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How new teachers feel

New teachers explain how they first felt at the beginning of their year
I think when I first started my NQT year, the main feeling that I felt was excitement. I was excited to have my own class for the first time. I did the three-year primary education degree. So by the end of that three years, I felt ready. I felt ready to have my own classroom, have my own set of children. I think no matter how great your placements might be, you always know in the back of your mind, they’re not quite your class. You’re temporarily teaching someone else’s children. So I was really excited for that. I was excited to have a freedom to not feel like I was being watched if I made any mistakes in the classroom.
But that also– it was, in itself, a worry that I wouldn’t necessarily have someone to look over my shoulder to– a class mentor– when I was teaching for the first time as an NQT. You know, it’s all on you at that point. And I would just say, we’re so adaptable. You adapt really quickly. And you are an NQT. You can ask as many questions as you need, and what really helped me was having a really supportive class mentor. I was also really lucky to have a class mentor who was also my year group partner.
But even if you don’t have that luxury, I would just say form a really good relationship with your NQT mentor, and make sure that you do have an open dialogue there, and don’t feel like people think you’re any less by asking questions. I think you should take advantage of that induction year because everyone who you’re going to be asking was once an NQT, themselves. I was terrified going into the induction at the school I’d got a job. I was worried mainly about how I’d be perceived by my colleagues, but also by the kids. I finished second placement in May, and I wasn’t going into my induction until July.
So it had been two months since I’ve been inside a British school. I felt like I’d forgotten everything off my PGCE, everything I’ve learned about teaching. I felt physically sick before I went in. I bought some Kalm’s tablets on the way. And guess what? It was absolutely fine. Schools are schools, and it was kind of like riding a bike. Just go in. Be polite. Don’t try and make too many jokes– a problem I have. Figure out what your colleagues are all about. The school know you’re an NQT, and they won’t expect you to know everything. They just want you to be hardworking, keen, and professional. So show them that you are.

In these videos Jake and Isaac discuss how they first felt when they started as Newly Qualified Teachers.

Although they have experienced quite different teacher education courses and are entering quite different schools, it is clear some of the emotions are quite similar. Watch Jake and Isaac’s videos and consider their starting points. What are the similarities and differences?

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How to Succeed as a Newly Qualified Teacher

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