10 Top Tips to a Successful NQT Induction

*UPDATED August 2021*

With the start of the new school year just around the corner, it is understandable that NQT's might be experiencing excitement, nerves or a combination of the two! Inevitably, if you're an NQT, you probably have some questions ahead of the start of this exciting period in your career. Grant Reeves, NQT Induction Manager, revealed the one question often asked by those about to embark on their NQT year: "What is your top tip for completing the NQT induction period successfully?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question! There are multiple elements which contribute to making your NQT induction a roaring success. In this blog, Grant summarises his 10 top tips to help you to complete your NQT induction successfully!

1) As an NQT, you will be assigned a mentor within school. Make sure you meet with your mentor every week, even if you feel that you do not need to or you are pushed for time. Go to every meeting with your mentor with a clear agenda; try and stay to a time limit (we recommend around 20 minutes). Prior to the meeting, consider what has gone well and highlight any developmental issues you might have encountered.

2) There is plenty of help and support available to you as an NQT. So, don’t be afraid to seek advice! This could be either from your mentor, other school based colleagues or social media (trusted sites), such as the Kent NQT Induction and NQT Help Facebook pages. You can also contact the NQT induction team directly. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question!

3) Record and store evidence in your professional development portfolio. This should demonstrate how you are meeting the Teachers' Standards. This can be in any format, e.g. digital or a hard copy, and presented in a way that you are comfortable with; we would be looking at linking evidence to each standard.  Please don’t become a slave to the photocopier, quality rather than quantity is the key, 3/5 pieces of evidence for each standard across the year.  

4) Make time for you and your family. Induction can be all consuming so split the week up into sections, 5 weekday evenings and 6 sessions over the weekend. Make sure that at least 3 sessions are set aside for you so no work during this time. Your wellbeing matters.

5) Don’t be disheartened if your grades are not what you had expected. 

6) Read the school’s policies on marking, safeguarding and displays. Start off on the right footing with regard to marking and keep up to date, (if you can use stickers view my collection here). Make sure that your feedback is reflective.  

7) Make use of your allocated professional development time for its intended purpose, visit other teachers and schools, meet with the SENCO and subject leaders (keep a record of the meetings for your Evidence File). 

8) Meet with other members of school staff. It might sound silly but get into the staff room and chat. Schools, as busy as they are, can be very lonely places. 

9) Prepare for the “difficult” times coming back after Christmas and Easter. Make sure everything is ready before you go off for the break, even if it’s a rough plan of action. Remember to take the time for yourself, your family and your friends.

10) Behaviour problems within class are not your fault; seek advice and support if required.

I hope the above is useful and please don’t be afraid to get in touch with us at any time. Remember point 2, there is no such things as a silly question! Our contact details can be found on Kent-Teach.com

Over 1000 teachers every year are supported, across Kent and beyond, and we offer a friendly and personalised service, providing advice and support to help ensure successful outcomes for NQTs and schools. 

Good luck NQTs!

Why not read our blog 'How To Motivate Pupils After the Summer Holiday' next? 

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