Reflecting, Developing and Sharing

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The first term is over – and i’m still here!

At the first term of NQT is always described as being a bit of a roller coaster. I can also that it is a tiring as people say it is and that today has been the first day I have been awake enough to write a blog entry! This is just a snapshot of how things have gone and there is so much more I could write about.

How is NQT different to the PGCE?

Tutor Group - I took over a tutor group from my predecessor which, although challenging, has been really exciting and enjoyable. They are an important group of students as they are the ones I can get to know better and really support in their time at school. It has been a learning experience as it has been the first time I have worked with a single year tutor group as the school I did my PGCE placement in had vertical groups. I am still undecided as to which way is best however i’m sure I will develop an opinion as the year goes on.

Room - I am very lucky to have my own classroom, and at the beginning of the year I was able to put my own stamp on it in order to make it an interesting learning environment for the students. I used resources that I had built up during the PGCE year from various sources were really useful for this and saved a lot of time when I arrived in September. As discussed in an earlier post i’m not yet sold on the room layout however I am coming up with new ways of using the space effectively regularly and I am starting to get used to it.

More Lessons – The number of lessons on my timetable came as a big shock at the beginning of term, and I had to develop ways of managing a large number of students, assessment of their work and seating arrangements. This is still a work in progress however I think that I have made massive progress with this. It is amazing how helpful 12 plastic boxes (with labels) can be in revolutionising the life of an ICT teacher!

Not Leaving! - The best difference so far is the fact i’ll be going back in January. I know where everything is and will be able to concentrate on doing the job as opposed to finding how to get there, what my password is, what my timetable is, having the correct keys, knowing the photocopying code etc.

What were the highlights of the first term?

Extra Curricular Activity – I have had involvement in supporting two main extra curricular activities so far, the staff choir and the young chamber. The staff choir perform alongside students at various music events such as the christmas concert and the school carol service, we also help to supervise and support students at such events. The young chamber is a group of year 10 students who are trying to start a series of business ventures within school, I became involved when the group started to explore the possibility of radio broadcasting within school and now looks like it may lead in assisting with setting up a school TV station – watch this space…!

Trips – I went on three trips so far, one was to the Denbies vineyard in Dorking with my tutor group for their geography field trip, the school sponsored walk and Ice Skating reward trip with the year 11 prefects.

Involvement with the extra curricular activity and the trips have been an incredibly rewarding experience as students gain confidence, knowledge and have fun too. It also helps in building relationships with students which really benefits their learning when you return to the classroom.

What challenges are there for next term?

THERE ARE MANY!! Here are two of the main ones:

Marking – With our 1st moderation for the OCR happening after half term it will be very important that all the year 10&11 coursework marking is up-to-date. I am going to be trying a new strategy to help with completing the task and will be ensuring I allocate specific time in the week for marking.

NQT Portfolio – I will need to make sure that my E-pdp is up-to-date in time for the term 2 report deadline.

The key to success will be planning.

Looking forward

I will be going to BETT again this year, will be focusing on resources for ICT. I will also be attending the teachmeet on Friday evening which will be an enjoyable and useful evening. I also hope to organise a teachmeet in Dorking in the new year so watch this space!

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