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Where's my life gone?

Q: My NQT year is going quite well, but I feel under pressure. I find it hard to keep up with the marking and preparation as well as writing reports. My social life is non-existent. How can I make life easier?

A: Unless you plan ahead, little jobs can pile up and overwhelm you. Build up routines to help you deal with marking. When keeping records, jot down short comments that can eventually be transferred to formal reports.

Encourage pupils to hand in coursework early, and use your colleague's resources to help you plan. Set work in good time for cover teachers, and use tasks that don't generate mountains of work you'll have to mark. Put together an action plan and run it past your mentor - this shows you're working hard, and that you're organised. Have a cut-off time each evening and give yourself at least one day a week when you do something totally unconnected with school.

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