teacher training north east england

The NQT diaries - Instalment two

September 22, 2014

Dramas this week: 2

Delights this week: 20

Parents rang: 0

Detentions given: 2


Weeks 2 and 3 have been slightly more predictable and routine than week 1. I’ve had the chance to teach properly now, and it feels good. I now know most of my students’ names and I am getting to know exactly what motivates which group and what doesn’t. That, and I have a good routine for marking and planning that leaves weekends mostly free and an hour of spare time on an evening before bed.


As for behaviour, I don’t think I’ve been strict; I think I’ve been more ‘expectant’ of the students - making it known that if they don’t do what I want them to do, and how I want them to do it, there will be repercussions. Doing it this way, rather than blasting and damaging those precious vocal chords, has been useful in that it diffuses a lot of situations in a calmer manner with less exertion on your energy levels. I’ve had *touch wood* so far no serious behaviour issues, which has been bliss. Obviously, there’s always one who tries it on, but just reassure them you’re the leader of the pack and all is well. At the end of the day, you can have all the subject knowledge in the world - but if you can’t get the students to do what you want them to do, then there’s no point in even trying to explain some hardcore theory!


I had one amusing moment when the head came in to visit my form. I always make sure uniforms are perfect - no make up/rolled up sleeves etc. and all the children had their planners out on the desks, open at the correct page - ready for if such an eventuality were to occur. I remember signing the planners and that there was one that had not been signed. The head walked in and all was going well, until the random planner check occurred and the one planner that was chosen was that of the student who had not had it signed. My luck! 


As for student progress and actual teaching itself, I knew I had my hands full getting 2 GCSE groups and being leader for AS Level in my first year, but it has been more than rewarding so far - with students coming up to me and saying delightful things, such as how they get time during my lessons to speak to me and how they are learning at a fast rate. One student asked me for some more past reading papers for GCSE practice - which was an interesting one; but what I’d say, is that the students are your customers: give them what they want! 


I’d also say, in terms of planning, invest time in your marking and ensure students are given sufficient time to feedback. 1) It cuts down your planning time; 2) diagnostic marking is a means of differentiating your lesson; 3) it shows progress and 4) it provides some metacognition! What more could you want?!


It’s week 3 and I’m still happy; albeit tired. Booked a return to Madrid for half term. Make sure you plan time to relax. You’ll need it.


Adam, Shotton Hall SCITT graduate and NQT


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