The first year as an NQT can be daunting. No matter how prepared you feel, when it gets to the classroom, it’s natural that nerves can will set in. Don’t worry – it happens to us all. Every teacher has been there and knows how it feels.
When it comes to getting through the first year, we all find different things to help. So we thought we would share our top tips from our experience as NQT’s. We hope it helps.
You are not on your own
At Evolve, most of us started our career as teachers. So we know that every teacher you come into contact with in your first year has stood where you are stood. Remember that things don’t always worked out as you planned and go easy on yourself as you settle into the first year as an NQT. Use the year to top up your experience so far, and try to take things as they come.
There are others who can help you in your first year as an NQT
You will know from your training that it’s important to build a strong mentor relationship in your first year as an NQT and beyond. Whether you are in your first or tenth year of teaching, it’s important that you have someone to go to for help and advice. Someone who has experienced a similar situation before and may be able to share their experience of how to get the best result. But forming bonds should go beyond this. Are there other NQT’s at the school? Why not introduce yourself and support each other. It’s always good to share experiences and learn from others.
Let parents get to know you
You are now the person in charge of teaching the children of parents from the local area. Congratulations! You are the person that parents will come to if they have any concerns or questions about your classes. Consider contacting some of the parents of your classes once a half term on rotation to get to know them and to introduce yourself. It is great to occasionally send a progress post card out too commenting on that great piece of work or a big improvement in any of your pupils. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. But, introducing yourself to parents and letting them know your aims for the year will help develop relationships. This will form a trust with parents and you are likely to reap the rewards throughout the year.
Get involved as an NQT outside of the classroom
The first year as an NQT is where you get to use all your training and encourage children to learn. But this doesn’t stop in the classroom. Get involved in projects outside of school. Normally we’d suggest putting yourself forward to help on school trips, but with the ‘new normal’ that’s not as simple as it could be. Why not offer to do some extra-curricular club or help out with an existing club another member of staff runs? Or put on a booster session once a week for those children who need extra help for half an hour. However you choose to get involved, getting access to all the various ways you can make a difference will not only be rewarding. You can also use the skills and experience you gained when starting your second year.
Save yourself time
When it comes to lesson planning and other teaching resources, there’s no need to start from scratch. There are so many great places that you can access templates online. There’s everything from how to provide whole class feedback to homework and curriculum planning. Teacher Toolkit is a great place to start. Ask others for recommendations on online resources too. You’ll be really glad you did!
We really hope that you find this advice useful and we wish you the best of luck in your first year as an NQT. Welcome to one of the most rewarding careers you will ever have!