Diary of an NQT: Time to say farewell

Written by: Diary of an NQT | Published:
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SecEd readers have followed the trials and tribulations of our NQT diarist throughout this academic year. The time has come to say goodbye…

I know people always say how quickly time flies, but wow – I can’t believe I’m writing my last NQT diary entry for SecEd.

It definitely feels like the end of the year already, but it doesn’t feel as though eight months have gone by since I wrote my first.

I’ll never stop wishing my life away waiting for the holidays – it’s the only way teachers cope – but perhaps I should take more time to appreciate the last weeks of the last half-term of my NQT year.
Everything is slowing down. The year 11s and 13s are long gone and the year 10s are off timetable too – next week they’ll be gone for good on work experience.

With INSET days, sports days and all the other disruptions the summer term brings, I feel like I’ve barely taught any lessons. It’s got to the point where a three-period day feels heavy.

“Why are they making me teach soooo many lessons in one day?” I groan to myself as I plan what I’ll do with all of my extra free time. I think September is going to be a shock!

In reality, even the lessons I do have feel like a breeze. Year 8 and 9 are revising or doing their end of year exams and year 7 are starting a two-week project which essentially means I tell them what to do and they leave me alone for six lessons.

(Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredibly worthwhile project for them, it’s just an added bonus that the encouragement of independent learning leaves me with some relaxing lessons).

Other than that, I’m just getting on with planning for next year. Moving into next year I have agreed to take on a couple of small responsibilities within the department.

I’ll be the “More Able and Talented Coordinator” and a student teacher mentor.

That, along with taking on a new GCSE and A level course, will keep me busy next year, I have no doubt at all.

I am going to miss writing this diary – it’s been so therapeutic. I get to have a mini-rant every week about anything that has amused, annoyed, entertained or enraged me.

It has not only given me an outlet for my “teachery” thoughts, but has also given me 30 or so little souvenirs to remember my first year by. I probably won’t do it immediately, but at some point in the future I can imagine I will read back through my year and reminisce about the early days of my career.

Whether you enjoy writing stuff down or whether you prefer subjecting your friend, partner, parent, pet to a daily rant, I can’t express enough how much it helps to get it all off your chest.

I have done it all – I rant to anyone who will listen and I write it all here as well. It has helped to keep me sane this year and I would highly recommend this approach to any teacher out there – NQT or not!

To my fellow NQTs who are about to be set free once and for all – and to those about to start the NQT process – I wish you good luck. You have achieved so much and you will continue to achieve as your career progresses.

To all teachers – hang in there and it will pay off in the end, it always does in teaching, the kids make sure of that.

Have a great end to your term and a lovely, relaxing summer break!

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


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