Learning During Your NQT Year - Learning at Work Week 2018

Despite children’s perception that ‘teachers know everything’, it is vitally important that teachers are themselves, continuing with their own education. During the NQT year, the importance of this process is recognised by allowing NQT’s to have a reduced timetable, to allow time to develop professionally. This might involve watching colleagues and learning teacher strategies from them, or observing other schools or year groups. This might also include personal study; identifying an area to develop further through research and implementing it in the classroom.

As an NQT, I benefit from such time and feel lucky to have a supportive school and mentor who encourages opportunities to develop my own learning. I currently work in an Infants school, with Year 2’s preparing to move onto a Junior school. An example of how I am effectively using this time, is visiting the Year 3 class so that I can get a taste of what Year 3 will be like and talk to the Year 3 class teacher about some of the main differences. This will enable me to support the Year 2’s with their transition in the best possible way. Whilst this might seem simple, this is a way in which I am developing my understanding and supporting my class through my own learning.

Throughout my year so far, my learning has been greatly developed. Working alongside the other teachers in the school, who have more experience than myself, has been a valuable experience. Whether this is in the form of small tricks to save time, specific advice for lesson ideas or supporting individuals, or just someone to talk to about how it’s all going; the support of colleagues can help to make this profession. Teaching is a challenging job, and often with no definitive right or wrong, so having a supportive team around can make all the difference. Sometimes it might feel like you are too busy to spend those few minutes to stop and talk to the other staff, but it is more than worthwhile, as this can provide you with knowledge, experience and perhaps most importantly, is good for your overall wellbeing.

As teachers, we aim for children to have a love for lifelong learning and the best way to model it is to practise it yourself! Demonstrating that you are also learning, and that you don’t know all the answers, will emphasize to a class that everyone is on their own learning journey and no matter where they are it is valued. This is an incredibly powerful message to send, and one which will support you throughout your career.

Do you want to join in with our Learning at Work Week celebrations? Take a look at our blog and see where you can get involved!

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