Be strong but enjoy yourself

23rd September 2005 at 01:00
Even strong NQTs in supportive schools with trained induction tutors can come unstuck.

Rosie Warden, above, who features on the primary NQT programmes on Teachers' TV, did. She enjoyed her PGCE course and finished on a high with good experiences on teaching practice and lots of positive feedback. She thought she'd spend her first year consolidating what she had learned and going from strength to strength.

Rosie had been warned that her Years 3 and 4 class at Kingswood primary in South London were "challenging", but didn't fully appreciate what she'd be up against: "Looking back, there are many things I wish I'd done differently. Trying the 'don't smile till Christmas' thing saw me trying to be nice behind a scary face. It's better to think 'I don't care if they like me or not, my job is to make sure they learn'.

"I wish I'd been tougher about lining up, carpet sitting and standards of presentation from the start as it sets a precedent for the whole year," said Rosie.

Creating a respectful atmopshere was also vital. "Come down hard on hurtful comments and involve children in praising their classmates.

"Have faith in your own judgment and do what you think is best. Above all, don't be too hard on yourself - and have fun."

Teachers' TV: www.teachers.tv

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