Diary of an NQT: Gaining in confidence

Written by: Diary of an NQT | Published:
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With the first term behind her, our NQT diarist is brimming with confidence and looking forward to having more time for teaching and CPD

The first term flew by so quickly. I cannot believe it’s January already and I’ve already completed a full term as a qualified teacher (I even managed to get through my first Christmas party without embarrassing myself – phew!).

I have got to the point now where I feel completely settled at school and I have confidence in myself as a “proper” teacher. Much of this confidence has come from the students. They treat me with the respect of an experienced teacher, which in turn makes me feel like one.

I think back to how I felt as a student teacher, when the students knew I was training and although they were well behaved, I still got the sense that they questioned my teaching.

Now as a qualified teacher who is training other student teachers, I can see the kids treating me differently to the student teacher – just because she is new and I am not.

In reality, her lessons are just as well planned by the time she comes to teach them and often very engaging on paper, but for some reason the students have a strange loyalty to their original teacher and still groan when they realise it is one of her lessons rather than mine.

It is definitely not that my lessons are any more exciting, just that they are used to me and don’t like change.

Despite knowing this very well, I can’t help but feeling flattered when they tell me they wish I was teaching them. Even though I know they are just being fickle teenagers, it is always nice to hear that they want you as their teacher.

I also feel much more a part of the school community now. Having attended a school concert and a few staff social events, I feel as though I know more people, and other staff from far off departments now walk past me and recognise me rather than confusing me for a student.

Most of all, I am looking forward to a stretch of time this term when I can just teach my classes. The last half-term seemed so dominated by the stress of assessments, mocks and feedback that I didn’t feel like I managed to get through any actually content.

And just before the break, our department had its “Curriculum Review”, which meant that the atmosphere in the last few weeks was tense and stressful. Every teacher was frantically assessing students and making sure all the marking was up-to-date and sufficiently green penned for the book inspections.

It is a relief knowing that for the next term, there will be fewer assessments and no mocks to deal with. I have one year 8 history class which I have only actually taught for eight lessons since September despite supposedly seeing them every Friday.

There has been so much whole-school disruption in the form of trips and training days that they have gone stretches of three weeks at a time without having a lesson.

Now that I have settled at school and feel more confident in my position, I want to develop further in my teaching. I’m hoping to get on some CPD courses this term to help with the teaching of the subjects in which I am not a specialist.

Given that I am teaching history, geography, religious studies and citizenship, I think I have a lot to learn! I hope that the school will support me in allowing me to attend this CPD.

Despite how quickly the last term went, Easter now feels as though it is years away. Time to start the countdown to the next holiday!

  • SecEd’s NQT diarist this year is a teacher of citizenship, RE and humanities at a school in the Midlands.


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