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: http://wp.me/p2LphS-p9


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.

Surviving Your NQT Year by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): French
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Surviving your NQT year

1: Teaching takes up a lot of free time, so make sure to keep one evening a week free and one day at the weekend.

2: Remember you are still learning. Don’t expect perfection from yourself.

3: Take advantage of the extra frees you have to observe more experienced members of staff in and out of your curriculum area.

4: Make a marking timetable and stick to it.

5: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Share and use shared resources in your department.

General Advice For New(ish) Teachers by @CristaHazell

Name: Crista Hazell
Twitter name: @cristahazell
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): MFL
Position: Subject Leader
What is your advice about? General advice

1: No question is a silly question. Be sure to ask what’s on your mind.

2: Know your students – use the data but look beyond the data to discover who they really are and their potential. Also share a little of who you are too.

3: Get out of your classroom; whether it’s up to the staff room, dept office or another teacher’s classroom. Get out and about so you get to know staff and they get to know you.

4: Have a subject mentor and a buddy. The two are invaluable support in the department and while school.

5: Remember no one gets it perfectly right first time all of the time. Mistakes happen and that is ok, reflect on them and learn from them to develop your practice further.