Over half way through NQT year with a very short half term ahead… madness! Life as an NQT has got so much easier and I am more confident, independent and resilient. A few tips I have picked up so far on how to survive NQT year…
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- Keep a page in the back of your planner with ‘praise notes’ – excellent parents evening material.
- Quickly draft up ‘good’ and ‘bad’ model answers for students to mark in pairs using the exam board assessment objectives
- Build up model answers on the board as a whole group to perfect student’s exam technique.
- Plan interactive and collaborative plenaries where possible– you say we pay, key term charades, key term splat, bingo etc. The students love it.
- Use seating plans. No exceptions. A Kagan style plan using MTG’s has worked really well for me with the more able student’s supporting their peers.
- Plan challenging and engaging lessons – it makes life easier. An awful lesson is horrible for everyone involved!
- …having said that, don’t get disheartened when you have a crap lesson. Just make sure the next one is good.
- Keep on top of workload. The odd late night to keep afloat is worth it – but strike a balance.
- When you are not at school you are not at school – allocate time do to your marking and prep but then focus on your life outside of work when you aren’t there. Drink wine, have a laugh, don’t talk about school.
- You will never get to the end of your to do list. Just make sure you have done everything you need to do for the next 2 days (or day!). Otherwise you will never sleep or have a life outside of school.
- Get to grips with the exam board before you start the year. I didn’t do this and it would have really helped. Read past papers, have a go at past answers, look at the marking scheme for the board.
- When all else fails… just keep going! Plod on, don’t give up. Parts of NQT year are rubbish and stressful… but before you know it; the next holiday comes along so that you can recharge your batteries.
I hope the above tips prove useful for other NQTs and PGCE students. Please share any of your tips to add to the list.
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