.
Yes, it is Friday and you’ve had a long week. But why not give yourself one hour before you leave instead of rushing out as soon as you can? Give yourself chance to tidy up, mark some books, get things in order for Monday. Trust me. And while we’re at it, why have you left all your marking for the weekend? That’s much more hard work. Now you have three classes’ worth of books to mark before Monday. From next week, you’re going to do a bit each night so that your weekends are still your own. You’re going to plan it into your timetable so that you are consistent. You’re going to make it so this job is manageable and you don’t burn out.
You’re still learning.
That lesson didn’t go as planned, did it? Don’t worry! Just reflect – what could you do differently next time? What was it that didn’t click this time? Who got it and who didn’t? Now you’ve had a little think, let’s respond in your planning. This is all a learning curve. And that’s ok.
Remember how hard you worked to get here? Three years studying English away from home and then a year of training that was a roller coaster before an interview up against ten other people. But you made it. You’re here. And now you can try out that lesson that you’ve been thinking of, but didn’t dare try. Now you can start building relationships with these students, get to know them, make a difference. Now you can enjoy your hard work by loving being a teacher and facing all the challenges and helping your students achieve their goals.
Now you are a teacher.
Hopefully this NQT advice has been helpful – comment or reply via Facebook if you have advice of your own!