Diary of an NQT: The joy of teaching

Written by: Diary of an NQT | Published:
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Our NQT diarist has found a lot of satisfaction and reward from his first year at the chalkface – but why is this?

A non-teaching friend of mine recently read the NQT diary entries that I have written for SecEd since taking up my post. He pointed out that I had referred to my own personal and professional satisfaction with teaching several times throughout the year, and this led to a discussion about why I find the job to be so fulfilling.

I confess that it is not something that I had stopped to consider in depth and my friend has challenged me to explore the nature of this fulfilment in more detail.

I certainly think that I have responded positively to the increased workload and responsibility that has come with being a qualified teacher.

In my 20s, I often felt that my life lacked direction as I tried my hand at various professions but found little satisfaction. Becoming a teacher has given me a sense of purpose and I now feel that I am on the right path. I do not regret training later than some as my life experience informs so much about my practice.

As I have said before, the life of a teacher is relentlessly fast-paced. During term-time, there is little time to sit back and take stock as there will always be another deadline looming on the horizon. I think that this plays a large part in the job being so satisfying; the work may be hard but it is never boring.

I find that I am mentally stimulated at all times when at work and this may be why teaching suits me so well. I definitely appreciate the down time of the holidays, but also find myself happy to go back to school once they have finished.

Another huge factor in my enjoyment of teaching is the relationships that I have built since starting the job. I have developed good friendships with colleagues, and also feel completely invested in the emotional and academic wellbeing of my students.

As my relationships with my students have developed over the year, I have found myself working harder to ensure that I am the best practitioner possible, as I am determined that all of them reach their potential.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching all of my classes, and seeing them progress both emotionally and academically while under my tutelage has been thrilling. Despite the late nights, I have found additional responsibilities such as parents’ evenings to be enjoyable as they have allowed me to discuss each individual student’s progress in more depth. I have also received very kind feedback from many parents, which makes the hard work worthwhile.

Although people often like to joke about teachers having such long holidays, I have actually found that most people I have spoken to view education as a noble profession.

It is a job that everyone has an opinion on, as everyone has their own memories of school. These are sometimes positive, sometimes negative, or often a mixture of the two. It is amazing how many people are willing to discuss their own school days, and tell stories about the teachers that they liked and disliked. I sincerely hope that, in the years to come, my own students will reminisce positively about their time in my lessons.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes the job so fulfilling. For me, it is the constant variation in my day-to-day routine, coupled with the positive relationships that I am continuing to build, that make me excited to go to work in the morning.

For anyone who wants an exciting professional life and to make a real difference to the lives of others, I can’t recommend the job enough.

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


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