Diary of an NQT: All change...

Written by: Diary of an NQT | Published:
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Our NQT diarist has lost some of the classes with which he had been making good progress, and has been given a new challenging history group...

Due to a long-term illness in my department, I have had significant changes made to my timetable.

I have taken over the absent colleague’s year 10 history class as they need a subject specialist to ensure they make good progress. This has had an impact on my entire timetable, with changes that are both positive and negative.

Unfortunately, I have had to say goodbye to a year 8 history class that I had been getting on with really well. I wrote about this class in my previous diary entry (SecEd 497, December 7, 2017) focusing on observations; little did I know that the observed lesson would be my last time teaching them.

I visited the class to explain the changes, and they were disappointed. However, I told them how much I had enjoyed my time teaching them and I was able to leave things on a positive note.

I have also had most of the geography lessons taken off my timetable, which I have mixed feelings about. I had initially been worried about teaching geography as I have not studied it since I was in year 9 myself. While I am glad to now be focusing more closely on my specialism, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and it will be a shame to let this go.

My main geography class, a set 5 year 9 group of just 15 students, have been challenging due to their additional learning needs and behavioural issues. However, we have developed an excellent working relationship and the teaching assistants that I work with have complimented my management of their behaviour.

These lessons have been fun, collaborative and I have looked forward to them. I am sad not to be teaching this group anymore as we have come a long way in a short space of time. Fortunately, I still teach a number of these students for English, so will be able to maintain these positive relationships as the year progresses.

Prior to teaching my new year 10 history group, I was warned that their behaviour may be challenging and that their progress would have been limited due to them having been taught by non-specialist supply teachers for the majority of the first term.

Furthermore, this was just a week before a major assessment point, which heightened the importance of me becoming their teacher.

I went into the first lesson with this group with no preconceptions. I had designed two fast-paced revision/consolidation lessons to prepare the students for their upcoming assessment. These lessons went very well and the class were incredibly welcoming, expressing delight that they were being taught by a history specialist.

As a result, we have got off to a fantastic start and most did far better in their assessment than I dared hope.
While the changes to my timetable have caused extra pressure in the last few weeks, this has also taught me some valuable lessons.

In this profession, it is vital to be ready for any eventuality. The job is so unpredictable that it would be easy to feel overwhelmed by certain events, but it is vital to simply take a deep breath and get on with things.

While I was at first unsure of my feelings regarding my timetable changes, I am now focusing on the positives rather than worrying about the classes I am no longer working with.

Most importantly, I have picked up a lovely new year 10 class who I have gelled with very quickly.

As I look ahead to the second and third term of my NQT year, I am excited to see how my relationships with my classes develop and the progress that my students make under my tutelage.

  • Our NQT diarist this year is a teacher of history at a comprehensive school in the North of England.


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