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Well NQTs, we are almost there! How did it go?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by dav1970, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    5 weeks to go and it is the end of the NQT year - can you believe it?!
    So what have been people's highs and lows? Any regrets? Any mistakes that you CERTAINLY would never do next year? Anything you would change about your class and how you do things?
    My high has been having a thoroughly enjoyable year with my 'tough' Year 5 class. After a difficult first half term where it seemed to be constant discipline and getting them into shape, they sorted themselves and have responded brilliantly. I've decided that it was the best move ever (I'm a 40-something career changer) and I now cannot wait for my next challenge. I move to my local village school in September as Year 6 teacher. Heaven.
    Lows were probably the initial headaches of keeping consistent in my discipline to turn them around as well as a little hiccup with my mentor and a lesson review that wasn't the best.
    Mistakes made that I would never do next year? Probably volunteering to do everything as a bright eyed bushy tailed NQT! Going to try to keep myself to myself a little more and carefully gauge situations.
    Changes to the class? Well it's a different one so will depend on size and shape. O until then, not a a lot I can do. Will probably have more interactive displays.
    Looking forward to hearing from fellow tired NQTs and your thoughts. What a year!
    David x [​IMG]
  2. Highs - Taking my year 6s to camp; Getting a job (maternity cover last Sept, temp contract in Jan and then a new job for Sept at a school I am very excited to be going to); Surviving! I picked up a tough class in January in a challenging school and now behaviour is much better than it was when I started. The kids had been passed from pillar to post for the first term with no regular teacher in front of them and I keep being told I have done a good job with them; Getting a 'good' grading from OFSTED in November and 'good' from the improving schools monitoring team this term.
    Lows - Having to change jobs in January because the maternity cover was coming back in Feb and then finding out that I could have stayed as the person I was covering changed their mind and came back at Easter and then someone else was pregnant (that said, I have learned so much from moving to a more challenging school so I don't regret it in the longer term); Some difficult parents (but again a learning curve). One parent shouting that her son is being picked on and another screaming at me down the phone. Have managed to forge a good relationship with one of them but the other one still comes in complaining that her son is being picked on. Another parent at my first school who did not want his child to be taught about Muslims and who said Terry Deary books were not suitable reading in a primary school and I should remove them from my class. Also parents that always accept their child's version of things instead of seeings things in a more blanced way (had some of that again today <sigh>).
    Mistakes - Can't think of anything that jumps out. Perhaps dealt with some of the parents slightly differently but that has all been a learning experience. Also think carefully about how to manage different TAs. Have had a total personality clash with one at my current school, so perhaps take a step back and think first :)
    Changes to class - I have a different year group in a new school so will depend but I think not be afraid to put my own stamp on it this year. My first mentor said that I would probably not really develop my own way until my second year and then I would enjoy that more - my partner teacher even felt the need to tell me what colour my displays should be last year! LOL Also because I was on a maternity cover and taking over a class from someone else, and their names were on all the books, I not sure the classes ever felt like they were completely mine - so I plan to take ownership of this class from 'swap day'onwards :)
  3. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Nice one Bobby, good to see one NQT has the energy to respond! Sounds like you have had a top year. Best of luck for September.
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    It's been emotional!!! Low point was Christmas when I thought things would never get easier and very seriously considered throwing the towel in. In fact the advice on here and from a previous head is the only thing that kept me going! High point was the end of the Spring term when I started to regain the belief that I CAN do it! I had an awwww moment today where I was chatting to a child in my class about moving up to year 5 and he said he hopes I am his teacher again. It was all the more sweet because this child is one that I felt I had not developed quite the relationship I have with most of the class, so it was nice to hear! I am really looking forward to next year, though I think in many ways it will feel like my NQT year all over again as im changing Key Stage, and I have never spent more than one DAY in KS1 before now!!!
  5. One of the most stressful soul destroying years of my life. Little to no support from mentor or SMT even when I was in meltdown (in a specialist training college ironically). Loved the relationships I built with the students, and, heck, some of them even learned stuff with me. Will certainly miss the students, and I'm sure a lot will miss me. I guess teaching is not for everyone, it's certainly not for me. It's now time to implement my exit strategy (oh, once I've received my Golden Hello of course)

