My First Day as an NQT
Right, first day of the job. Finally, I’m actually a teacher. Nervous, bit nervous. Very nervous actually. I wish this traffic would hurry up. What’s the time? Left half an hour early because of the roadworks but this is ridiculous. Can’t be late on the first day. Can’t be late. First impressions count and all that. Can’t imagine what the head will say if I’m the last one there.
I think I like the head. She’s got that thing that all headteachers seem to have – some sort of aura about them. Composed, friendly, self-assured but with the glint of the trained assassin in the corner of the eye. Bit scary really. Can I call her Sheila? She said use her first name, but it doesn’t seem right does it? Suppose I will. I’m so rubbish with names anyway…
Thirty two children’s names to remember. Name stickers!!! Did I finish the name stickers? Think I did and then put them…Where?! Where are the name stickers? I know I did them…think I finished them all… and put them…put them…put them in the drawer of the desk. My desk! I’ve actually got a desk! Proper teacher now. A proper teacher.
What if it all goes wrong?
So what do I do if it all goes wrong? At least on teaching practice Mrs Lacey was always nearby. Just behind the class divider screen most of the time. Lurking really. Lurker Lacey. Hated it then; never felt like I had the class to myself. Really wanted the day to come when I had my own class. And now it’s here. It’s today – the stuck in bloody traffic on the first day of a new job – day. The day I will finally be on my own with a class. My own class. Of thirty two children. And me. On my own.
Actually it would be quite nice to have someone to occasionally glare at the kids, like Mrs Lacey used to do…
Wonder if I’ll ever be able to glare like that? How do those teachers do that? The ones who walk in to a room and it goes quiet. Who only have to catch the eye of a misbehaving child across a crowded art lesson and make them shrivel into embarrassed compliance? Will I ever, ever be able to do that? It’s like the force in the Star Wars films. A half-hearted wave at waste height and “These aren’t the felt tips you were looking for…”
Felt tips! Did I order the felt tips?! So much to order and sort. Need the felt tips for the first lesson. Never planned a lesson so carefully in my life. Hope it goes well. Really hope it goes well… Will it go well? It might not go well. What do I do if it doesn’t go well? What if none of the lessons go well? Did I choose the right career? Oh, hang on… the traffic’s moving. Thank goodness for that. Wonder what the hold-up was… let’s have a look… nothing. Held up by nothing. Brilliant. At least we’re moving now.
PE! I hate teaching PE and the class have it tomorrow. The class? MY class have it tomorrow. And I’ve got to teach it. Only did two lessons during training and they were Rounders. Hope no-one comes through the hall when we’re in there. Got my PE kit though, which is better than when I was at school myself. Be ironic if I have to tell a child off for forgetting their’s but I can live with the hypocrisy I think. Seems like yesterday when it was me being told off at school.
Yesterday was SO busy with planning and ironing. And this car journey isn’t helping. Using up all the adrenalin too early. Hope I get there before the children arrive. And the parents.
It’s the parents I’m worried about. We all heard the stories in the staffrooms on block practices. What if they shout at me? What if I have a parent who is banned from the school grounds but comes in anyway? What do you talk about at parents’ evenings? They don’t tell you about that at college. And I’ll probably forget their child’s name… I’m so rubbish at names. Good at faces though. Just hope the parents look like their kid.
Smile and Be Firm
Must remember to smile. Smile, but be firm. Start as you mean to go on. Start strict, but fair. Set the rules. Be Miss Honey later, but begin with just a hint of Trunchbull, just to start the year right.
Year! It’s a whole year! Block practice was only six weeks and that seemed like forever. How will I ever last a whole year? And how will I fit everything into a year? Those curriculum maps had so much in them. Can I really teach all that to all the children?
Oh, hang on a minute…I like this song. Hadn’t really been listening to the radio. Too much to think about. But I like this one. Ready to sing the chorus and… and we’re here. At school already. After all that time stuck in traffic. Finally at the job.
Better turn the music off then.
Start the job of being a teacher.
Hope I’m singing later.
NQT: My first day as an NQT
This blog links to the NQT First Steps Series, which is adapted from Focus Education’s NQT Toolkit, now in its 4th Edition.
Specifically targeted at those starting out in primary teaching, the NQT Toolkit is a practical guide to the things that people often forget to tell newly qualified teachers. It includes sections on classroom organisation and management, behaviour and expectations, dealing with the first of everything (parents evenings, report writing, organising a trip etc.) as well as planning, marking and assessment. To see more, including sample pages, visit the link here.
Tim has been a headteacher with a successful track record; his last school had a reputation for innovation and their initiatives have been utilised by others and presented internationally.
School improvement has been at the heart of his career, working as an LLE, a School Improvement Partner, Professional Partner as well as an Ofsted inspector and mentor for trainee inspectors.