The One for NQTs

This week, I had the chance to be 10% braver and present at a Digital TeachMeet for NQTs, organised by OneStep CPD.

The format of a traditional face-to-face TeachMeet was loosely followed – a series of short presentations followed by Q&A time. I had chosen Managing Your Workload as my theme. You can download my presentation here: Managing Your Workload or watch videos of some of the speakers on OneStep CPD’s YouTube Channel

Speakers included @simonjameshunt, @Behaviour_Guy and @Heats61, so  I was all among the company of some very well-respected, and more experienced, CPD presenters. Luckily, I was mid-way through the running order, so didn’t have to face the fear of going first. That slot also gave me the opportunity to amend my presentation and add content based on what other speakers had said!

What struck me most as I listened was the immense pressure that NQTs feel, having secured a job, to be perfect from the first day, and to go the extra mile in as many ways as possible. Teaching is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot work at 100% every day of every term. Some times “good enough” is, well, good enough! There are plenty of terms and years ahead in an NQT’s career when they can attend TeachMeets, run after school clubs, organise a West End rivalling whole school production or become staff governor. There shouldn’t be pressure to do all that in the first three terms.

A colleague who retired recently would often ask “but does it benefit the children?” when a new initiative or idea was suggested. If I could give any teacher one snippet of advice, that would be it. If what you’re doing isn’t benefitting the learners in your class in some way, then talk about whether it’s really worth doing at all!

And finally…

If it all seems too much, stop and reflect. Take time out and talk to someone about how you feel.

If you need someone impartial to speak to, contact the Education Support Partnership on 08000 562561 or at 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *