5 tips to help you prepare for your first teaching role

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As a newly qualified teacher (NQT), you've completed your initial teacher training, gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), and have secured your first teaching role. As you get ready to begin your new position, June Hutchinson, NQT Co-ordinator at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance has shared her top tips for those starting out as an NQT.

Your NQT induction is an exciting stage of your teaching journey. It's your opportunity to put everything you have learned during initial teacher training into practice.

If you're feeling nervous, don't worry, that's completely normal when starting any new job!

1) Introduce yourself

Find out who your point of contact is at the school, such as a subject or NQT induction mentor. Be sure to introduce yourself and use the opportunity to ask any questions you have ahead of your first day.

2) Familiarise yourself with processes and arrangements

Read through any important handbooks or documents that are shared with you so you're aware of key processes and arrangements. For this year in particular, find out if there are any new processes in place to counteract the impact of COVID-19.

Take a look at the school dress code so you're not worrying about what to wear at the last minute!

3) Learn your way around

Get to know the layout of your school so you can find your way around without getting lost. Make a note of where your classroom, mentor's teaching base, the staff room and the toilets are located.

4) Get organised for your first day

What will your first day look like? Find out when key activities such as registration and breaks take place so you know what your schedule will look like.

Acquaint yourself with your timetable and class list and think about potential seating plans.

5) Prepare for your first week

Leading on from tip number 4, get ahead by drafting lesson plans for your first few days of teaching. It might be useful to have back up plans prepared in case they are needed.

Whilst the situation in schools this year is unpredictable like never before, I am confident that with the support of the teams around you and especially your mentor, you will make good progress through your NQT Induction towards the same positive outcome we are all looking for. Good luck!

June Hutchinson, NQT Co-ordinator at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance

Have some other tips to share?

Tell us your top tips for preparing for your first day as an NQT. Let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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