How an NQT year takes its toll

In the New Teachers supplement, free with this week's issue of TES, John Stanier, assistant headteacher at Great Torrington School in Devon, talks to an NQT, their mentor and their partner about the emotional cost of training to be a teacher. Here’s a preview of what he learned:

John Stanier

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Evie had been affected by her year in ways that I have since discovered are shared by many NQTs across the country.

“Physically, I have had some issues with stress-related ailments and have needed to go to the doctor to find a solution or preventative,” she admits.

David, her partner, adds: “Evie is more prone to mood swings, depending on how satisfied her day has been and how much stress she feels she is under.

“Stay well clear of Evie between 4.30pm and 7.30pm on a Sunday, as she transforms from lovely girlfriend into monster teacher.”

It turns out that being the partner of an NQT is far from easy, and relationships are put under incredible strain. Evie admits that her and David had a tough time.

“There have been many sleepless nights, where I have had hundreds of thoughts washing around my mind like in a washing machine…I haven’t coped very well,” she says.

“Mostly, I let off steam by crying – a lot. I have an awful habit of bottling things up and exploding after some time. Unfortunately, the ones that care the most get caught in the line of fire.”

The New Teachers supplement is free with this week's issue of TES. It includes 52 pages of tips, advice, information and analysis for NQTs and their mentors, as well as teachers in general. You can read the supplement by downloding the TES Reader app for Android and iOS. Or pick up a copy of TES, available in all good newsagents.

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