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First blush of success

"I was elated when I had my last ever observation on the PGCE course because I thought I was pretty much home and dry," says Katie Sprankling, above. "I knew as a qualified teacher there would be more observations but didn't think I'd worry too much about them.

"How wrong I was. I've been worried that a bad observation from the leadership team would sound the death knell for me as a teacher and I'd be forced to revise my career options.

"Fortunately, the assessment process has proved that this is unlikely.

Hearing and reading what my induction tutor had to say about me at the end of this term has been extremely reassuring. It made me blush. I couldn't believe how much she knew about me.

"When I asked how she was so confident about me meeting the standards, it turns out that she's noticed all the things I've been doing - not just what was seen in formal observations.

"Going through the assessment process for the end of my first term as an NQT has been a far more familiar experience than I expected. It's like talking through my progress, and the strengths and areas to develop, on the PGCE. Except this time I'm getting paid. Shopping, here I come."

Katie Sprankling teaches at Rosendale primary school, in south London

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