Hear from a Primary NQT: Elisha Gray
Elisha Gray is a Newly Qualified Primary Teacher from our Harris Initial Education training programme cohort 2019-2020 and shares her unique experience so far as an NQT in the last few months. For more stories, click here.
All the lesson and classroom preparations during the summer could not have prepared me for the whirlwind that was ‘the first 6 weeks of teaching’. Tiring, but successful comes to mind. Many of us have not taught in a classroom since lockdown back in March and to say I was nervous coming back in September would have been an understatement. Nervous for many reasons… new COVID guidelines, staggered start and finish times, and the unknown of how the time off has affected children (mentally as well as academically).
The first week was tiring but unbelievably rewarding! To have students coming in excited, happy, and showing a positive attitude to their learning every day was, and still is, heart-warming. Teaching them something new and seeing them apply it independently in their learning reinforces the passion I have for teaching. Even with all the new changes!
I had the chance to work with my previous mentor implementing Black History Month for the whole school this year. We gave each year group a theme to learn about and planned to have a ‘Hall of Fame’ exhibition at the end of the month. The students loved it! Year 3 learnt about Black Scientists; Mae Jemison, Katherine Johnson, Daniel Hale Williams and George Washington Carver. Whilst I felt at the time that I had taken on too much in terms of workload, I can say now that it was worth it! Students were engaged, enthusiastic and keen to learn more. They couldn’t believe that crop rotation, used in the farming industry today, was influenced by the work of George Washington Carver. In discussions they really empathised with the experiences that individuals from the past and present have faced, and still face, due to the colour of their skin.
Anyway, back to the Autumn term… yes it has come with its challenges, many tears and doubtful moments but as I reflect on it so far, I have really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to another positive half term.
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