Planning your first term

So you’ve finished your PGCE and (with the help of the NQT Partnership) you’ve secured your perfect position in your dream school. You know your curriculum inside out and can quote education theory at the drop of a hat, however when it comes to your first term as a teacher, this is where the age-old adage “Fail to plan, plan to fail” rings particularly true. As an NQT a little planning goes a long way! Here are our 5 favourite planning tips to help you through your first term as an NQT.

Five tips for first year as a teacher

5 tips to help you through your first year as a teacher

1. Displays

Displays are an essential part of any vibrant classroom, they help stimulate your students, bring topics to life and of course showcase the fantastic work your class have produced under your guidance.

It’s always handy to have a plan for your displays for the term; knowing when to change your displays.

These don’t need to be Pinterest perfect, you’re creating a display not the next exhibition for the Tate. As such, aim to use simplistic backgrounds, relevant imagery and allow the work your students have produced to take precedence over perfection.

2. Class rules

Rules, as they say, are made to be broken! However, research suggests that agreeing rules in the first instance with your class and allowing them to discuss expectations with you increases the chances of creating a harmonious classroom and reduces your need to flex the behaviour management muscle.

Ask your students for suggestions of class rules, discuss the need for adherence and clearly outline the expectations for everyone. It’s always useful to have the rules you’ve agreed upon clearly displayed in the classroom to assist in accountability.

3. Seating plan

We all remember scrabbling to get the seat next to our best friend, the ultimate achievement meaning we could while away lesson times passing notes or suppressing our giggles! Having been the student, you as a teacher know how significant the right seat in class is for overall educational success.

There are a plethora of different seating options for your students from seating by ability, mixed ability pairs to flexible seating. Do your research and decide which one works best for your students and your teaching style.

4. Reward system

Creating an excellent and unique reward system for your students is a guaranteed way to promote great behaviour and foster a culture of life-long learning. Children are more likely to respond to positive reinforcement in the classroom than criticism, as such it pays to take time to plan a creative reward system for your students, stickers, charts and any visual reward system helps your students be mindful of their behaviour.

Always remember to check your school’s reward policy to ensure your ideas are compliant.

5. Get to know your surroundings

No doubt you were given the school tour during your interview, however, pre-interview nerves may have wiped your memory of the lay of the land. Take your time to get to know your new domain, find out where supplies are stored, where the support staff are located and of course where the bathrooms are!

We’d love to hear how you plan your first term, send us a tweet or facebook message of your best pre-term planning tips with the chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher.

If you’re still searching for a role and would like to check out our current vacancies, view NQT jobs here.