Wondering what to expect?
So, you’ve spent the summer preparing for your first day as a newly qualified teacher. It’s completely natural to feel nervous for your first official day as a qualified teacher. You’ve worked hard to get here, and now it’s actually time to put what you’ve trained for into action.
Just remember – no one qualifies and knows everything about teaching!
We’ve put some quick tips for your first day to help you feel more confident, prepared, and supported through the process.
1. Make Resources Your New Best Friend
As much as most of your learning will come from on-the-job experience, teaching resources are valuable for teaching you theory, history, and best practices, as well as calming your nerves and boosting your confidence.
At the start of your professional teaching journey, creating lessons plans will take up a lot of your time, which is why resources can really help speed up the process and assist with a bit of stress relief.
While you’re still finding your feet, you might feel comfortable sourcing a lot of teaching resources to help reduce your workload, and give you some ideas and inspiration, as well as resources to help you stay calm and organised.
Top 5 Must-Have NQT Organisation Resources:
- To Do List
- Hand Sanitiser
- Water Bottle
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Like a lot of NQTs, you might feel like you shouldn’t ask for help. You’ve been trained, are now qualified, and should know everything there is to know.
This is not the case.
Firstly, it might be a new school with new people, new procedures and a new way of doing things. Every member of staff is an asset to you!
As a newly qualified teacher, you have access to a whole support network, you’re able to sign to a union, meet your mentor, and meet many experienced teachers who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Asking for help is the best way to learn from people who better know the school, the curriculum, the students, and the other teachers.
3. Study the Syllabus Again, and Again, and Again
You don’t need to know the whole curriculum off by heart!
But, mainly to improve your confidence, make sure you have a tight grasp on the syllabus, keywords, and what to expect from students throughout the year.
As well as preparing for the curriculum and lessons plans, it’s important to get to know the students, set boundaries and standards for behaviour. “Friendly but firm” is a good way to go to quickly gain their respect and set a standard for the upcoming year.
And don’t forget – look up the pronunciation of names you are unsure of!
4. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
Let’s face it – you can’t do it all in one day!
It’s exciting to be finally qualified and ready to shape the young minds of today, but it’s a steep learning curve and a very new environment that will take time to settle into.
No one has ever mastered teaching on the first day.
Take it slow, and remember to accept support from more experienced colleagues (they’ve all been there once too!).
Especially if you are teaching earlier years, your teaching assistant is likely to be a lot more experienced in the classroom than you, so make sure to forge a strong relationship with them, they’ll be an important asset in your lessons.
5. Enjoy Yourself!
You made it!
All the work, the years of studying, training, CV-building, applications, and interviews have led up to this moment. The summer of preparation and anticipation of the ‘back to school’ month builds up and can leave you feeling anxious about your first day.
With the right preparation, guidance and attitude, you’ll be able to relax and have fun!
Just remember the reason you got into teaching in the first place, and let that guide you.