What every Newly Qualified Teacher needs in their desk


Having completed initial teacher training and gained qualified teacher status, it’s time for newly qualified teachers to embrace life in a new school setting.

In order to make the transition from training into teaching easier, an NQT will want a number of useful things to hand, with their desk drawer the perfect place for them.

Here are a few of the essentials that NQTs will want to stock up on before the academic year starts, and keep in their desks throughout the year.

A planner

Being an NQT brings more work and more pressure than time spent in teacher training, so knowing what is going on is essential.

An A5 or A4-sized planner is small enough to carry and can allow you to jot down everything from important notes to lesson plans and homework deadlines.

A to-do list

While this is similar to the planner in many ways, an NQT can really benefit by having a clearly defined list of what they need to do in any particular time slots.

Not only does this mean you can stay on top of marking and other key tasks, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to tick things off at the end of the day.

A distinctive mug

A key staple for any NQT is a large mug for tea or coffee, and preferably with a distinctive design so everyone will know it’s yours!

Sharp pencils and stationary

Although a newly qualified teacher can expect some stationary to be supplied by the school, it always helps to have some readily available.

Essentials include pencils and pencil sharpeners, as well as glue sticks and spare paper, as being able to reach for these quickly can help to prevent any classroom disruption when pupils inevitably forget their things.

Water bottle

As you probably already learned during your time in teacher training, staying hydrated is vital throughout the day, so having an insulated water bottle is vital for an NQT – that way you can enjoy a cold sip of water just when it’s needed!

Snacks/ healthy food

You never know when you might get a chance to grab a quick bite to eat during the day, so having some healthy and nutritious fruit or other snacks in your desk drawer is a must.

Hand sanitiser

Any NQT will want to protect themselves and those around them by keeping their hands as clean as possible throughout the day, so it helps to have a small bottle of hand sanitiser.


Spare clothing is essential for NQTs, as temperatures can vary wildly between school halls, classrooms and the staff room – it’s always better to be prepared!

Reed diffuser

Just what any NQT needs for keeping their classroom fresh, a reed diffuser is a cheap and easy way to maintain classroom ambience.

Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 12 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including:

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Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.