NQT Advice

Ok, so perhaps my response was a little too ‘pithy’:-

but I stand by it.

You have been to university and got your degree. You know how to study. You have a fairly good understanding of how you learn best. You have a good view of your own strengths and weaknesses. You think you know what you want to do for the rest of your life.

You have probably then gone on to some form of teacher training through one route or another, either directly from University or via some other career. This means that you have been accepted onto that route by someone who has formed the opinion that you have the potential to be a good teacher. You’ve worked hard that year, both on further study but also in the classroom, working with mentors and other practitioners in more than one setting. They also will have formed a view and the fact that you are still here would imply that no-one has seen you do anything completely disastrous. And you’ve passed the qualification. Now I wouldn’t claim that, for example, a PGCE, is the most intellectually challenging qualification in the world (well, mine wasn’t) but to undertake it whilst working in a school adds a unique pressure. So, well done. In terms of teaching you know what you are good at and what you have to improve.

And so on to the final bit. You’ve applied for a gazillion jobs. You’ve honed your CV to perfection. You’ve been interviewed by one or more schools. Don’t let that nonsense about teachers being in short supply so anyone with a heartbeat can walk into a job fool you. If a headteacher does not think you are up to it, you wouldn’t get through the door. You are only in the room because you deserve to be. Act like it.

For the next year you will be surrounded by a group of people who will support you and help you to succeed. And that’s just the kids. Teachers are called teachers for a good reason. They want to teach. Let them. They are also, in my experience, the most supportive bunch of co-workers you could hope for and will help you in any way they can. Let them.

You can be confident in your ability to do the job because lots of others have been.

So my advice to you remains the same – Be an NQT for a year.

And then be a teacher.


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