Surviving your NQT year by @Ejbelshaw

Name: Emily
Twitter name: @Ejbelshaw
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): History
Position: History teacher
What is your advice about? Surviving your NQT year

  1. Create a marking timetable and stick to it, little and often is better and more effective than leaving it until the last minute. Students appreciate the consistent feedback.
  2. Take as much time to observe others. Be a sponge and learn as much as you can.
  3. Build a rapport with repro and send gifts at Xmas- always good to have them on board in case of an emergency!
  4. Stay healthy, eat well and take care of yourself!
  5. Enjoy teaching and work hard, but take time for yourself. A happy teacher is a good teacher, students do notice and rapport will be impacted.

General Advice by @dixon1a

Name: Andrew Dixon
Twitter name: @dixon1a
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? General advice

1: Reflect in action. Always action one thing to make lessons better.

2: Never ever give up, even when you feel unsupported and alone you’re not! Use Twitter.

3: Make time to chat to your children. They are why you’re there.

4: Observe others as much as possible. Reassure yourself, “I can or I do that already!”

5: Eat, exercise, socialise.

NQT Advice by @nicolatowle

Name: Nicola Towle
Twitter name: @nicolatowle
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? NQT Advice

1: Have a seating plan and use names whenever possible.

2: Have clear and snappy lesson plans.

3: Smile and have confidence.

4: Say ‘thank you’ more than ‘please’.

5: Use positive feedback at every opportunity.

NQT General Advice by @jade_thomas2011

Name: Jade Thomas
Twitter name: @jade_thomas2011
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: KS1 Teacher
What is your advice about? NQT general advice

1: Have faith in yourself, in your thoughts, your ability and your knowledge. Teacher training can be rough and you got through that!

2: Ask for advice from a range of colleagues and then cherry pick what suits you and your teaching practice. Do not believe everything you read/hear… Bias is everywhere.

3: The to do list that races around your head at 11pm every night does not go away, ever. Go to sleep!

4: I know when you look around the staffroom mid-meeting that every other teacher looks calm. Remember even the most experienced teacher needs help along the way.

5: Find a balance as quickly as you can, take a day a week and make it yours. You will feel better and healthier for it.

Early Career Advice by @MrJDexter

Name: John Dexter
Twitter name: @MrJDexter
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Chemistry
Position: Acting Headteacher
What is your advice about? Early career advice

1: Try not to worry about Ofsted. They might watch you for 20 minutes –  you teach exponentially more, get those right.

2: Keep up humour, enthusiasm and passion for your subject. It overcomes a lot of “stuff”.

3: Schools have systems, use them; but develop your own to help your teaching and their learning.

4: It’s not “Outstanding” every lesson, consistently good is fine. Pull out a great lesson regularly to remind you why you teach. Odd poor lessons happen.

5: Talk – to others, enjoy talking to others, listen, react, learn and keep talking, ask questions. This is to look after yourself.

Being a Teacher by @4c3d

Name: Kevin Hewitson
Twitter name: @4c3d
Sector: All
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Independent Adviser
What is your advice about? Being a teacher

1: Be a learner – always. Constantly re-visit learning so you don’t lose what it feels like to learn something new; this will ensure you remain connected to your learners.

2: Build leaning relationships with your learners however you can and work at maintaining these relationships.

3: Smile. No matter what is going on in your life (personal or professional), if you don’t smile you are not approachable.

4: Learn to switch off. You don’t have to carry your safety blanket (marking and prep) home with you every night, so leave it at school occasionally.

5: Insist you get “feedforward” and not feedback from your colleagues. See the article:


General Advice by @davdavsam

Name: DS
Twitter name: @davdavsam
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Headteacher
What is your advice about? General advice

1: Know the calendar and key dates for the year.

2: Know the safeguarding procedures.

3: Know the behaviour procedures.

4: Book a holiday somewhere that will top up your energy and make you feel alive (every half term).

5: Ask for help, reflect daily, know the criteria you and the pupils will be marked against, network, be a governor ASAP and invite feedback.

General Advice by Katherine Martin

Name: Katherine Martin
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): French and Italian
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? General

1: Create a bank of starters/listening activities/speaking activities/writing activities/reading activities so you can easily draw from these as and when you need.

2: Play around with new ideas in your first year but don’t make life too hard for yourself. If something worked use it again in another class if it’s going to meet the objectives.

3: Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Yes, you’re being observed all the time and you will get “constructive criticism” after every lesson, but no lesson will be 100% perfect!

4: In placement schools observe lessons you will start taking over. Try and learn kids’ names – it helps you get to know different characters in the class.

5: Learn from teachers but don’t try and be them. Kids will see right through you trying to be them and they won’t respect you for it!

General Advice by @ianmcdaid

Name: Ian McDaid
Twitter name: @ianmcdaid
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Science
Position: SLE / Head of Faculty
What is your advice about? General advice

1: Make sure you get a proper induction. A good school should provide you with a pack including staff lists, map, phone numbers, policies, fire procedures etc.

2: Find your way around the school website and MLE.

3: Get to know the key staff in school and ask to meet them for a chat after school.

4: Get organised! You have a teaching timetable, why not a marking timetable?

5: Make sure you have a clear CPD path set out and try to stick to it.

Teaching by @mrsmathia

Name: Deborah Barakat
Twitter name: @mrsmathia
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: ITT Coordinator
What is your advice about? Teaching

1: Plan It’s like an iceberg: looks like nothing from the top but there is a whole heap of effort gone into each lesson.

2: Spend time creating starter resources or little challenges; think of this as a new hobby. It will make it enjoyable.

3: Mark your books; buy some nice pens and get busy. It means you are always ahead.

4: Use your mentor; for those who are NQT+1 or more find a ‘voice of reason’ and meet with them regularly.

5: Be passionate. Keep away from the negative folks, they are educational death eaters.