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NQT Diary 2006-7


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Poll: Where are we all? (32 member(s) have cast votes)

What type of school do you teach in?

  1. State (25 votes [78.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 78.12%

  2. Independent (4 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  3. Academy / City Technology College (3 votes [9.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.38%

  4. Sixth Form / FE College (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Middle (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Primary (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Where are you?

  1. Inner London (2 votes [6.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

  2. Greater London (3 votes [9.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.38%

  3. North East (7 votes [21.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.88%

  4. North West (6 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  5. Midlands (3 votes [9.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.38%

  6. South East (excl. London ) (9 votes [28.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.12%

  7. South West (1 votes [3.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.12%

  8. Scotland (1 votes [3.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.12%

  9. Wales (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 04:31 PM

During the last 12 months I have found the PGCE diary a very useful forum for guidance, support and above all in showing that everyone experiences real ups and downs.

The NQT year I am sure will have its own ups and downs and I feel sure that a diary for the NQT phase will be equally helpful to me and I hope to others.

I hope that people will post here as the new academic year begins and that we can support each other as it progresses.

At the top is a little poll that I thought might be interesting to give us all an idea of the sort of people contributing and using the diary, so please take a few moments to complete it.

All the best for September and enjoy the remainder of the summer break


________________________

Edited to make a small adjustment to the Poll at Carl's request

Edited by Carole Faithorn, 25 August 2006 - 03:58 PM.

"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#2 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 09:35 AM

Nice to see some other people have voted; hopefully they will also add their thoughts to the thread as time goes on.
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#3 ahoney

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:28 AM

:D You beat me to it Carl! But I think you are right a NQT diary is essential. Well school doesnt actually start unitl next Monday but I have been to my school a few times over the summer to prepare my classroom and I am going into school today to start the actual planning! :huh: I have to admit the thought about starting is making me feel physically sick! :sick: But if you have read my PGCE diary I do have a tendancy to worry about everything!! I worry about the fact that half of my timetable is teaching RE, I worry about the fact that we still have to get through this year to get our 'proper staus', observations, standards, etc, etc! My main concern (and it sounds absolutely ridiculous) but I worry that all that I learnt on my PGCE I have forgotten (I told you it sounds stupid) and I have forgotten how to teach :unsure:

Oh my god all that responsibility!! Oh to be a trainee :lol: only joking!! Good luck to all!
Like me - Misunderstood!!

#4 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 05:53 PM

Well yesterday I moved to London and thankfully all went smoothly - now just a matter of settling in and finding my feet.

My NQT year has started somewhat early with the first of two INSET days with the LEA this week. Today's session focussed on the management of behaviour in the classroom and gave pause for thought for the first meetings with classes next week.

I'm now starting to get really worried about the beginning of term, a feeling that isn't being helped by the fact that I am timetabled to take year 10 GCSE on my own in a school that has never taught KS4 before, so there is a small matter of a scheme of work to write! [Thanks to all those forum members who teach WJEC who have sent things to help with this]. I am sure things will be fine, but it all feels a little overwhelming at the moment. I think ahoney and I have something in common there with the worrying about everything!

May I also take the opportunity to request that anyone who knows of any jobs comming up in the South West to please let me know as there are still over 50% of my PGCE course who have not got a job, largely as they are tied to the area.

Edited by Carl Fazackerley, 29 August 2006 - 05:54 PM.

"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#5 ahoney

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 04:40 PM

I think ahoney and I have something in common there with the worrying about everything!


Call me Angie :D

Good luck Carl glad the move went well and I hope you have a successful NQT year :teacher:
Like me - Misunderstood!!

#6 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:54 PM

Just got back from a second day of INSET this week. The LEA held an event on behaviour management and planning for positive behaviour. These two day have been excellent and have given me some things to think about for next week and my first lessons in my new school.
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#7 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:58 PM

You must be tired etc right now, Carl, but if you get a chance to share some of the advice/ideas given I am sure people here would appreciate it.

Alternatively you might like to add it to the 'Surviving the First Term: a guide for rookie teachers'' Seminar?
I think that's still a good read for NQTs

#8 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:16 PM

You must be tired etc right now, Carl, but if you get a chance to share some of the advice/ideas given I am sure people here would appreciate it.

Alternatively you might like to add it to the 'Surviving the First Term: a guide for rookie teachers'' Seminar?
I think that's still a good read for NQTs


Will do Carole - on the to-do-list for tomorrow!

I notice also that there are some more votes on the poll - perhaps soon there will be more talkers and less lurkers!
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#9 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 04:19 PM

As promised here is a little of the advice and guidance given at this week's NQT INSET - I've tried to keep it brief and to the point. If there is anything anyone wants to know more about then please just reply below and I'll add to these points. I'm sure that many of them are already part of our general classroom practice but I found it useful to have them refreshed in my mind for next week.

