The Top 5 Tips for NQTs
Becoming an NQT can be daunting and exciting all at the same time. As a new teacher, you’re bombarded with advice from more experienced teachers and colleagues. Sometimes, all of this advice can be difficult to sort through, especially when you’re trying to figure out what guidance to implement first in your new role as a new teacher. Not to worry, we’ve scoured the internet and have found the top 5 tips that will definitely make a difference to you as you enter the classroom for the first time as a newly qualified teacher.
Read below for our top 5 tips just for you:
1. Prepare a list of all classroom procedures
Do you know what your students are used to from their teachers? Are you familiar with any rules, consequences or rewards used with your new class? Do you know where the bathrooms are?!
These may sound like simple questions, but writing down a list of common classroom procedures will save you a lot of time and stress in the future. Schools function on a lot of unspoken rules that colleagues and your students might assume you already know. If you’re in a new school or class, it’s best practice to write all procedures and processes down to ensure you’re off to a flying start by knowing the ins-and-outs of how things function in your classroom.
2. Be confident (or fake it until you make it!)
Don’t underestimate the power confidence has on you and your students. Approaching teaching with confidence will send a message to your students and yourself about how to behave and interact in the classroom. Your students will find you engaging, and you will feel a sense of authority and groundedness that will send any anxiety out the window. Remember, confidence can be shown in how you interact with students and other teachers, as well as the tone of your voice – don’t be afraid to be passionate, confident and enthusiastic about your subject! Your tone will also set the tone for how your students engage in the classroom.
3. Plan way ahead.
Planning is a crucial skill for any teacher, but when you’re an NQT it can be really easy to get lost in the day-to-day rather than planning ahead for the rest of the term or year. When you don’t take time to plan ahead, you will find yourself panicking about upcoming classes, events or meetings that you then have to rush to prepare for. Starting your preparation for the year straight away will enable you to approach future things with confidence and calmness.
4. Check-in with your students and colleagues
Are your students understanding what you’re saying? Are the points you’re making in your lessons being absorbed? What do your students think about your classes? As an NQT, feedback is a really important way for you to grow as a teacher and be the best you can be in the classroom! A good way to start doing this is to pause in your class to ask students whether they’re following along with what you’re saying and whether they have any questions. Another idea is to add a suggestion box to your classroom so that students can give you anonymous feedback that may help you to adjust to their needs. You can also check in with colleagues (other NQTs and more experienced teachers, too!) to ask what they employ in the classrooms and pick up some tips and feedback from them.
5. Keep ahead of your game.
The education landscape is constantly changing, even more so within the past few years where teaching is arguably becoming more learning-centric. Rather than students copying out your notes from the whiteboard or listening to you speak, more emphasis is on students working out answers for themselves and figuring out the processes in finding answers. Upskilling yourself professionally to teach in this way will benefit you and your students.
Now that you’ve absorbed these top 5 tips, head to your classroom and boss it – you’ve got this!