Since this blog post was first published, the term newly qualified teacher (NQT) has been replaced with early career teacher (ECT). This describes a teacher in their first two years of teaching.
Salaried teacher training offered the best option for me, earning an income while I trained towards qualified teacher status (QTS). My course also included a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), and Masters-level credits.
From the outset I was working within the school, learning and training in the classroom whilst being supported by qualified teachers and mentors. This gave me valuable experience of school life and a real feel for school. It also prepared me thoroughly for my newly qualified teacher (NQT) year.
This really helped me to improve; we developed targets for future lessons and discussed which areas were going well and which required improvement.
At first I had plenty of opportunity to see teachers delivering their own classes, and this really aided my development as a teacher before taking on teaching duties. I did extensive research to make sure that I was training somewhere where I would be a ‘good fit’ and that had a great reputation for training.
I also spent some time teaching in another school; again this was to help and improve my teaching style and learn from different outstanding practitioners.
Having the opportunity to teach in another school was a very valuable experience, and helped me view other teaching styles, as well as experiencing teaching a class with completely different needs and barriers.
Most weeks during the first term I spent one day at university developing knowledge on how to improve my teaching against the teaching standards. This time was extremely useful, providing valuable ideas to take back and use instantly in the classroom.
I gained a PGCE which included qualified teacher status and which I could use as the first third of a Master’s degree. Teaching has always been an ambition of mine for as long as I can remember because I had such great role models as teachers at school. Without a salaried course, it would not have been possible.
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