NQT Special: One term down, two to go…

As the Christmas break approaches, this year’s SecEd NQT diarist reflects on their first term at the chalkface – the highs and the lows

Looking back on my first term as an NQT, I am considering the highs and lows that I have experienced since beginning my first teaching post.

Fortunately, the positives have far outweighed the negatives, and I am progressing towards being the best teacher that I can be. However, there are areas of my practice that I need to develop further if I am to reach my full potential.

My greatest achievement since beginning the role has been the building of positive relationships with both my students and colleagues. I have experienced very few serious behaviour problems in the classroom, and I believe that this is the result of the high expectations that I have set and constantly reinforced.

I also think that I have made a good impression with my colleagues. I have been given a lot of support by fellow teachers and associate staff, which reflects the community values of the school. I hope that I can return the favour by being a dependable, hard-working and conscientious colleague.

During my first formal observation, I was criticised for the lack of meaningful marking in my year 11 students’ books. The weakness of my marking led to a negative judgement during my first observation, despite the fact that the rest of lesson was a success. 

This was a difficult lesson to learn, but I am now glad that it happened early in my NQT year. The shock of receiving a “limited” judgement for my marking made me realise just how crucial this element of teaching is. I have worked hard since to ensure my marking is both regular and purposeful.

I will keep reflecting upon and honing my teaching practice, and I look forward to seeing where this year takes me.

Read more first term thoughts from a secondary school NQT  NQT Special: One term down, two to go…

How has your first term been? Any valuable lessons learnt? Or has this brought back old memories of your first term teaching? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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