Hear from our NQTs: Finley Way and Ben Blythsmith

Our People & Culture Back

Finley Way is Design & Technology Teacher at Harris Girls Academy East Dulwich. Having taken our Harris Initial Education training programme cohort 2019-2020, she shares her unique experience so far as an NQT with us in the last few months. For more stories, click here.

"The transition from trainee to NQT felt a little overwhelming at first. My timetable increased by a colossal six teaching hours with two GCSE photography groups added and a coaching group to support. Having done over a third of my teaching virtually, it was fair to say that I felt a little rusty going back to school. However, that feeling did not last long. My academy mentor was on hand to offer support, and together we utilised critical reflection in order to address incidents as they occurred.

In the first few weeks, I focused on establishing positive routines to fit in the extra hours of planning and marking. By week four, I had figured it out. My workload felt manageable and finally I was leaving school at a reasonable hour. My colleagues reassured me that the autumn term is usually the hardest of them all but getting through the first half smiling, it has given me the confidence to sail through the rest of the year.  

The most important thing is to remain positive, establish a routine and find joy in the little wins every day. " 

Ben Blythsmith, an RE & Citizenship Teacher, shares his story currently working through the pandemic:

"It's been such a mixture of emotions and half of the time I wonder if we will ever go back to the norm. Despite the world being arrested by an invisible enemy, I still have to remember that I am a beacon of hope and guidance to many of my students. Every day I get to school with optimism in my pocket and passion in my soul, I have cut many of my bad habits from my teacher training year and I am trying to walk, talk and be a professional teacher. Easier said than done. Often, I have to encourage myself; I still have a long way to go and a commodious amount to learn. Yet I constantly whisper to myself, "Don't be so hard on yourself chuck. This journey is a long one and it takes years to be the best version of yourself as a teacher".

I've gone from 11 lessons a week in my teacher training year to 25 lessons. I feel a headache coming on just talking about it. However, with all the experience I have gained during last year, I must say things are slightly different now. I walk with a purpose; I have gained respect from many students and have built pivotal relationships with all my classes. And that takes time and patience, in all truth there are students I am still trying to break the ice with, but this year is 10 times better than last year in every way.

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, teaching is an amazing profession. No two days are the same. It's draining, I cannot lie, but I cannot think of a better reason to be tired at night than to be impacting the generation of tomorrow." 

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