Monday, 29 August 2016

Ride the coaster

Joining in with NQT Chat last week, I suggested that teaching was like riding a rollercoaster. I'm going to stretch that analogy a bit far now when I tell you how it maps onto my story so far. Stick with it trainees and NQTs, you'll get there.

The start of my ITT felt very much like climbing a very long hill, knowing there was only going to be one way down. I felt like I was waiting a long time, others had overtaken me and I was still hanging around, wanting to be given more responsibility. I was enjoying the view and gradually getting higher as I picked up more teaching hours. I guess a lot of the year went that way. Then a member of the department went on maternity leave earlier than expected, I reached the top and started flying downwards. Lots more teaching hours, more marking and planning and everything else that came with it. I enjoyed it, for the challenge I guess. In September I started at my new school, everything drifted along ok, there were some ups and downs as I got used to things, but the ride was good. Then in the October of my NQT year I got stuck in a big loop-the-loop, I was stuck and I wanted to get off. I started to think about other rides I could be on, ones that would be better, even bought tickets for these other rides (yes, I told you I'd take the analogy too far...). But I didn't get off, I came out of the loop, worked out what was going wrong and fixed the problem. Soon enough I was enjoying myself again, the ride had changed and things were better. It was worth the loop-the-loop to get to this point. In January I went to a different theme park, its very different to the last and I've just had an upgrade. I think my upgrade has probably given me a queue jump to the bigger, scarier rollercoasters, but I won't get stuck in the loop-the-loop again, and if I do, I know how to get out without getting off of the ride.

I think that what I'm trying to say, is that for anyone starting their ITT or NQT this year, you should expect it to be a rocky ride, and that's actually nothing to be scared of. You just have to go with it, make changes when you need to, but don't scream to be let off of the ride. Not just yet, it'll get better and you'll be pleased you did!

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