As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) walking in to the classroom, you’ll have the support of your Induction tutor/mentor to guide you through your first year of teaching. As well as a mentor, your NQT Partnership consultant will also be on hand to give advice and guidance wherever it’s needed.
As part of our commitment to support you, we’ve put together some tips to help you get started on your new journey to becoming a qualified teacher.
1. Lesson plans are not set in stone
It’s highly recommended that all teachers should have lesson plans prepared for their class. While it’s good practise to be prepared, you may find that you have to go off plan at times – this is perfectly fine. If it’s for the good of your class and they learn something from it, then it’s worth stepping away from the blueprint.
Example: Your class may not understand a mathematical method you have demonstrated, or they may be struggling to grasp adjectives. If that’s the case, you’ll have to find another way to show them how to recognise what you are teaching.
2. Stay on top of your workload
Welcome to the world of marking! As a teacher, you’ll be expected to mark work for your class, so allow time in the day to attend to your workload so you don’t have to take it home or spend hours ploughing through it.
3. Communicate your expectations on the first day
When you meet your class for the first time, tell them what you expect of them. Setting the ground rules out clearly should minimise any misbehaviour if they understand what the consequences are. Make sure you’re fully clued in on the school’s behaviour policy too – knowing the policy will establish what actions you take towards disruptive behaviour.
4. Take care of your voice
This sounds like an easy one, but it’s far too easy to strain your vocal chords in a classroom. Try not to strain your voice when you are asking your class for attention. Use a noise, like a click of the fingers, or a hand gesture to signal that you expect them to focus on you. Once you’ve found a technique that works for you, and for them, reinforce it regularly that they understand when you are taking over.
5. Communicate clearly
Always break down whatever you are teaching so that your class can easily understand what you are teaching them. Keep alternative methods in mind when you are forming your lesson plan, and break down what you are saying to them – you don’t want to spend half of the lesson repeating the same method if it doesn’t ‘click’ with the class. If it helps, write your key points on the board to break down what you’re asking/expecting.
Hopefully, these tips will help to prepare you for the world of teaching – if you need any more advice, please don’t hesitate to ask your mentor. Alternatively, you can use our dedicated NQT Helpline to ask any questions you might have.