1st December 2020
Daily life in schools has changed this year, with school leaders and teachers having increased workloads and changing restrictions to manage. If you have trainee teachers working towards their PGCE in your school, it’s essential to ensure they are as supported as possible. Developing the next generation of teachers is a vital job of schools, even in the current climate. Today, we are sharing a few of the ways you can support NQTs development, wellbeing and ultimately, their successful transition to qualified teacher status.
School-based mentors should arrange progress meetings with trainees on a regular, organise observations of the trainee’s lessons, team-teach with the trainee and be there for general, day-to-day support. Mentors should be experienced teachers that are looking to move towards leadership, it’s a great opportunity for them to showcase essential leadership and support skills to a new teacher and they should relish the opportunity to take on extra responsibility. Mentorship can be a great way to give a promising qualified teacher the opportunity to take the first step out of the classroom and into middle or senior management. Finding the right match when it comes to mentors is a key way to ensure the success of NQTs in your school.
Everyone in education is working harder than ever this year. Teachers have had to take additional work, creating remote learning or intervention strategies and working long extra hours. It’s vital to the success of your trainee programme that NQT’s are not overwhelmed with work. Great mentors should be able to spot pressure building and can offload work or guide NQT’s in planning.
Hiring additional support staff or trainees might also be an option for you, especially with upcoming changes to government funding schemes. You can read our guide to the changes in our detailed article here. Having more than one NQT in school means your trainees can bounce ideas or issues on someone at their level, which can often help solve smaller problems without the need for senior intervention.
Ensuring your school encourages a culture of sharing and listening when issues arise or individuals are struggling will go a long way to making sure your NQT’s aren’t drowning silently. Regular meetings, strong internal communications and timely reviews will help create a support scaffold that will benefit your whole staffroom. Happy NQT’s are more successful, less stressed and have better classroom management, so consider providing access to mental health and wellbeing support as well as career development. Education Support provides free resources and practical advice. You can read more about our partnership with them and the work they do to support all teachers mental health here.
Supporting NQT’s in schools involves the participation of the whole school community. Ensure there is enough access to suitable help, advice or just someone to listen and you will reap dividends by developing and retaining inspiring teaching staff.
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