3 A lone walker comes across someone in the woods feverishly sawing down a tree. He asks: ‘How long have you been at that?’. The exhausted worker says: ‘Hours and hours, and it’s really hard work’. The walker says to him: ‘Have you considered stopping to sharpen the saw?’. ‘Oh no, I’m far too busy sawing’ came the reply’. (Adapted from Covey 1999, cited in Bourdillon & Storey, 2002, p.291) How sharp is your saw?
The life of an NQT Today has not been an easy day. Only a couple of weeks back after a peaceful half-term holiday and yet I have a searing headache that feels like it is splitting my skull. I feel overwhelmed by an overload of information, telling me about everything that I should and should not do, exam results analysis, AfL…! I am in need of a serious lie down…. 4
5 To date, what have you enjoyed the most during this first year of teaching? Up until now, what have been the most challenging aspects of the first year? Have there been any particular surprises, in terms of expectations of your role as an NQT? How well do you feel supported by your school? Joys, challenges, surprises, support?
Interests/strengths How are you developing your personal interests during your NQT year? To what extent have you been able to utilise your previously identified areas of particular strength during this first year of teaching? How have you been able to build on these strengths? 6
Previous (and new) areas of development In what ways have you been able to improve/develop those aspects of your teaching about which you previously felt less confident or had limited opportunities to gain experience? Do you have new areas of development? 7
Long-term aspirations/goals Looking ahead, have your longer-term professional aspirations and goals remained the same or changed, and how are you planning to achieve/reach them? What could the University do to help/support you during your early years of teaching? 8
And finally… As I reflect, I have enjoyed the NQT far more than I could imagine. Last year on cold dark nights, I sometimes wondered what I was doing trying to plan lessons, create resources and write essays when I could have gone for a far easier route. However, now I think that even a bad day passes over and it will be replaced with a good lesson where the pupils might actually learn something. Far better than being sat behind a desk! 9