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Top tips for NQT year

(13 Posts)
Tillyscoutsmum Fri 26-Jun-15 14:20:04

So I'm just home from my final day at uni for my PGCE gringrin It's been a crazy year frankly, but I am excited about having my own class in September.

I feel reasonably well prepared in terms of teaching/planning/assessing etc. but I am slightly apprehensive about some of the practicalities of being an NQT. Obviously, I've picked up some tips and ideas during my placements (School Direct) but just wondered what your top tips were for a successful NQT year. Even if it's just where the best place is to get baskets/boxes to organise pencils etc!

It's a Year 5 class if it helps.

Rubylee87 Fri 26-Jun-15 19:42:03

I would say:
- talk to the teacher who had your class in Year 4 to help get to know them and figure out seating plans

-keep organised with your marking/ nqt paperwork and ask for help if you need it

-set your behaviour expectations from day one and be positive but consistent

-try to make a basket for each table of pencils/erasers/glue/scissors etc as it saves lots of faffing about and walking around if everything is to hand

The tips on this website are really useful too: www.suecowley.co.uk/100-tips-for-nqts.html

Good luck and pm me if you need any more advice as I've taught year 5 for a few years now grin the nqt year is very hard work but also very rewarding.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 26-Jun-15 20:11:36

Thanks Ruby. That Sue Cowley list is fab! (Albeit the "practice your first lesson speech in front of the mirror" tip has me worrying about what will be in my first lesson speech!!).

I've been in to meet my new class (although they don't know I'm their new teacher yet iyswim?) and I'm in a few more days over the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping I can at least get their names memorised before I forget them again over the holidays!

fedupbutfine Fri 26-Jun-15 20:22:35

I teach secondary - my NQT year I planned every lesson to within an inch of it's life until the morning I realised that I had somehow missed planning a lesson for the afternoon. After a frantic TES search over lunch that didn't yield anything I felt I could use, I had to wing it. It was possibly the best lesson I had done up to that point!

So I would suggest trying to give yourself space to be creative within lessons and remember to go with the flow sometimes - I was far too slavish to my lesson plans because I believed that they were the 'right' way to deliver whatever it was I was delivering and wasn't allowing myself the space within which I could listen to my class and develop things the way they were going, rather than the way I was going. Usually, you end up in the same place!

Get yourself a 'keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan' mug/mouse mat/postcard and leave it somewhere you can see it!

RoosterCogburn Fri 26-Jun-15 20:23:24

Be organised. It makes your life much easier.

Make sure that you have an efficient filing system for all the paperwork you'll have to deal with

Keep your marking up to date. If the children have folders/glue work in books get it done asap so you don't end up drowning in piles of paper.
When you collect books in to mark ask for them to be put in a pile open to the page of work they have just completed, this saves time when you are marking as you don't have to find the work.

Familiarise yourself with the school's assessment procedures - nothing worse then getting to the end of term and being asked "can I see your Literacy assessments please" and you haven't done them

Be consistent - always.

Enjoy being with the pupils. We have a couple of teachers in school who just don't seem to enjoy teaching. I love being in the classroom and I love the relationship that develops with my class.

Be aware of things outside of your classroom. For example if Mrs X is off ill and it is her duty be the person who steps in and does it. Don't wait to be asked or assume someone else will do it.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 26-Jun-15 22:25:15

Great advice. Thanks all smile

FabulousFudge Sat 27-Jun-15 10:55:48

Write everything down

Plan your non contact time tightly so you stay focused on the most important things to get done and maximise the time to the greatest effect

Lizzylou Sat 27-Jun-15 12:23:28

Congratulations thanks thanks
I qualified yesterday but in Secondary, I have a week off then start back at my home school.
Sue Cowley stuff looks very useful smile

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 27-Jun-15 12:57:38

Hi Lizzylou. I think you may have been on our thread last august for soon to be trainee teachers. We never did get any time to post on it, did we?! wink

Congratulations to you too. Can't believe it's done. I was so close to quitting at Christmas (awful first placement).

I like the look of Sue Cowley. I've also got her "how to survive the first year in teaching" book. I think I'm going to need to work on the advice about starting quite strictly in terms of behaviour management. Mine has been fine but I have had a tendency to be too "matey" with the pupils, which has lead to a couple of them taking the piss confused

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 27-Jun-15 12:58:55

Great advice about PPA time. One of my mentors was regimented about her time, another kind of flitted from one thing to another and never seemed to get much done.

CamelHump Sat 27-Jun-15 16:21:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RoosterCogburn Sat 27-Jun-15 17:00:25

Watch and learn - I've learnt so much from colleagues - both how to teach and probably more importantly how not to teach.

Try not to get involved in office politics/bitching about other staff. It will take you a long time to suss out the relationships between other staff. In my school some of us have worked together for 20+ years - that's a lot of water under the bridge, it can be hard for someone coming into the situation to understand all the nuances of relationships that are already in place.

When you make suggestions for change or criticise something within the school be mindful of the fact that the systems you are suggesting change may have been someone else's pet project.

As you have said yourself don't be overfamiliar with the pupils - same with their parents - be professional always

Work really hard at classroom/behaviour management - I've had people say 'It's alright for you Rooster, they always behave' or 'you make it look so easy'
The truth is it isn't easy and I have to work at it all the time - predict, preempt, reinforce. It's always better to prevent bad behaviour then have to deal with it.

RevealTheHiddenBeach Fri 03-Jul-15 21:57:01

Congrats Tilly!!

I have just finished school direct but ended up taking on a class in Feb, so I kind of had the nqt first week panic back then!

with some proper teachers, I put together this over - the - summer prep list for a few friends who were training and had crap mentors. It may not be useful but I'll share it anyway, maybe others can add to it?!

Before summer
Find out school policies on things like drinks in classrooms, pencil cases, toilet breaks.
Ask for sen details of your new class
Observe class from afar if you can, ie during assembly/lining up

During summer
Prepare your classroom!
Get displays ready
Decide how you  want stationery etc to be set up
Sharpen the pencils
Create/prepare visual timetable
Prepare any other visual resources you want, eg noise chart, class expectations
Prepare and label exercise books so there's no fuss on the first day
Create a seating plan for the first day

First week of school
Start as you mean to go on - expectations for listening, presentation etc and stick to them rigidly
Allow loads of time for transitions so that the chn learn to do them calmly
Be big on praise to set a really positive atmosphere
Produce work to stick on the walls in the first few days to give chn ownership of the classroom

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