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Virtual Scholar to Scholar event

In our Scholar to Scholar event, NQTs reflect on first term.

Scholar to Scholar event – reflection on first term

Future Teaching Scholars recently held the first virtual Scholar to Scholar event. This evening session gave our Scholars who started their Initial Teaching Training (ITT) this term the opportunity to hear from our Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) about their experiences in the previous year and the transition to qualified teacher.

Sophie Jeropolous, Felicia Hebbes and Katie Karran-Antrobus who recently completed their ITT year reflected on their first term as NQTs.

Sophie described the difference between ITT and her experience as an NQT so far: “This year just feels different, you don’t have someone observing you once a week so don’t feel like you have to adapt your lesson to satisfy that one person. They are just your classes from start to end for the whole year. I can experiment more because they are my classes, see what works for me and what works for them.”

Diving into how this year’s events have affected building relationships with her class, Felicia shares: “I had a class last year who I was really dreading, they were really chatty and out of control. I felt that I was able to get them under control a bit during ITT. It was unclear whether I’d have them again this year and with going into lockdown, everything was a bit uncertain. When they all got back in September and they walked into my classroom, they started cheering. Which is absolutely lovely and you do get classes who at the start are difficult but they become your favourites.”

Katie shared a story of achievement from one of her students. “One girl just struggled all the way through school and one lesson we were matching a clock with normal time to 24 hour time and she did it all on her own. She didn’t need my help once. She didn’t need the TA’s help once. She got everything spot on. I was so proud of her; in that moment she had the confidence and determination and that made me feel good too.”

After hearing these inspiring stories and challenges, all Scholars at the event had the chance to ask the speakers questions, providing an informal space for peer learning. In the second half of the event, Scholars had further discussions with the key speakers on best practices and tips for the classroom before feeding back to the group.

Tips from our NQT Scholars for ITT students:
  • Behaviour management is always the most daunting part of teaching standards, don’t worry if you still finding the best way that works for you and your class.
  • Good is good enough. Throughout your ITT year you may feel you are getting more wrong than right. You can get yourself down if you strive for too much perfection, so take time to acknowledge what’s going well too.
  • Know where to find good resources and if you see something you like, save them ahead of time even if you are not teaching the topic for another few months.
  • Ask fellow teachers for help when you need to, this includes lesson planning and knowing who your first point of call for general matters is. They are unlikely to say no, and it helps to build a rapport with those around you.
  • Have good communication with your students’ family. This way, if you have bad news it is easier to deliver and if it is good news, a win-win for everyone.

We are looking forward to seeing our Scholars at the ITT and NQT National Conference in December and hosting another Scholar to Scholar event next term.