T-minus 4 days…

Would you look at that, 6 and a half weeks is almost up and it’s safe to say that I am absolutely bricking it for next week!!! The summer holidays has flown past, whether that has been because I’ve had to work pretty much full-time alongside preparing my classroom and planning lessons – or just because the summer always flies by, I’m not sure. Can’t we just have another 2 weeks?? I am absolutely bricking it.

My classroom is almost finished… I think. It probably isn’t anywhere near ready in all honesty – I’ve still got loads of resources to prepare. Throughout my training year my mentors have always told me to use this year to prepare resources in bulk because “you’ll just never have the time” and oh boy do I wish I’d listened and started earlier because at this rate the poor little babies are going to be imagining things and making their own resources – they haven’t even got names on their pegs yet! Still absolutely bricking it.

I’ve gotten to that point on my to-do list now where alllllll of the jobs are those little, ity-bity, pain in the neck ones that I’ve purposefully left until then end – problem being there’s about 29 of them left to do. Today I spent 4 hours doing little bits and bobs that needing doing, to then discover that there wasn’t a single thing I could cross off my to-do list – and if that isn’t enough to make you want to cry then I’m not sure what is! Again, bricking it.

I suddenly feel like I’ve forgotten everything – not even just teacher things but simple things like 1 + 1 =… Christ. I mean I’m genuinely concerned at this point as to whether this first half term (7 loooooooong weeks) may actually be enough to kill me straight off. I do feel reassured however, there are 2 other NQT’s at my school this year – they seem to be running around like headless chickens too, so it’s not just me (phew! But still bricking it)

All in all, I’ve got two displays that are still empty. And when I say they’re empty – they literally have backing paper and a boarder on. I don’t know where I’m going to find the time on the two INSET days as I’m pretty much in training during every possible second and then BOOM, the children arrive on Thursday!!!!!!!! Have I mentioned that I’m bricking it?

English – Planned
Maths – Half planned
Topic – Half planned
Music – Not planned
Computing – Planned
Handwriting – Not planned
PSHE – Planned
PE – Not planned
Phonics – Not planned

I reaaaaaaaaaaaaally need to get a move on, I mean don’t get me wrong, some subjects like Music and Computing will already be planned so I guess I can cross those off… B r i c k i n g i t

Today I went in with reinforcements and we sat and sorted through the book corner – oh my goodness. It looks lovely – now. So I feel like that was the biggest pain in the arse job to do, the rest of the jobs are just housekeeping things that I want to do. Benefitting me more over the children. h e l p m e.

At the end of the day I’m never going to be completely, 100% ready for my first day – I’m hoping that the 2 INSET days are going to prepare me more than I am at the moment… We’ll see.

What am I nervous about?

I was going to give this post the title: ‘What am I most nervous about?’, but after thinking properly about it, there’s no way to narrow it down to just one thing. I am nervous about the whole year to come.
*apologies in advance: this is quite a lengthy one!*

LSA

My very first worry about my NQT year was whether I would have a LSA (Learning Support Assistant), and secondly to that – would we get along?
It’s scary, I’m being given 28 children to guide through the year, not every school provides each teacher with another adult for support. I’d thought about some of the LSA’s I had worked with during my training year, some were absolutely fantastic and others – well – if you don’t have anything nice to say… All I could do was hope that if I were to have a LSA with me, teaching the children by my side all year long, that they would be the kind of person I could get along with, the kind of person I could have a laugh with, the kind of person that wouldn’t judge whilst I’m still ironing out a few bumps in the rug.
When I met the LSA I’m going to be working with for the first time, I cannot explain how overwhelmed with relief I was. She is wonderful.
I can happily tick this off my list of worries for next year!

School Staff

I feel like this is a pretty ordinary, non-specific thing to be worried about whenever anybody starts a new job – am I going to fit in?
When I visited the school for my interview I can remember thinking “Oh my goodness, I absolutely love it here!” I explored the classrooms and the building and just kept finding more and more about the school that I could fall in love with – but it was the middle of term, the staff were teaching, I didn’t meet any of the staff other than those on the interview panel. I knew I would feel at home in the school, but would I fit into its family?
I can safely say after spending a week at the school that I feel as though I’m fitting in very well. I think what has helped the most is that I’m not the only new face for next academic year, so I’m not having to tackle anything for the first time alone. I wouldn’t go as far to say that everybody loves me (yet!) but I’m definitely not worried about whether I’m going to fit in or not anymore.
Another worry squashed; on to the next!

Parents

I feel like every teacher (new or experienced) has this worry at this time of year; are they going to be supportive, how will they react when I speak to them about their child, will they read with them and help them with homework etc. I don’t think it’s a worry that can be squashed as quickly as some of my others.
28 children. That’s at least 28 grown ups, possibly more if children have both parents, step parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters – the list of possible adults a child can have is massive and that is terrifying, especially as this is my first year.
I think it’s scary for the parents as well, I mean they’ve never even seen my face before, and now they’re handing over their pride and joy to me for 6 and a half hours a day, five days a week? On top of that they only really know about me what the children tell them, they only get to see me for about 20 minutes of the day themselves.
I don’t even know why I’m scared of the parents… maybe scared isn’t the correct word to use but I can’t think of a better one – anxious maybe? I mean I’m giving my everything to those children, doing my best to help them succeed not only academically but supporting their personal and mental growth too. It’s scary for every body, but I guess that’s just part of the job, maybe it’ll get easier the longer I’ve been teaching, maybe it wont. I honestly have no idea what to expect but I’m just hoping there are no surprises in store.

