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Reality versus Expectations

In this video a new teacher explains the differences between what he expected and the reality in school
And I’ve been asked to do this video by Jo and the team at MMU to basically just talk about managing the expectations and also the reality of what my NQT or your NQT could look like. I wrote a few notes down. And the things that came to my head, in terms of my expectations for my NQT year was stability, the fact that I always have less judgement or no more judgement, more autonomy, in terms of me being a teacher. And then another one for me was actually the label of being a teacher, sort of shrugging off that trainee badge, so we say. So I thought I’d quickly just talk through each one, in terms of the expectations versus the realities.
So jumping back to my first one– in terms of stability. In my NQT year, my expectation was that it’s much more stable for me. I hated the fact during PGCE that I’d go to a new school, and I start to establish myself there over the course of how many weeks I was there. And then I just sort of be ripped out and put into a new school. And then I felt like I was starting all over again. And in reality, it’s very, very true. In your NQT year, hopefully you’re there for the long run. You’re there for at least a few years to be. I like the fact that I can look at a school and go, right.
I’m going to be here for a whole academic year. So I can start putting things in place and laying the foundations for that year alone, but also the years to come in the future. The second one about no judgement is– I would say definitely– an expectation, but it’s also a reality. You are, most of the time or– you will be in the class by yourself. You are the teacher of that class. You are the lead practitioner of what’s happening in your classroom. So you’re not being observed every lesson. You’re not being given a critique or feedback or general observations about how you teach. So I really enjoyed that aspect. With your NQT year, you will have observations every term.
But they were nowhere near as the regularity of during your PGCE year. The second one is autonomy. Third one, sorry– is your autonomy. Absolutely true. You do gain that sense of autonomy, in being in control of what you’re doing in that classroom. Like I said, for me it was having my name on the door, having my own classroom, changing my classroom to how I wanted it to be, I was in complete control of what I wanted. I didn’t have to ask someone, so can I do this? Or didn’t have to ask permission to do what I wanted to do. I ultimately– I was in charge of my decisions.
And then I would deal with the results and/or consequences of those actions. And the fourth and final point was actually being a teacher. I know some people still feel like it’s a bit of a label, being an NQT. But you’re effectively 90% there. You only get a 10% reduction in your timetable. And well, you are. You’re a qualified teacher. So for me, it was trying to act like it and being that qualified teacher that I really wanted to be during my trainee year.

In this video one of our recent graduates, Olli, describes his year as a new teacher. He had certain expectations about what it would be like but in some cases the reality proved to be quite different.

Do you have specific expectations as to what your first year as a new teacher may be like or do you feel quite open minded?

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How to Succeed as a Newly Qualified Teacher

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