Two possible behaviour management approaches

  • The "What do I do if they do X?" approach
  • The "How can I create a classroom where these things don't happen?" approach
Successful behaviour management results from planning for positive behaviour - prevention is better than cure.



Strategies to Promote Positive Behaviour
  • Keep an attractive and tidy classroom
  • Control seating arrangements and don't let difficult pupils bunch together
  • Make good use of classroom space, especially in ensuring that seating arrangements are appropriate to the task
  • Negotiate simple rules and routines that can minimise disruptive behaviour. Share them with the pupils and make sure that they are clear and explicit
  • Don't set unrealistic or unreasonable restrictions on behaviour
  • Marginalise bad behaviour by focussing on good behaviour and praising it
  • Introduce tasks with clear explanations
  • Check pupil understanding through verbal feedback
  • Use questions to keep pupils alert and accountable, checking their understanding
  • React appropriately to pupil responses
  • NEVER talk over noise, be prepared to wait
  • Pace the lesson, keep it moving and do not keep pupils waiting unecessarily
  • Plan for transitions - make them predictable and avoid abruptness, give warnings that they are going to happen and where possible share the plans for the lesson with pupils at the start
  • Plan for movement - look at traffic routes and ensure there are no bottlenecks, and make sure movement is in appropriate sized groups
  • Ensure there is a high probability that intended outcomes can be achieved
  • Make it more rewarding to complete work rather than avoid it
  • Allow time to finish the lesson orderly, with time also for positive feedback and the opportunity for pupils to demonstrate their learning
Things that "you" do
  • Have an awareness of what is going on around you
  • Mirror the behaviour you expect
  • Be cheerful
  • Be consistent
  • Be assertive rather than aggressive or passive
  • Verbalise your wants and feelings, both positive and negative
  • Move calmly and confidently in the classroom space
  • Move into a pupils space and offer assistance in a non-threatening way

    * e.g. Talk to them down on their level, don't tower over them

Other Things to Consider
  • Make use of other adults in the room for behaviour management, but be clear in the roles that you and they play. Ensure that not only are you personaly consistent, but you are also consistent as a group.
  • Engage in positive correction - think about how you want the pupil to feel after you have corrected them and how you want them to respond

    * GDP2 - Give a direction, praise two for completing it
    * Use 'I' language - e.g. "I need you to to sit back down so that the lesson can continue."
    * PNP - When correcting try to start with a positive, then address the correction and finish with a positive. - e.g "Last week you were really focused on the task and you worked well, but today you are off task, I need you to concentrate on these questions and I know that you can produce some really good answers."

  • Choice, warning, consequence - Offer a choice that can allow the pupil to save face and enable you to avoid confrontation

    * This could include partial agreement - e.g. "Maybe you weren't talking...but I want you to..."

  • When setting up a task/activity, ask yourself these questions

    * Is the task accessible?
    * Do they undestand what to do?
    * Have you used a variety of techniques to convey this?
    * Do they know the sort of behaviour they need to display?
    * Have you allowed "take-up time" for the pupils to process the instructions?

  • A degree of tactical ignoring may be necessary to save your sanity - this does not however mean letting things go, they must be followed up later, but sometimes it will be better to let the misdemeanor go at the time if tackling it could make the situation more difficult.
  • For development over time with particular pupils privately understood signals between you and them may allow you to highlight a behaviour issue and generate a response without the problem of the class as an "audience". This could be simple gestures or eye contact, but there may be more subtle things you might develop in negotiation with a particular pupil.
Ok - that will do I think!

I hope this is of some use to people.

_________________________________________

Edited to correct spelling! :blush:

Edited by Carl Fazackerley, 01 September 2006 - 06:55 PM.

"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#10 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 07:05 PM

Has anyone else been on any training days for NQTs? If so what was it like? Do you have any useful advice to pass on?
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#11 Seb Phillips

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 11:02 PM

Beware -

my local authority sent me on a behaviour management course, which was unintentionally counter-productive - basically, in your first few weeks you will be run off your feet, and that's not always the best time to try out new ideas.

The key thing to remember is this - your first lessons with a class are NOT about teaching them history, they are about establishing your working relationship with that group for the next year. So plan simple lessons which help you demonstrate your simple but consistent classroom rules - even if they think you are a bit boring - and make sure that within a couple of lessons you have taught them how YOU want them to behave.

#12 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 11:45 AM

my local authority sent me on a behaviour management course, which was unintentionally counter-productive - basically, in your first few weeks you will be run off your feet, and that's not always the best time to try out new ideas.