  6. Ooh can't quite believe we are nearly there.
    I have loved this year overall, but have been lucky to be in the school I was TA in and trained in so all very familiar. My highs have been seeing the progress most of the children have made and one lovely letter at Christmas from a parent saying such lovely things. My lows, probably just before Christmas when there seemed so much to do and I had to do APP for the first time oh and the second week in September when a parent screamed at me, oh and when I fell out in a major way with the SENCO and she stormed out. Ah well!
    What have I learnt? Not to offer to do everything and not to say yes to everything! Not to spend loads of time in my class over the summer making up things that I never use. Not to take snappy comments the other teachers make when under pressure to heart.
    What would I do differently next time? Take more time to lay out routines and ground rules with my class, create some more strategies to make the children help themselves and each other more before asking me and keep speeding up on the marking so I don't take it home and have more evenings off.
    I think we've done well to get to this point!
  7. Too right!
    I have learnt so much, really looking forward to new classes in September when I can get behaviour issues settled from the start.
    Down side, failing an observation.
    Up side, getting a "good" in the repeat observation.
    Regrets? Not making enough time for friends and family - but that is improving too. All in all very glad I changed career[​IMG]
  8. Facetious

    Facetious New commenter

    Downs - being unable to stop crying every six weeks or so for the first six months. Can't decide whether it was hormones, stress, exhaustion or an undiagnosed mental illness. Ha! Receiving satisfactories in every observation. Preparing for Ofsted only for me to be the only member of the department not seen.

    Ups - a member of my bottom set Y10 saying that Curley from Of Mice and Men reminded him of Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet. (I must have taught them something). Going from satisfactory to outstanding in my last obs, without doing anything different in my lessons (eh?). Getting a new job with extra responsibilities even though I thought I was nowhere near experienced enough. The kids actually saying they'll miss me next year.
  9. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    cant believe its nearly the end of the year!!! have had a really tough week so cant wait!!!
    highs: had a very supportive mentor, been on first residential trip, having my contract made permanent, having my lesson praised in the ofsted report!!
    lows: this week!! awful parents!!! understanding how to get on with my HT!!
    mistakes: a few communication probs with parents, but take it as a learning curve
    im moving from yr5/6 to yr2!! going from a team of 3 yr5/6 teachers to being on my own so got a busy year ahead but cant wait!!! really excited
    now just to fit in final observation around a theme week, bike week, sports day etc etc
  10. I've loved my NQT year, it's been a tough but very rewarding experience. However, I haven't landed a job for next year, so I feel like I've achieved nothing.
    It's pretty demoralising.
  11. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Really sorry to hear that. Hoping that something works out for you soon which it will

    D x
  12. Well mine has been interesting, got a job in year 1 for the first two terms in Sept having only taught them for the first teaching practise and then growing to love them and their little minds. They were great I often forgot that they were only 5 and 6 because I was always in the 'little end' of the school. So much fun with them, one clash with a parent who complained about me to my TA in the hairdressers of all places, didn't let it bother me after a conversation with my mentor. She was like me but 28 instead of 23.
    Frustrating things: only being able to get satisfactories with good features, never the elusive 'good' or 'outstanding.' One more observation to go.....fingers crossed!
    Moving to another school at easter for another maternity post, taking on year 2 sats and assessment and reports and all the assessment moderation with a class I've known for 6 weeks. Throw in a theme two weeks which celebrated diversity I think I got to half term without 'teaching' them as in curriculum teaching. Bizarre! Baptism of fire some might say.
    During my PGCE I always said I wanted to focus on lower ks2, ks1 wasn't for me...well I've found my calling and would love to stay in this area forever and ever!
    Aprox 24 teaching days left! We can make it!
  13. This exact thing happened to me too, got an 'inadequate' on an obs in November, then a 'Good' in December, which was nice!!!!
  14. Some my lows can be considered as highs - I didn't have a proper classroom for the first 3 months so was teaching in what was affectionately known by my year partner and I as the cupboard! I now have a lovely new room and my class have responded so well! As a result though it wasn't until the summer term that I really felt that I had a grip on everything.

    I am writing this whilst off sick due to my over enthusiasm( nearly passed out on the head and office staff yesterday!) and this is my first sick day so I am proud to have got through with no more than an annoying cough!

    My class have been the best thing, I have been lucky and had only 22 year 5s, they are the most charismatic class I have come across, I have no real trouble makers, just lots of big personalities!

    Regrets - I don't believe I have any, yes I have things I would do differently but after talking to other members of staff they still feel the same. Am very much looking forward to getting even more stuck with the school with the possibility of starting a drama club or resurrecting the art club!

