How NQTs can keep organised during their induction year
As a newly qualified teacher in your induction year, staying organised and on top of your workload is vital to success.
Given that induction stands as the bridge between your initial teacher training and a career in teaching, any NQT will want to give themselves the best possible chance of performing to the required levels.
You’ll be assessed according to the Teachers’ Standards and with a little organisation, it can be just the start of a long and successful career in the classroom.
Of course, the NQT induction year is not without its pressures, and newly qualified teachers will face new situations and challenges.
Here we discuss why organisation is key and look at some of the ways you can stay on top of things.
Being in the classroom when a lesson is due to start is essential, as it provides more contact time with pupils and allows NQTs to stay on top of any unruly behaviour.
This level of classroom management can make all the difference, enabling a teacher to build rapport with pupils and to maintain their authority.
Closely associated with timekeeping is time management – an NQT should assess what tasks need to be completed and should then ensure enough time is set aside for them.
Prioritising work and placing levels of importance on certain actions is one way to ensure that all work is completed.
Break up tougher tasks with easier ones too, as this can help to prevent a workload from becoming too overwhelming and the teacher becoming caught up in one task.
The role of planning
For a newly qualified teacher, organisation comes in many parts – from a daily level of managing the school day effectively, to meeting development targets across the entire school year.
Breaking down the school week before it starts can help an NQT to stay on top of the major tasks and to allocate sufficient time for the essentials such as marking and lesson planning.
You may want to divide your day and week into blocks, whereby time is blanked out for certain tasks and responsibilities – this also makes it easier for an NQT to say no to tasks if they feel they do not have enough time for them.
An NQT should plan their development for each term too, and should relate their work to the main teaching standards as much as possible – this should ensure they are meeting the criteria for the induction year.
By ensuring you have adequate time set aside for planning, it should mean that all lesson content is well thought-out, engaging, and challenging for all individuals in the class.
An engaged classroom should find it easier to learn, which should, in turn, make it easier to manage.
Marking can take up a large portion of an NQT’s time, but there are ways of simplifying it and of saving time as a result.
Adhere to the school’s marking policy, but look for ways of introducing shorter forms of marking – such as using stars, stickers or quick scores.
You may want to provide pupils with a key that details how the marking is done, particularly if you want to score work on a scale of 1-5 as it then forces pupils to engage with the feedback that is given.
Ask for help!
An NQT isn’t expected to know everything right at the start and you should have no shame in asking for help if you need it.
Ask questions of other staff, build relationships with them, and seek advice from your mentor if something is particularly challenging, as they may have suitable ways of overcoming the issue having experienced it before.
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