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If you thought your journey to becoming a teacher was an adventure in itself, then wait for the real deal! Whilst it’s widely documented just how much work goes into being a teacher; the preparation, teaching etiquette, curriculum, marking etc. – it is rarely documented just how fun and rewarding being an NQT can actually be!
Whilst the idea of teaching your first lesson might be highly stressful (and even inconceivable!), as long as you’ve done your preparation, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy it. Ask any teacher, you simply won’t ever forget that first lesson that you teach. Make sure you take a moment to savour the moment, and spend a lot of time in the hours after focussing on what went right (whilst obviously paying attention to the aspects that didn’t quite come off).
Taking the time to get to know your new students should be a delightful process instead of a formality. Remember that, behind the curriculum, the tick boxes, and the doodles at the side of a test paper, there is a child who is relying on you to be the best you can be. So how do you expect your students to enjoy being at school if you’re not enjoying it too?
In all likelihood, as an NQT you are ready and raring to go – which is great! Whilst your enthusiasm to your role is fantastic, you should be prepared for being overwhelmed with the amount of work you’ll have to do out of teaching hours.
Dedication is a fantastic thing, but you’ll be of little use to your class and school if you are teaching classes absolutely knackered from being overworked. To truly enjoy being an NQT, make sure you are super-organised so that you can cover all out-of-hours work quickly leaving you some free time to go out and socialise with friends, and of course get plenty of sleep!
Preparation is everything in teaching, and is the secret answer to enjoying this epic journey that you are about to embark on!