Top tips for NQTs
This was originally compiled to accompany a contribution to the Guardian Teacher Network
Thanks for ideas and inspiration from colleagues and via Twitter.
Let me know what you think or ask a question below or @yogspiers
– Ask questions of everybody. Make sure people know that you will ask if not sure. You are still learning. You are not expected to know everything.
• Try to avoid ‘compare and despair’. The other NQTs may look like they are confident and assured but they are almost certainly worried about the same things as you. Talk to them. Help each other.
• Don’t spend more time planning lessons than the lesson will take.
• Don’t check your email first thing as you will be working to somebody else’s agenda. Have a short to do list and do something from that first thing – a much better way to start the day.
• Call some parents with some good news every Friday.
• When you have a bad day or a bad lesson drop everything at break or lunch go and talk to some students, they will almost certainly cheer you up and refocus you.
• Build a PLN using twitter and other social media. It will save you time with ideas and planning and almost certainly inspire you.
• Share your passion and enthusiasm. For your subject, for learning, for finding out about people, for whatever you can.
• Be consistent with everything. Praise, rewards, sanctions, homework etc. Follow through on everything.
• Be human. Get to know them. Let them know something about you.
• Be visible. Not just on duty but between classes. Speak to them, ask them to pick up dropped litter etc. Get known.
• Look after yourself. Do exercise. Eat well. Make plans for your work/life balance. Get enough sleep.
• If you are the last to leave – ask yourself if anybody has noticed, would it matter if they had and if you are working efficiently or just a lot.
• Smile and greet them. Especially the group that you dread.
• Remember why you wanted to teach.