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I’m an NQT …. Get Me Out of Here!

For Sarah, university and placements are coming to an end but does the ‘perfect’ school exist when looking for you first role as an NQT?

From searching websites every day and every night, the dreaded hunt for a NQT job is not for the fainthearted. Being in the position of looking for the perfect job is the most stressful experience I have had to be a part of. Every NQT wants to find that school where they just “click”. The school where we can just walk in, instantly creating that friendly working environment with staff, and students which become your best friend within seconds. Is this actually the reality? For a small proportion perhaps yes, but for most this is not the case.

Morning and night, with daily alerts set on every device I have is something which has merged into my daily routine. When the phone is constantly pinging with jobs all over the country, how do you know which one is the perfect school for you? Should you move to the other side of the county? Should you wait and see if the perfect opportunity comes around near your home? As a student, no one teaches you what is the best thing to do!

My search has not gone to plan so far, with jobs being offered on a large scale down in London but being from the North East, is this huge move worth it? The fear of moving to the other side of the country to have the opportunity of the “perfect” role. Is it the right decision to thrive with this opportunity, gather all my belongings to move to an area which I would not know anybody, have no friends or family to support me? There are so many questions which I have unanswered.

Like most others in my position, every day in some way I have an urge of panic at the realisation of not having that vital NQT role set up for September. Am I good enough? Why does nobody want me within their school? Questions and questions rushing around my stressed out head… when will this end!

As an NQT, I think the most stressful aspect is the thought of the workload and observations are something which University does not teach us. When we finally begin the world of teaching, we do not have that knowledge as those experienced teachers, as we are not taught the position of the ‘Teacher’ and instead perhaps seen as the ‘Student Teacher’ still. This factor makes the jump from a Student Teacher to an NQT a highly stressful and overwhelming process for us all!

I think my advice to upcoming NQTs and even students who are still in the process of completing their degree is to stay calm! I know it’s easier said than done, I cannot say that I have been calm through this but it has made me more determined than ever to find that school which I can see myself working in and being part of the team. It may not be perfect but as long as it is perfect for you, that is the most important factor of all.

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The author

Sarah McCabe is a BA Primary Education Hons student in her second year of study. She has had a variety of experience over KS1 and KS2 and is currently based in the North East of England. Specialising in KS2 and PE, they are both areas of study which she is fond of. To follow her teaching journey, follow her Twitter @MissMcCabe98.

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