Department Review

First Day in your job as a NQT?  Read on for our tips for success.

Congratulations!  After years of hard work, you have qualified and now it is time for you to embark on the first part of your teaching journey. 

As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), the first day in your ‘proper’ job can bring up a real mix of emotions in you; excitement, nervousness, feeling daunted, anxiety, and much much more.  However, with a little forward thought, positive mental attitude and preparation, you can settle into your new role quickly and easily and leave your senior leaders with a great first impression.  Read on for our tips on getting ready for your first few days in teaching…

Do your admin

You will have read the schools policies, procedures, and other documents they sent as interview preparation, but, be honest, have you looked at them since?  Take some time in the days before you start to familiarise yourself with anything you have been given by the school , as well as the school website and social media pages to get a full idea of the environment you will be working in.  It will help you feel more at home and settled in your first few days.

Plan for your first day

The last minute rush is something to avoid.  Start as you mean to go on.

Dress the part.  Choose what to wear and prepare what you need the night before, so you don’t feel stressed on your first morning.  Dress confidently and make the right impression to your students and peers.  Make sure you have all your essential school supplies packed and any teaching aids or lesson plans done ready. If you can, prepare your classroom ahead of the first day, so you know what it will look like.  Put your personal touch on your classroom, so that you create a welcoming environment that makes you feel at home and creates a conducive learning space for your students.   

The early bird catches the worm!

Get an early start on your first morning.  Maybe do some exercise like a gym session or yoga to set you in the right mood for the day.  Then aim to get in bright and early feeling invigorated and ready to start the day on a positive note.  This will all help you feel organised for the day and week ahead.

Meet and greet your students

Take time to meet each of your students individually on the first day.  It will show you care and you will earn their trust from an early stage.  Have some fun with some icebreakers which means the class and you can get to know each other in a relaxed and engaging way.  Communicate with your students things like the classroom rules and your expectations, including the structure for the day, but also what you will give them in return.  That way you will earn their respect from the start.  

Work as a team and collaborate

Collaborative teaching practice is the best way for you to learn and grow.  You will be working alongside teachers and senior leaders with years of experience under their belts, so take time to speak to them, ask them for advice and offer up your help for extra activities.  Showing you are flexible, willing to adapt and versatile will create a good impression with your peers and senior school team.

Take time to reflect

Reflective teaching practice is one of the strongest skills to adopt early in your career.  Take a little time every day to analyse each lesson.  Think to yourself, what went well, what your students enjoyed, how they engaged and participated, and what you would improve for next time.  Being aware of your teaching skills and areas for improvement will help you develop and grow into an even better teacher.

Remember, by making a few good decisions in the very beginning will set you on the right path for your teaching career for many years to come.  Each day over the next few years will be one for learning, growth and development not just for your students, but for you too.  Like they say…”Every day is a school day!” Good Luck!

Did you know that as a NQT you can get free access to Reflective Teacher?  

Why not start as you mean to go on?  The Reflective Teacher platform enables reflective and collaborative teaching practice to help promote open and honest conversations with your school leaders and help yourself develop and grow.  Reflective Teacher is offering use of our platform FREE to NQT’s.  Interested?  Why not sign up to get started on the right track today.


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