I can see where you are coming from with this!
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#13 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:48 PM

I have finally found a few moments to post about the last week in school. Today completed the first full week of teaching and what a rollercoaster it has been. I have had some ace classes and I have also had some bloody awful ones where I felt like a useless waste of space [I'm sure that this feeling will pass and yes no one was hurt and most of the pupils learned something]. I have a lovely year 10 GCSE group and think I am really going to enjoy teaching them this year; they are keen, enthusiastic and today EVERYONE handed in their first piece of homework on time [ :woo: ]

A really frustrating element to my timetable is that I never teach in the same room two lessons in a row - I am like a nomad wandering from room to room, often teaching in the Maths Department. Tomorrow for instance I am teaching three year 8 lessons back to back [the same lesson], but in three different rooms, its madness! What makes it all the more difficult is that I am expected to take an electronic register in the first 15 minutes of every lesson, which means the slog of logging into the PC, logging into SIMS, starting Lesson Monitor, all whilst moving stuff around and setting up materials for the rest of the lesson! It is this messing around at the beginning of lessons that have made some classes really difficult - so I am seriously going to have to think about my starter activities to keep the group on task whilst I complete the admin activites [it doesn't help that all the boards are SmartBoards, their are no OHPs and all the preplanned starters are on PowerPoint or Smart Notepad].

[Edit: This issue now discussed in a separate thread]

I am sure I will work out a method that works for me over the next few weeks, perhaps even spotting gaps in the timetable that mean I don't have to move so often!

Edited by Andrew Field, 12 September 2006 - 09:33 PM.

"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#14 ahoney

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:44 PM

Well it has been 2 full weeks of 'proper teaching' and I have to admit I am slightly confused at just how negative I feel about it all. I never feel like I am top of anything. My days are long 7.30 - 6pm most days and I even work after the children have gone to bed! My timetable is about 30% history 40% RE and 30% geography of which I am absolutely gutted about. I am finding it very difficult planning and teaching interesting lessons in the subjects that are not my specialism or even the motivation to be exciting! The pupils are constantly pushing the boundaries to test out the new teacher! God this cant be right? Surely that only after a short time I would feel this low about teaching and wondering whether teaching is for me after all :unsure: Any words would be greatfully received.
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#15 Andrew Field

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 01:23 PM

Well it has been 2 full weeks of 'proper teaching' and I have to admit I am slightly confused at just how negative I feel about it all. I never feel like I am top of anything. My days are long 7.30 - 6pm most days and I even work after the children have gone to bed! My timetable is about 30% history 40% RE and 30% geography of which I am absolutely gutted about. I am finding it very difficult planning and teaching interesting lessons in the subjects that are not my specialism or even the motivation to be exciting! The pupils are constantly pushing the boundaries to test out the new teacher! God this cant be right? Surely that only after a short time I would feel this low about teaching and wondering whether teaching is for me after all :unsure: Any words would be greatfully received.


So sorry to hear that it is such a struggle. Firstly - things will get better. The fact you care about the issue so much shows that you have the capacity to struggle through and get what you want done. I do think you need to set yourself time limits though. Perhaps have a cut-off in the evening such as deciding to do no more work after a particular time. The time issue is very significant - this needs to be shared with your line manager at school.

Your timetable seems to be an increasingly typical Humanities mix which I suspect you never, ever expected to have. Again here I think you need to stand your ground. Explain to your line manager (or SMT etc.) that you understand you have this timetable this year, but you expected to have a history timetable. Currently 70% of your timetable is additional teaching other than your specialism. Of course you should be expected to pick up a few 'other' lessons here and there, but as a minority to your expertise, not the majority.

Are there no additional / existing lessons to take advantage of? You shouldn't be planning all these lessons yourself. The main issue is what you've already identified - you are happy to create innovative, brilliant lessons for history but why should you for the other subjects. Your motivation simply - and understandably - isn't there!

We are still in the early days of term - some students will have only seen you twice. Keep sticking to the basics - your expectations in your classroom. Anyone who doesn't agree with that can leave your classroom. If you need to abandon a lesson to concentrate on behaviour issues and expectations do exactly that. Also ask for assistance - this is a sign of strength, not weakness. Take advantage of staff who have been at the school for a while - get hints and tips and arrange for them to be ready to babysit any students who cannot behave in your room.

Above all - do stick with it. Your NQT year is the most stressful but also the most rewarding. Keep making noises about your dissatisfaction with your timetable, but do your best to deliver your history lessons in the best possible way. This puts you in the ideal position to claim your fair share next year.

You most certainly aren't doing anything wrong - you simply care about your profession. Just remember every day in teaching is different, so it is well worth sticking with it. :flowers: :flowers:


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