I made sure I was as ready as I could be on my first day for the 30 pairs of eyes that would be staring up at me from the carpet. What I didn't expect was almost as many eyes again looking in at me from outside the classroom window.
I think the whole of the parent population had turned out to see the new teacher who'd been placed in charge of their loved ones. It was a pretty daunting audience on your first morning, to say the least.
It was a good first day. After school, a few parents came in to the classroom to introduce themselves. I'd been worried that they wouldn't want an NQT in charge of their children. But my fears were soon laid to rest, and they seemed very welcoming. But I hadn't anticipated that parents would expect you to know their children straight away. One of them asked with great concern whether her boy had been giving me any trouble as he could be "a bit difficult".
"Oh, no trouble at all," I said. I was sure he must have been good as I had no idea who she was talking about. I'm sure I'll be able to put names to faces before long. But I think I've got it easier than a fellow NQT in a school down the road. The young female teacher was described by one pupil as having "long, shiny hair and sparkly pink lipstick". Apparently, on the second day of term record numbers of fathers volunteered for the school run.
Nikki Teasdale teaches Year 3 at Fairway first school in Norwich