On the plus side, you’ll be able to develop your own teaching style without the pressure of constant observation and assessment and very soon you’ll be memorising the names of your very own students.
Of course, this is what you’ve been preparing for. But that doesn’t mean the thought of dropping the ‘trainee’ title isn’t daunting. You’ll have a heavier teaching load and increased reporting and pastoral responsibilities – and that’s what it’s all about.
There’s lots to consider when you’re starting the next phase in your career. Getting your CV ready is important, but so is knowing what to expect of your induction programme and the particular school you’re joining. Forewarned is forearmed, and preparation time will never be wasted. In 2020 it can’t be news to anyone, but, as long as you have an internet connection, the world is your oyster. There is no problem that you can’t ask Google about, literally thousands of teachers using Twitter every day and there’s lots of information for NQTs online.
There are no two ways about it, planning is a hot topic. It’s as if lesson plans represent all the highs – and the lows – that a teacher can experience in a classroom! We’re told that some of the most enjoyable teaching moments happen when the group is off-plan, and the teacher is winging it – in the best possible way. But one thing is sure, it takes an extremely confident teacher to be happy to go into a classroom under prepared.
Use materials that you find that can be easily adapted for use with your classes. Don’t reinvent the wheel there are teachers in your department and across the internet, who have being planning these lessons for years.
Lacking inspiration? Give Barclays Life Skills a go.
Knowledge is power
As soon as you can, get to know who will be in your class. You will know the year group, set, etc. but it will be useful to find out about the students as individuals. You will be able to pick up information from their data, but talking to your colleagues about the interesting stuff, their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses will be invaluable.
Keep in touch
If you’ve had a good relationship during your teacher training, it is definitely worth keeping in touch with your faculty network. If you benefited from a structured mentoring programme, why not continue that in a more informal way? Tutors and mentors are likely to be flattered when you drop them a line, and most people would be happy to help or point you in the direction of the answer to your question.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, identify your kindred spirits. This could be your WhatsApp group from college or handpicked newly qualified teachers at your new school. Finding people who are facing the same day to day issues can be (almost literally) a lifesaver! Besides, there will be hundreds of things you want to ask and share that will only be truly appreciated by those who have lived through it. Online chatrooms and forums mean that even if your peers can’t help, someone will be able to. Don’t be shy – virtual networks work too: TES is worth a try, as is The Guardian.
We’re here for you
Pertemps Education consultants spend most of their time among teachers – and some of us were in your shoes not so long ago. This gives us a unique insight into what makes NQTs tick, and which placements provide the best training and support at the start of a teaching career. Whatever you’re unsure about, if we don’t know the answer, we will know someone who does. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch – that’s what we’re here for!