What would I tell NQT me?

2016-09-20-274_The_New_Guy_webSo I’m in a fairly good place right now. I’m in a nice school (compared to the early days at least!!) I don’t dread going into work – and coming up to the Easter holidays I’m pretty much up to date with things. Just take a moment to appreciate that – because it never (EVER!) happens.

Compared to a couple of years ago when I was thinking of leaving the profession I am very happy – so I thought: “What would I tell NQT me?”

  1. Mark 10 books a day – it’ll take 30 mins max and is SO worth it!
  2. Don’t sweat meetings – the big boys and girls don’t care about your opinion anyway, so don’t put that pressure on yourself to contribute.
  3. Your folder needs to look fat – but the chances of anyone reading it are tiny. Fill it with highlighted articles, examples of marked work, CPD and lesson observations. It will be fine.
  4. Perception is everything – yes your colleagues probably are dicks, but smile anyway, make chit chat, boost their ego when they impart wisdom. It’s not forever.
  5. The kid that made you want to go home and apply to McDonald’s yesterday after your slagging match has already moved on – do the same.
  6. Shitty lessons are better than good ones (obviously they can’t all be crap) – you learn more from it – they will get better as a result. Good lessons early on rarely work twice.
  7. Don’t kill yourself doing great lessons – the ones that count are the ones that are watched.
  8. Give yourself some easy wins: IT room lessons, library lessons, text book lessons. Never do them back to back with the same group but give yourself an easy lesson to regroup.
  9. When you’re under the kosh – it’s OK to get the kids to mark their own tests to save you 2 hours marking, but for Christ sake don’t try it with year 7 or your bottom sets.
  10. Don’t be afraid to go off topic sometimes – kids love this and it acts as both a rapport builder and way of making things interesting to them.
  11. Watch your colleagues, steal their lessons and resources – unless they are complete arseholes they will want to give them to you – they’ve been where you are and it gives them a little boost!
  12. The technicians can almost always plan your practicals better than you can – they know what they have, what works and what is safe – they like to be treated like the experts they are in their field (the experienced ones anyway) so let them impart their wisdom and thank them for it!

Any thoughts people?