Every newly qualified teacher (NQT) is likely to go through some level of stress initially. It needs to be understood that nobody ever had it easy right at the onset. But over time, with experience, one can make it as a capable teacher.
To become a NQT, amidst all the ups and downs, you must remain focused on the job at hand, never turning your back from the pressures of the job to emerge as a good teacher.
This blog attempts to offer tips that will keep you in good stead as a newly qualified teacher.
Tips for Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT)
- Ask for Help:
Everyone around a newly qualified teacher (NQT) understands that you are new to teaching. In such a case, there are always likely to be “starting troubles.” Recognize them and reach out for help whenever it is needed. In many cases, newly qualified teachers will have specifically appointed mentors to whom you can ask pertinent questions about the job. Besides this, make it a point to converse with your colleagues and disclose your difficulties to navigate the teaching path.
- Remain Positive:
As far as possible, try to carry a positive frame of mind throughout the day. Usually, you are likely to come across negative folks who have lost their enthusiasm for the job and are only teaching to pay the bills. These need not undermine your positivity and always try to be associated with teachers who are brimming with positivity and try to bring new energy and ideas to teach daily. For you to sustain in the job, you must remain focused and joyful towards teaching.
- Be Yourself:
There could be a case of the jitters getting the better of you, and you could put up a show of being confident and self-assured. Stay clear of this notion and remain true to who you are. Students will find it easier to associate with someone open and honest than someone trying to put up a show. As you progress, you will be entrusted with teaching different classes or subjects, and you will be expected to develop your unique approach to teaching. This is only possible when you have enough confidence in your abilities.
- Get Organized:
One of the primary responsibilities of a teacher is to balance the workload. If you are keen on remaining in control, then being organized is your best bet. Start by accepting the fast-paced schedule of the teaching profession and resolve the emerging complexity with the help of a good organization. Planning for your classes is likely to take a chunk of your time. It is recommended that you complete your plans well ahead of the classes without delaying them to the last minute.
- Accept Mistakes:
Everyone in their initial days of the job is likely to mess up some way or the other. Recognize that every event is a learning experience and with this mindset approach each day. Do not be too harsh on yourself, going to the extent of feeling a sense of guilt for the past event. Instead, look for opportunities to come out better out of the situation with a brave face.
- Learn Time Management:
With the growth of your stature as a teacher, your teaching responsibilities are going to multiply. You must be prepared for this, well beforehand. In other words, you must begin your teaching career with a healthy respect for time and good time management skills. Start with simple to-do lists for the day and prioritize each activity with teaching occupying the top slot. Such simple tools will help you navigate your career path with added ease without ever messing up due to the additional responsibilities.
- Learn Student Names:
It may sound like overreaching your capacities, but it can do a world of good if you can remember the names of students whom you teach. Many learning theories have suggested that students assimilate more when called by their names. If you can ace the naming game, you have the scope for developing a diverse and inclusive learning environment. It will set the tone for highly effective behaviour management within the classroom. Overall, it can build a healthy sense of trust among students while giving them the respect they deserve.
- Work-Life Balance:
Understandably, Newly Qualified Teachers are constantly under pressure to prove themselves. It might invite a scenario where you immerse yourself neck-deep in work. All the planning, researching, and marking – might be happening at the expense of your free time. It can eventually develop an aversion to work altogether. Prevent the arising of such a situation by always on the lookout for a healthy work-life balance. Without any doubt, you must not underestimate the need for a healthy dose of downtime for yourself. Without enough sleep, good food, and socializing, you might just lose the perspective of doing a teaching job in the first place.
- Reach Out for the Better:
An educational institution consists of only teachers and has support staff who play an integral role in the running of the institution. Once you have acquainted yourself with all the teachers, take the initiative in introducing yourself to the support staff. Down the road, when you require their help, they will be more than willing to lend you their helping hand. Every Newly Qualified Teacher must go beyond their regular confines to improve their network. Moreover, it helps you remain in the “loop” on things occurring within the organization for the better.
While these may be general tips that any NQT can utilize, there is much more to gain teaching experience. However, when you take the first class, do not disclose you are an NQT. It will give you enough scope to be fair and firm without being treated as a newbie by the students. In the first class, make it a point to lay down your expectations for the students, making it clear it is a joint effort where they will be treated as equal partners. Ultimately, the results will depend on how you can walk your talk from the first day in class.