As my NQT year draws to an end I thought I'd reflect on the journey and offer advice to any new NQTs out there.
1. Be ready to make mistakes and learn from them
This year I have made lots of mistakes some small others not so small. The reality is that we will all make mistakes, even experienced teachers, but the important thing is how you handle them. I've found that owning up to mistakes whether it is to a class full of 30 children, to other members of staff or being honest with myself has helped me to become a reflective practioner and taught me lessons (often the hard way) that I would not have learnt if I hadn't slipped up.
2. Be realistic
As teachers we are always learning new things and during your NQT year you will learn lots. However, you need to be realistic sometimes your lessons which you think are amazing will go down like a lead balloon, sometimes you will have to work long hours because of parents evenings, observations, book marking and sometimes especially in the first term you will be fighting off illness. My NQT year has taught me is that I am not invincible and sometimes my perfectinoist tendencies are not the most helpful. Instead, I have learnt how to manage my time effectively and focused on prioritising things (I'm the queen of to do lists) in order to be the best teacher for my pupils and myself.
3. Get involved
The best way to get to know pupils and staff is to get involved in school life. Remember not to over commit but to choose things that interest you and be ready to learn and grow as a teacher. Getting involved in #tmenfield was one of the best experiences of my NQT year and it helped to establish good relationships with colleagues and pupils.
4. Learn from others
This year I have learnt to make the most of the experience of my colleagues. Don't be shy talk to people in the staff room learn from their wisdom, pop in and see them teach, to ask for advice and if you're brave enough ask them to come and observe you to give you some tips and pointers. The wisdom and insight they share is invaluable.
5. Care about your pupils
We often forget that we are often the only source of stability to the pupils we teach. We have the privilege to be part of our pupils lives and to share in their achievements, to help them overcome challenges and to see them grow as individuals. I've found showing my pupils that I care about them, that I notice them and that they are important to me has helped me to form positive relationships with them and enabled me to be a better teacher to them because I know them.
Finally, remember to believe in yourself because when you believe in yourself you can achieve anything.