Book: Thrive in Your First 3 Years in Teaching by @thrive_teach

Published by Crown House

Thrive In Your First Three Years In Teaching













  • The authors are in their fourth year of teaching and as such, offer a current, fresh perspective on the challenges facing teachers in the first 3 years of their new career.
  • The book’s chapters are short and deliver quality over quantity. Readers are signposted to further resources should they wish to dive deeper into a topic.
  • The myriad of teaching acronyms is busted, once and for all!
  • The book’s authors share personal stories throughout to demonstrate they practice precisely what they preach.

Review compiled by: Martine Ellis

Supported by: Crown House Publishing

According to figures released by the UK government earlier this year, 30% of teachers (in England) who started their careers in 2010 had left the profession by 2015.

Yes, you read that right – 30%. That’s a lot of teachers. It’s a worrying statistic.

Of course, nobody said the first 3 years of teaching were going to be easy… but perhaps it’s possible to do more than simply survive those years. What if you could thrive?

Teachers Martha Boyne, Emily Clements and Ben Wright did just that. And now, they’ve written a book about it to help other trainee teachers thrive in their first 3 years of teaching.

An important distinction to make between this book and other books for trainee teachers is that the authors are, at the time of writing, just about to enter their fourth year of teaching. This gives the book a fresh perspective. Everything they have to say is current, with a firm basis in reality. You get the sense that the authors genuinely understand your struggles and will share exactly the right advice to get you through your training, NQT and RQT years.

The book also includes expert advice from Lianne Allison, Deputy Headteacher (Durrington High School, West Sussex) and Director of Initial Teacher Training (South Downs School Centred Initial Teacher Training), and Dr Simon Thompson, Head of Education (University of Sussex). Both have a wealth of experience working with trainee teachers, NQTs and RQTs.

I understand the authors’ choice to include their “expert advisors�. It gives their opinions greater depth, and at times, a different perspective. However, when seeking advice, my preference is to consult peers who are a few years ahead of me in experience. As such, when reading this book, I was more interested in the authors’ views than the expert advisers.

The book is well organised and easy to navigate, with clear headings and illustrations. It contains evidence-informed strategies, as well as up-to-date research, explained in an easy-to-understand, conversational tone. The whole book feels authentic and relatable.

It splits into 3 sections: The Training Year, The NQT Year and The RQT Year. Each section overviews topics such as interviews, safeguarding, working with support staff, differentiation, observations, CPD and assessment. Because the book covers so much, it doesn’t go into great detail on anything, with the exceptions of planning and behaviour management. These are developed throughout the book as responsibility levels change from trainee to NQT. The lack of detail isn’t a bad thing though. The busy trainee teacher will gravitate towards a book with short chapters and recommendations for further reading.

I run the initial teacher training programme at the Guernsey College of Further Education. While this book is for trainee primary and secondary school teachers in the UK, as opposed to FE lecturers, I still think my trainees would get a lot out of it. It’s an easy read and the type of book you can dip in and out of for further reading recommendations. As such, I highly recommend it.

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About Martine 1 Article
Martine is a Google Certified Trainer and Teacher Educator at the Guernsey College of Further Education. She also runs a popular education podcast, The Teaching Space.
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