I can't quite believe I'm already at the point in the year where the end of my induction is in my sights. The finish line is so close now I can almost touch it. In some ways I'll be glad to see the back of the NQT year and the half termly observations, standards tracking, target setting and report writing but in other ways the NQT status serves as both a safety net and a comfort blanket. I know that in September I will still have great support from my department and I'm not being pushed out to sea to get by alone, I have no doubts about that, but there is still something significant about not being an NQT anymore. Gone is the 'I'm an NQT, I didn't know that' safety net, I've not had to use it very much but much like a real safety net, it's reassuring to know it's there. Gone is my 10% extra time, although I'm lucky to be a bit under allocation on our new timetable (we start in June, more on that in a minute). Finally, gone are the NQT meetings where we can compare notes and share ideas.
Something that comes along with the end of my NQT year is the start of my Masters. At the same time as I take on a greater teaching load and take off the NQT stabilisers I am taking on a new challenge. As soon as term is over I start two weeks of lectures at the Institute of Education for the first module of my Masters in Education. I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm aware of how tough it is going to be. This year more than ever I'm going to have to keep totally on top of my planning and marking in school because my time at home will need to be dedicated to reading and assignment writing. There are a number of people that think I'm mad but I firmly believe that if I don't do it now I never will, no time like the present. As I've already got some masters credits from my PGCE this course should only take me a year, if it goes as fast as the last few have it'll be over and done with before I know it!
As I mentioned earlier we start our new school year in June. I believe the idea is that we're cutting out some of the 'dead time' at the end of the summer time and keeping momentum going. This means that for the next 7 weeks we have no year 7 or year 12, excellent for me as it means I have loads of gained time for planning for September. I'm looking forward to the change, I think it's just what I need this year to propel me through to the end. I have mostly new classes so I've got the chance to start a clean slate with students that don't know me. I can apply all the things I've learned over the year to get new routines that I'd not established early enough on as I'd have liked with my old classes. I can keep on top of marking and behaviour and have more of an idea of what is ahead of me. At least that's the dream, let's see how reality turns out!
So to all the other NQTs out there, we have 7 school weeks left, good luck!