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Should I being doing any prep right now? NQT?

(28 Posts)
Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 21:52:39

I start my 1st teaching job on Monday (secondary), so far all I’ve been given is a partially filled timetable. No scheme of work or access to the school system.

No idea about classroom or students or other staff. I’ve been to the school once, on interview.

I’m feeling massively unprepared! I don’t know if I should be thinking of routines I’ll use, my teaching style, type of classroom etc!

Is this normal?

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Chocolateandcarbs Wed 28-Aug-19 21:58:02

Have you been assigned an NQT mentor or do you have the contact details for your head of department? I suggest contacting them ASAP. Do ugly actually start teaching on Monday or is it staff training? I hope you get some clarity soon.

LemonRedwood Wed 28-Aug-19 21:58:37

Not very normal, no. I'm guessing you're secondary from being given a part-filled timetable.

Have you been given a mentor and do you have their email address? If not, email the head and ask for your mentor's details. Do you know your department head's email? Email them and ask them about scheme of work and what you need to prepare yourself.

If worst comes to worst, you'll have an inset day before the start of term to work something out with your mentor/department lead.

Chocolateandcarbs Wed 28-Aug-19 21:59:35

*you not ugly!!

LemonRedwood Wed 28-Aug-19 21:59:50

Sorry, just seen that you did say secondary and my guessing was unnecessary!

DippyAvocado Wed 28-Aug-19 22:00:11

Is school open this week? Most teachers go in at the end of the holidays and this would be a great time to get some prep done, familiarise yourself with classroom etc. Can you contact your head of department to arrange to meet them?

I've been teaching for years and primary, so different, but I am in all this week as I'm in a new year group. Am mainly sorting out the classroom but in the evenings I am doing my planning. Ideally, you want to have all your planning and resources done this week for the first week or so. Then you can feel prepared.

Teachermaths Wed 28-Aug-19 22:03:55

OK in a way its a good thing. You physically can't do work.

I did far too much work pre NQT year, most of it utterly useless.

Get your head around your routines and expectations. That's enough for this week.

You'll have at least one inset day. You'll have time to plan lessons even if they aren't the best. First lessons are more about setting out expectations than any sort of learning. See if you can find out any school policies, behaviour first... Then the kids won't walk all over you.
The rest of the stuff you'll pick up as you go.

Honestly it will be fine.

MadeinBelfast Wed 28-Aug-19 22:04:32

It might be worth chasing up your mentor to see if they can complete your timetable and give you access to schemes of work.
I don't know your subject but if you search for Bill Wilkinson on Twitter he has a good post about first lessons with classes. He teaches science but it's not subject specific. It might give you some things to think about.
Otherwise, try to enjoy the rest of the holiday, you'll be busy soon enough!

LolaSmiles Wed 28-Aug-19 22:04:33

It would be typical to have some knowledge of topics you're teaching (mainly so you can brush up as a teacher), but not all schools have detailed schemes of work and others will have people writing them ready for September (I know I've still got a couple to finish that I didn't get done in July).

Familiarise yourself with the policies on the school website, plan 2 getting to know you / subject intro lessons (one KS3 and one ks4) that can easily be adapted.

I generally tell NQTs I've mentored that I wouldn't be expecting them to have done lots of planning over the summer as once they meet their classes lots might need redoing.

Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:04:43

I’ve only been communicating with the head’s PA.

No mention of mentor.
We have 3 days inset next week so kids start back on Thurs

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Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:07:50

Thanks @Teachermaths, all the policies are online and I’ve been given them too so I know the sanction system and what not, that’s all I can prep really.

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LolaSmiles Wed 28-Aug-19 22:09:16

Mentors are often announced at the start of the year. They may not know for sure who is doing it yet.

3 days inset is generous and I would imagine is the reason you've not heard much. Personally, whilst a heads up about the topics would be helpful (especially in subjects like English where you have to read and prep new texts), a school letting an Nqt have their summer is a really positive sign

Teachermaths Wed 28-Aug-19 22:09:40

3 inset days is plenty.

Have a glass of wine and chill.

What subject are you?

Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:14:51

Thanks @MadeinBelfast I’ll have a look.

Thanks @LolaSmiles that makes me feel a little better

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ElizabethinherGermanGarden Wed 28-Aug-19 22:16:44

Have you been in and sorted out your classroom/picked up your laptop/met the caretakers, cleaners, administrators? If you haven't been into the school, it would be a great idea to explore around the buildings and worked out the lay of the land.

Schools will be open during the holidays and you should be allowed to come and go. Just pop in - regular teachers are quite likely to be in and can give you useful information in an informal way.

Find out where you get stationery!

Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:19:18

Thanks!!! The school specialises in ASD and ADHD, my subjects are Geography and Outdoor Ed.

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LolaSmiles Wed 28-Aug-19 22:19:55

Have you been in and sorted out your classroom/picked up your laptop/met the caretakers, cleaners, administrators?
I wouldn't advise doing any of those things unless school have arranged it. If it's anything like most schools I've been in, they run on skeleton support staff in the summer to get the school ready and will usually have the above included in any new staff induction plans.

Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:20:56

Non of that @ElizabethinherGermanGarden, not sure whether it was my place to be able to do that.

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Itsfineactually Wed 28-Aug-19 22:21:42

That’s what I would have thought @LolaSmiles, not many people will know who I am.

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LolaSmiles Wed 28-Aug-19 22:35:36

I would let the school take the lead on those things.
Enjoy the last of your holiday more than anything.

PumpkinPie2016 Thu 29-Aug-19 07:45:25

I work in mainstream secondary but have a friend who works in specialist provision (like you describe - ASD/ADHD) and she always says she doesn't actually do very much pre planning as it's so dependent on the children in the classes and their needs.

I suspect that the three inset days are designed for staff to organise their room and sort the first couple of days planning so I'm sure you will be fine.

The Thur/Fri are likely to focus heavily on routines/settling the children into school.

Enjoy your weekend and very good luck!

absopugginglutely Thu 29-Aug-19 07:50:43

In my school, the onset days are partly dated for diary and partly preparing for the term ahead so planning etc. My head is very anti prepping all through the holidays (Outstanding school 3x) and it all gets done then so don’t worry!

absopugginglutely Thu 29-Aug-19 07:50:54


PotteringAlong Thu 29-Aug-19 07:53:03

3 inset days means you’re grand! Don’t worry.

Itsfineactually Thu 29-Aug-19 09:05:12

Great! Feeling better. Thanks

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