Best Practice

Are you ready for year 2 at the chalkface?

SecEd's NQT diarist from 2011/12 has just completed his second year at the chalkface. Here, he offers his advice for last year's NQTs as they prepare for year 2.

First, I’d like to congratulate all the NQTs who have made it this far. You should feel very proud of yourselves for finishing your first full year of teaching. 

Many of those who start a PGCE don’t finish, and then once NQTs hit the chalkface for real, a high number also drop out – but you’re one of the few who finished, so have a massive pat on the back!

I spent my NQT year documenting my life on a weekly basis for SecEd’s Diary of an NQT column. It turned out to be a really great way to reflect on my learning and development as a teacher. I, like every NQT does, learned a huge amount about how to teach, how to handle teenagers, how to get them through their exams, and how to mark books and exams. Crucially though, I learned a lot about myself – as a person and a teacher.

This year, while I didn’t religiously document my life every week, I made sure that I continued to reflect on teaching and my life in school. At least once a term I wrote a brief review of my thoughts, ideas and experiences. So below are my top tips for starting year two.

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