London NQT Advice – Lambeth NQTs Have the Answers

We’ve previously covered the best NQT tips on the Teach Lambeth blog with 33 actionable pieces of advice for NQT teachers in their induction year.

But, in this post we’ve asked a range of NQTs coming to the end of their first year to give us their best London NQT advice, their personal insight or just an insight to how they felt undertaking their NQT year in Lambeth.

Here’s their views in their own words:

A Challenging But Rewarding NQT Induction Year

“As an outsider to London, and in fact the education system in England (I'm from Northern Ireland), I was very uncertain about what to expect. London, and my school in Camberwell, far exceeded anything I could have imagined.

As I now write this at the end of my NQT year I can look back at the most stressful, challenging, diverse and demanding year of my life. I have dealt with a child who needed to attend a PRU and a behaviorally challenging class who had lots of emotional needs. It is hard for me to put into words how proud I am that I survived.

I can't begin to list the things I learnt this year, the challenges I faced and the support that I had. It is often easier to tell people how tough things are, but the experiences I have had, that I feel only London could have given me, will stand to me for the rest of my teaching career and have affected/changed me personally.

I remember asking for a challenging NQT year so anything after that would be easier. As I now come to the end of that year I feel very thankful for those experiences and the support I had along the way, I also urge you to be careful what you ask the universe for... you might also get it.”

Lambeth is a Special Place to be an NQT

“Teaching is a special vocation and Lambeth is a special place to be - take it from someone blessed to have spent their whole life in the borough!

In a place so clearly characterised by love and vibrancy, you really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

More importantly though, teaching is about the betterment of children and, by extension, society. It means addressing inequality across economic, race and gender lines, but, more optimistically, giving everyone a fair chance (and I mean everyone!): good teaching breeds good opportunity and good opportunity builds a higher predisposition to really make a go of it in life.

Lambeth and London are places where people of all varieties come together: a lot is always happening, so it makes sense that a lot can still happen. It’s a challenge, but we know challenges well as freshly qualified teachers. Ultimately, it is what makes us thrive.”

NQT Challenges

“I was really pleased to finish teacher training and was really looking forward to starting life as a "proper" teacher. My NQT year did not let me down.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra responsibility that comes with being an established part of the school team. I particularly liked the opportunity to arrange trips for all my classes and overall I would say that these have been a success. London offers many interesting places to visit and it is good to make use of these for educational reasons.

I look forward to the new challenges that will invariably come my way as I properly start my teaching career.”

Andrew Cannon, School TBC

NQT Training Support

“To be an NQT cannot be summed up in such a short amount of space.

It’s the most rewarding and supportive place to be starting out in this wonderful profession.

I feel like I always have a strong support network and can rely on others to help me grow as a person and professional.”

Savannah Oscislawski, Clapham Manor

NQT Help and Advice

As well as asking a few NQTs for their thoughts, we asked our current NQT cohort for some of their hard won NQT help and advice, to add to our NQT tips here, which they kindly give us below:

If you could give one tip to a new NQT, what would it be?

  • Do not hesitate to spend lots of time establishing your behaviour expectations at the beginning of the school year and be consistent; remind and repeat, give positive praise and explain the reason for giving them stickers, points and so on for their good behaviour - always focus on their strength.
  • Be as organised as possible - stay healthy and sleep - just believe in yourself and stay positive.
  • Get your head round data early and don't panic when things go wrong; data is only one part of the picture and as long as you're doing your best, teaching as well as you can and most importantly making sure the children are safe and happy, then the rest falls into place.
  • Always make sure you're prepared and plan thoroughly to ensure you know what you're teaching and don't be afraid of making mistakes as we are all human - if you do have a bad lesson, learn and reflect from it.
  • Get to know your children and take an interest in what they like doing - incorporate their interests into lessons which will make the learning fun and meaningful.
  • Use your mentor- that's what they are there for Be proactive in going to them for advice and support.
  • Keep organised - if you keep on top of deadlines and work, then the time slides by easier than if you leave everything to the last minute – plus, you have a better work/life balance.
  • Be honest with yourself - if you are struggling with a particular area, need some support or would benefit from some more CPD then say so – it’s of benefit to you and the students!

What are the good things about going through induction in Lambeth?

  • Training in Lambeth through Schools Direct was invaluable. I was supported so much by my school, my mentor and mostly my class teacher. I was also really lucky because I had five other trainees in my school so we all supported each other throughout. We had excellent additional training sessions to plug the gaps that might have been missed at Uni.
  • Lots of training opportunities tailored to your needs and it gives us a chance to meet other NQTs from different schools which is nice.

And we also asked a few of our NQTs for a bit more insight on camera.

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