Day in the life of a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT)
Interviewee: Harry Mclean p>
Profession: Newly Qualified Teacher
Class: Year Three
Here at StudentJob UK, we managed to get an exclusive interview from a newly qualified teacher. We got to ask him a number of questions to see what a day in the life of a creator is like.
Describe a day in your job role in one sentence.
Manic! Too much to do, too little time.
When you arrive at work, what are the first 5 things you do?
The start of the day is vital for a teacher, I usually arrive to school around 1 hour before the children do, so that I can have everything prepared for the school day. Once I'm in my classroom I log onto my laptop and print all the lesson plans and worksheets for the day. Then I make a start cutting and handing out the resources to each pupils' desk. The classroom interactive displays are then updated and presented to cater for the day's learning activities. Now that my classroom is ready, I type up and print all of the day's lesson objectives for each child, these are printed on sticky label paper and stuck into every pupils' book by either myself or my teaching assistant. Finally, and most important of all, I grab my flask and fill it up with tea/coffee – an essential item, that will carry you through the day!
What was your very first job? How did you get this? (And how did you get to the profession and position you are now at?)
My very first job was at my old Primary School, I was an assistant play leader for the after school club – a facility that offers care to children usually before and after school hours. I was still in education myself at the time, so I worked at the club after school hours. At the time of applying for the job I didn't think much about it, I needed to earn some money and I still had good links to the school, so it was ideal. However, I really enjoyed my time at work there working – and playing – with the children and it definitely played a big part in me becoming a Primary School teacher now.
What type of job would you dislike the most to do and why?
Any kind of office job I would loathe. Sitting down at a desk and staring into a computer screen for 8 hours straight, would bore me to death. There is nothing worse than sitting idle looking at a clock wishing it would move faster!
If you could speak to your 18 year old self again, what would you say?
Choose some easier A-Level Subjects! Back when I was 18 I chose to study English Language, English Literature, Spanish and Mathematics. If I could go back and do them again, I think I would try to play the system a little better. Each subject accounted for the same amount of UCAS points and whilst I enjoyed studying English, I think I would try make life slightly easier for myself by choosing alternative subjects for Maths and Spanish. Both of which I found to be extremely difficult to study for and pass.
What is the best thing that this role has done for you? What is the worst?
The role of being a teacher has taught me a variety of different skills. My planning and time management has improved considerably since starting my job. Furthermore, it has given me leadership and people management skills – teachers are like team leaders, guiding their pupils towards a common goal by providing them with the right tools and environment to achieve this. Ensuring that everyone is involved by making the most of their individual skills.
The worst thing that being a teacher has done to me is challenge my work/life balance. I take work home with me almost every evening. There is no limit to what a teacher can do for their pupils and as a result there can sometimes be an underlying feeling of guilt, as there is always more you can do. It's important to prioritise and not get bogged down in work that won't directly benefit your pupils.
If you could do any job, just for one day. What would it be?
A day in the life of a rockstar, who wouldn’t!
What do you enjoy the most about your job? (the coolest, the most fun, the one you enjoy)
Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs you could have. As a teacher, I am responsible for the learning and wellbeing of 30 children. I am making a difference to their lives and seeing your pupils achieve, is such a big reward in the job. I love how every day is different from the last and you are always learning something new, both about your pupils and about yourself. Being a teacher, also means that you are your own boss! The classroom is your own space and every lesson is yours to craft the way you want it. I love that.
If you had to give advice to a young professional on how to become to gain a job like yours. What would it be?
My advice would be to first take it under serious consideration. Teaching isn’t for everybody. You have to be fully committed to your role as a teacher and understand that it is more than just a job, it is a way of life. If you do decide to go down that route of becoming a teacher, you are walking into one of the greatest professions that there is. My advice would be to get as much prior experience in schools as you can, before you start applying for teacher training. So that you get a better idea of what the job entails. Also, try speaking to other teachers to find out what the main issues are in teaching and the buzz words that are always helpful for application forms and interviews.
Harry Mclean, NQT