Pupil progress meetings

I’ll be honest – I am absolutely dreading my first pupil progress meeting. I think that’s natural though; I can’t see any NQT actually looking forward to their first ever one. I’ve worked with experienced teachers that get nervous when it’s put in the calendar!
For those of you who aren’t teachers it’s basically what it says on the tin, a meeting to discuss pupil progress. I’m sure all schools do these differently so it’s hard to know what to expect. Basically I’ll have to stand my ground and know every single child, where they’re at in Maths, English, Science, Phonics, for children that aren’t accessing National Curriculum level learning, I have to know exactly where they are on the Development Matters scale. I need to know all of the next steps blah blah blah so much teacher faff that I’m sure sounds so boring. There’s just SO much to know about each and every child. I’m sure I’ll be fine – I’ll find some sort of system to help me, it’s just so daunting!

Life events

I’m pretty worried about what the children might go through in the next year, what am I supposed to say? What if they go through something I haven’t experienced myself? What if I say the wrong thing and make it worse? I don’t know everything! I think that’s natural though, I’m just going to have to wing it I suppose and then eventually I would have dealt with most situations. I don’t think anybody ever really deals with everything, do they? Who knows – I guess it doesn’t help that people react differently to different situations. I’ll probably be able to read the children’s emotions etc. once I know them a little better, but it’s still scary though right?

School trips

I never really thought about this until the end of my second placement – I’ll be taking the children on a lot of trips throughout the year! I think this is very much my‘worst case scenario’ brain running over time but… what if one of them gets lost? Or injured? I feel like I’m a mother now! I mean obviously it won’t ever just be me that is with the children, but surprisingly there isn’t a legal requirement for adult to child ratio for school trips! There is a guideline that most schools work to from 4-6 adults per class of 30 in KS1, so that’s like 3-5 other people including me, so what that splits in to children in groups of around 6/7? But I’m still responsible for all of them; they’re my class!

Bullying

When I say i’m nervous about bullying, I don’t mean on my own behalf. I feel like with this one it’s a very parent-based worry – I’ve gained 28 children, what if one of them gets bullied? Or worse, what if one of them is the bully? How am I going to discuss this with that child’s grown up? It’s such a sensitive subject! Maybe that’s just something that comes with children, whether they’re your child or not.

Phonics Screening

I’m not nervous about the actual phonics screening, I actually think I’m quite ready for it. I’m just nervous about getting the children ready, how are they going to react? I know it’s not a massive test like SATs or anything, but the little babies are only 6! Some of them will still only be 5 come next June, it’s an awful lot of pressure to put on them! I’m sure they’ll ace it though, they have got a fantastic teacher after all!

Failing the children

Finally, my biggest worry about my first year of teaching is – I would imagine – the same as every other NQT… what if I’m not what the children need? I honestly don’t think there’s a single NQT out there that doesn’t have this worry. It’s a confidence thing I think. Don’t get me wrong, I know full well I can do it, I’ve worked so hard for the past 4 years to get here, I know I’ve got this… but have I?
It’s the anticipation; not knowing exactly what is going to happen, but that’s only natural I suppose, this is all new to me – of course it’s going to be scary!

* Basically I’m bricking every single aspect, but it’s definitely a case of once I’m doing it it’ll be a big worry over nothing. The anticipation and uncertainty definitely makes everything seem scarier than it actually is! *

A bit of background info…

Hi!

I have just qualified as a Primary School Teacher and I’ll be starting my first teaching job as a year 1 teacher in August! (eeeeeek!!!!!!) After my year of teacher training I noticed that the public conception of being ‘just a teacher’ is absolutely nothing compared to what it actually is.

I’m sure there are jobs out there that are more difficult, challenging and demanding, so please don’t read this as if I’m saying that teaching is the most difficult job – that isn’t what I’m saying at all.

I’ve made this blog as an insight for those interested in going into teaching. For my fellow NQTs, RQTs and experienced teachers to see that they aren’t in this alone, and for those that are either nosey or intrigued about what being a teacher really entails, but this is mainly a safe place for me to vent my thoughts, feelings and emotions and somewhere record my entire journey as an NQT (the highs and the lows).

The majority of the posts on here will just be my experiences, a way for me to process what has actually happened, how it made me felt, how I could have changed or avoided a situation.

I hope you find what you’re looking for in this blog – whatever that may be! Feel free to leave comments on the situation, what you would’ve done, if you’ve been in the same situation etc!

I am very much looking forward to starting my journey teaching 28 beautiful little year 1 children. However, the thought of being responsible for that many lives really does make me feel Nervous, Queasy and Terrified.

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