New Kids on the block
Advice for the ever inspiring NQT
September has come and there are plenty of new teachers out there keen and eager to get out there and inspire young minds. This week‚Äôs blog is a little helper for all of those NQTs out there that need a little guidance‚Ä¶ aww bless!! I found this article on‚Ä¶ you guessed it‚Ä¶ TES website, from an old pro called Kelly Leonard, who shares 30 snippets of advice to NQTs (or, that she would give herself should she de-age and be an NQT again). It‚Äôs a great read and there are some brilliant tips in there!
I have listed my¬†ten favourite¬†bits of advice¬†from¬†Kelly’s¬†list, but all of it is fantastic! If you want to know the other 20 snippets¬†on Kelly Leonards list, just follow the link below my ten favourite tips of hers.
- Pace yourself ‚Äì the best analogy is that of teaching being a marathon, not a sprint. If you have found your vocation, you could still be educating children in another 40 years, so it‚Äôs important to keep energy levels up;
- Build relationships¬†‚Äì teaching is person-centred; building good working relationships with students, parents and staff is vital. Sharing good news at every opportunity will make the job of having difficult conversations much easier. Positive relationships make teaching a shared experience and will make your day much more rewarding;
- Be passionate about what you teach ‚Äì sparking an interest is half the battle with students. If you‚Äôre excited about what you are teaching, then you‚Äôll ignite their curiosity. Use the ‘Sawyer effect‘ to make work fun;
- Remember that everyone thinks and learns in different ways and at a different pace ‚Äì just as every face you see is unique, so is every brain. You will be passionate about your subject because you have a genuine enthusiasm or natural flair for it but don‚Äôt assume every student will think/feel like you do. You can be certain that they definitely won‚Äôt acquire knowledge in the way or at the pace you feel they should. Think about what it‚Äôs like in your classroom for those students who struggle to enjoy or master your subject ‚Äì try to put yourself in their shoes. A good way of developing empathy is to consider having to write with the opposite hand that you‚Äôre used to using. This can be what it‚Äôs like every lesson for some students that you teach;
- Lose the need to be a perfectionist¬† ‚Äì you will never achieve perfection in teaching because there are too many extrinsic factors that influence the outcomes. Learn to embrace imperfection: it can be quite beautiful;
- Have a finish time and stick to it ‚Äì there will always be another book to mark, lesson to plan or resource to create. To survive in teaching, you need to know when to call it a day. The teachers who tend to burn out are those that can‚Äôt stop working. Give yourself a set period to do your work; what‚Äôs not done at the end of it gets left for another day;
- Be clear about your expectations ‚Äì people are generally compliant souls as long as they know what‚Äôs expected from them. Always set high, yet reasonable standards for classroom behaviour and work ethics. Students need and respect boundaries;
- Enjoy what you do ‚Äì you are at work for a large part of your day so it‚Äôs important to have fun; if it stops being fun, don‚Äôt do it!
- Always look for the good in others ‚Äì everyone has something that they can bring to the discussion. The happiest places are those that shine a light on an individual‚Äôs qualities rather than highlighting negative aspects of a person‚Äôs character. As a member of a school, you are in the unique position to find beauty in people of all ages. Look for it in every moment and encourage everyone else to do the same ‚Äì it develops a much more cohesive and cooperative culture;
- Reflect regularly and maintain perspective ‚Äì learn from every lesson and take something positive from every day, even the bad ones. Use perspective to keep you constant. Ask: will this matter in an hour? A day? A week? A year? Celebrate the successes and accept that you can‚Äôt save everyone, but never stop trying;
For the rest of the list, and in Kelly’s own words,¬†please click on the link below