A fresh start for NQT Mrs C

moleskin notebook on yellow background depicting nqt diary

In the first edition of our 2019-20 NQT Diaries, we are delighted to introduce Mrs. C, who shares her worries and wins from the first two weeks with her Year 2 class. Take it away Mrs. C.

A fresh start

For the second year in a row, I find myself an NQT responsible for a class of eager children. But this is not the same as last year. This year I know the school I am working in, having done long term supply here. I am also going to be teaching just two days per week and sharing my class with another teacher. However, I will be teaching year 2 – a group  I am less confident with, having had less experience with that year.

Preparing for the first day

To prepare for this new chapter in my teaching career, I took the summer off. My family tends to spend the summer traveling the UK, visiting friends and family and having a short break for just the four of us. This summer was no different, although I was able to get into school to help prepare my new classroom for one day before the INSET days at the start of term.

Building confidence as an NQT

To try to boost my confidence, I spent a little time looking through the Year 2 curriculum in preparation and realised that I was going to have to adjust my expectations – to date most of my teaching experience has been with Year 5. Year 2 is a very different kettle of fish (caused by SATs if nothing else)! My concerns are many: what if it turns out that I am no good at teaching this younger age group; what if I am unable to keep the class’s behaviour under control; what if I am unable to adjust my teaching style to suit a younger age group; what if it turns out that I am simply no good as a teacher?

Behaviour management

After only a week and a half, I am, of course, far from being able to put those worries to rest. So far I have spent two days with my class, mainly doing baseline tests to give us a starting point for the year ahead. However, my behaviour management experience is being put to good use. Really, a year two class is no different in that respect to year 5 – my expectations are exactly the same. I expect children to behave in a way that is suitable for learning – sitting sensibly, listening, only having one person talk at a time, respecting each other and the things around them, lining up quietly and sensibly, and continuing this behaviour when walking down the corridor. It probably sounds obvious but to me it was a bit of a revelation (and a relief) to realise that I did not need to adjust my basic behaviour management to suit the age.

Focusing on the year ahead

My aims for the year ahead are simple – I want to inspire a love of learning that leads to good progress (because it is all about the progress, isn’t it?)… and pass my next NQT induction assessment too!

About the author

MrsCNQTMrs C is a latecomer to teaching, having previously worked in the environment sector, and completed her PGCE in the summer of 2017, specialising in science. She spent most of her PGCE time in a very small village school. Five years as a teaching assistant had confirmed what Mrs C suspected – that she wanted to become a primary school teacher.
In September 2019 Mrs C started her second year as an NQT, having spent the previous year teaching at a school that was not the right fit and doing supply work. A long term supply post led to her current role as a job-sharing teacher in a city primary school.

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