A letter to my NQT self – from Mrs I

To my NQT self,

Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime. This year will be over before you know it and it will always
be etched into your memory so make the most of it! Remember you are shaping lots of young
people’s lives and you are making a difference, even when you feel like you’re not. You’re going to
make mistakes, and you’re going to feel like you’re desperately trying to keep yourself above water
at times, but you need to believe that you are enough.

My biggest piece of advice? Channel all of that energy into things that will make the biggest
difference to the children. I won’t say don’t stress (as this is sometimes inevitable) but try not to
stress about the little things. Try and see the bigger picture and remember that no matter how bad
your day is going, there are lots of young people excited to see you. Find the positives and
remember if things aren’t going your way, it’s not the end of the world! Focus on the things that are
a high priority and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to tick off all of the things on your to-do

Surround yourself with positivity – that includes positive people! Align yourself with those that bring
out the best in you and lift you up, not those who drag you down. You will be surprised what a
difference this makes in your life. And stop trying to please everybody. You won’t be able to! Look
for those who challenge you, make you grow and learn because those lessons they teach you will
stay with you forever. Pride yourself on being honest – including with your headteacher. People
appreciate honesty, just be sure to deliver the messages in the right way!

Finally, be ambitious. You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself to you and if
you feel ready, go for it! Don’t let those nagging doubts in your mind stop you from reaching for the
stars. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take that leap. You may feel like an imposter, but
remember, they picked you for a reason. They saw something in you even if you didn’t see it in

I want to end with an analogy that one of my colleagues once said. Teaching is like baking a cake.
Yes, sure, you can bake the cake. But that delicious, creamy icing, the vibrant sprinkles and that
sweet cherry on top, that’s what makes the difference. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile – yes it
might take you longer, it might take a lot more prep, but the end result and the memories it creates,
might just be worth it.

NQT Self

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