Well, it's quite a while since I've been on here, and it seems as though some of us are not having a good time at the moment, so I thought I'd come on and share something of my experiences so far. I started at my school last Easter and I'm just about to start my final NQT term. Don't yet know if I'm being kept on after the Summer, but I would like to stay, as I'm really liking the school I'm in. To begin with, the workload was a complete culture shock. I knew from my PGCE that it was going to be hard, but with a class over the size of 30 to mark books, it proved difficult and I used to get very upset and stressed. That was until someone took over my mentoring following promotion. I was introduced to the diary. The greatest saviour of my NQT year. I'm pretty sure that, without being shown a very simple to do list system in my mentor's diary, I would have either failed or killed myself from stress. The first thing I learned is that the to do list is never ending, and that nobody expects you to complete that to do list. It is just about prioritising. At first, I prioritised the wrong things, but now I'm into a routine that seems to do the trick. I plan lessons so that, sometimes, the children mark their own (or a partner's) work; I do lots of active learning, so that the children are not always writing in books. In primary, this is easier I suppose than in secondary. Once I had that idea in my head, that noone is perfect, that we're only human and that by making small mistakes, we are showing improvement when they go, and also not taking criticism personally, I felt less stressed. Still the same amount of work to do, however. But I take it all in my stride now and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to going back to school in the morning! Let's hope that nobody dampens my spirits in the meantime!