Seven weeks into my NQT life and this is my first blog since the summer, I have a pile of My Plans to write and two piles of books to attack with a red pen but feel that a temporary interlude is necessary. A chance to regroup and refocus.
Before achieving QTS, I enjoyed joining my local ukulele group, bashing out some songs and having a good ‘sing song’, not to mention the occasional gigs I would perform at. Now, my week involves juggling marking, planning for class, intervention and writing club whilst trying to demonstrate that I am developing as a teacher: The only ukulele playing occurs when I am teaching it at school!
Admittedly this term has been crazy, as an NQT in year 6 I am desperately trying to ensure that I am challenging the children to an ‘appropriate level’ so as to prove that they will achieve the expected ‘levels’ of progress before the dreaded SATs arrive. We have had a week-long residential (which has rendered me completely exhausted), RWC 2015 theme week and requirements to support an international partnership week. Just to add to the pile, I discovered that I will be observed by an HMI inspector as part of my former university’s inspection on the same day as a presentation tea for external visitors and a 5-hour-long parents’ evening.
This is not a blog of complaint, nor one desiring sympathy from fellow, exhausted, teachers but a nod to all NQTs who feel that they are barely ‘treading water’ if not already on their knees. It is also an even greater nod to all those teachers who have experienced or continue to experience these feelings and continue to provide an exciting, engaging and positive environment. The blog is also a chance for anyone to share any successes in improving their work-life balance.
The good news is that I continue to love the job I do; I have 30 wonderful children who make all the challenges of life worth it. I work with an amazing team whom I have developed a strong and positive relationship with (especially since the residential) and have an amazing TA who brightens up the classroom every time she enters it (don’t tell her if you see her!). My SLT has been ultra-supportive and continue to provide positive feedback with regards to my practice; and so I feel that I continue to strive forward.
Finally, I acknowledge my wonderful family both my children and wife at home and my extended family who have all provided support throughout the term. I still manage to adhere to the house rules of ‘no school work whilst the children are awake’ and so get to spend the weekends and the evenings being a dad and a husband but wish I could offer more…
The holidays are upon us and, sooner than a wink, the year will pass by – assuming I have the privilege of receiving a permanent contract at my current school at the end of the year and remain in the same year group, I believe that I will be quicker at rattling through the workload and maybe even get the ukulele out (an accomplishment that my wife will no doubt look forward to!).