    Well done everyone we have nearly done it!!
  15. Well, I'm a mature NQT and just getting to the end of my NQT year. I have been offered a permanent position in September in a fantastic school and can't wait. It took me a year to find an NQT position and I nearly gave up, thank goodness I didn't.
    What I would like to say to other NQT's who start in September is 'it will get easier'. If you are starting in a new school (as I did) it can take months to understand the way things are done and the routines of the school. I felt so overwhelmed with everything and tried to be perfect without ever letting anything slip. It felt like I never had a life outside teaching as all my time away from school involved preparing to go back. It does get easier.
    I would advise setting up lots of routines that you stick to rigidly initially, give children the reponsibility of jobs each week. E.g tidy classroom montitor, water monitor, computer monitor etc. Trying to do all the little jobs yourself that children are able to do is soooo time consuming. Its great now in my class, the monitors just get on with jobs without reminding. Have a good filing system so you can pop thing away straight away without having masses of paperwork building up.
    I'm in year 2 and the SAT's were a bit daunting but marking them and realising - yes your children had learned far more than you expected is a really good feeling. APP is very daunting but if you have a copy of this every time you are marking an important piece of work you will understand what each statement is looking for. I'm still not overly confident with it but its getting easier.
    Lesson observations will always be stressful to me, I don't think they will ever get easier. Just always be prepared with enough back up material to last twice as long as you expected. Theres nothing worse than having lots of your class finished and saying 'what can I do now?'. Take negative feedback as a target for next time, as an NQT there are always ways to improve.
    Anyway, just to say I love my job but it is a time consuming job, certainly not an 8 -4 job with lots of holidays as a lot of people presume. It is fantastic to have an impact on all these young lives and have 28 children sat waiting enthusiastically to find out 'what we are learning about now'.
    Good luck to everyone starting their NQT year in September and well done to all of us who are just about to finish.
  16. What a year indeed!
    - taking my lovely Year 4s on their first residential.
    - parents telling me how much their children enjoy coming to school and are so much more happy and settled this year compared to last. (surely this is why we do the job!!)
    - making some firm friends with super supportive colleagues.
    - getting a 'good with outstanding features' grading as my final NQT lesson observation.
    - Being shouted at by my HT (who has since left!) because the children were not using line guides in a practical science lesson.
    - being told my first ever NQT lesson observation was 'inadequate' due to behaviour management.
    - working until 11.30pm most nights during the first term....didn't keep that up after Christmas!!
    Can't believe I've made it to the end of the year...well, nearly!! 5 weeks to go!
    We spend so much time congratulating the children over their achievements so I think we deserve a bit of praise too!....and a lot of wine!!
  17. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Can't believe it's nearly over!

    Lows: Not having my own classroom, it did make things really hard! Taking on yet another subject that I really did not want to teach (but I have finally cracked it! :) ), and not being organised enough sorting out observations...not really totally my fault, but means I need to be observed loads before end of term!!

    Highs: Raising achievement of my year 11 class by a significant amount. Securing a HoD job which I start on Monday (eek!)

    Mistakes: Staying in work until gone 9pm on numerous occasions...I could have worked at home whilst seeing my OH. Saying yes to every little thing trying to impress!!
  18. So pleased we're almost there! Though it doesn't feel like I was very not a teacher, if that makes sense!
    After a really c.rappy first term with SMT, having my first parents evening where loads of parents shared how much their children love coming to school and that they are always talking about school and the things we do at home. I could have cried with happiness! I was finally thinking YES I can do this! after that :) The children making really good progress after I've implemented different strategies to help. One child progressing so much socially she is almost unrecognisable! Getting my first good observation and thinking HA! proved you wrong! Then the usual class productions, golden time with my class, in depth conversations where you can't help but laugh, the fact that the children pick up on all my little quirks and start saying them to each other as well! The fact that they hate it that I'm leaving and wanted to set up a petition to keep me! I'll miss them such a lot. Lows
    My very first observation which was AWFUL! And completely losing confidence after that. Every tiny tiny little thing being constantly picked apart by SMT, only to find that no-one else in the school was expected to do the same, it was just me who had to do it! This final term having interviews and juggling my class - I'm shattered! Having to leave my class two weeks early to aid transition in my new school! Next year I think I'll try and be more emotionally consistent - I think I have a tendency to be a bit bipolar in class - all sunshine and light one minute and dark thunderclouds the next! (Though I think that is more morning to afternoon and occasionally in direct relation to SMT issues - so perhaps my target should be to not bring the management issues to the classroom - after all it's not the children's fault!!) Well done everyone!

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