NQT Mentor – support beyond statutory guidance

Vikkey Chaffe
Vikkey Chaffe
In this week’s blog I look at what is needed to help your NQT become the best teacher they can be.

Why do I need to support beyond the guidance?

We all know how important wellbeing is but we have so much to do that sometimes we fall in the trap of just ‘getting the NQT through’.

We want to be attractive to NQTs, and having a teacher wellbeing plan and policy will not only make your school appeal to all potential candidates but it will make you stand out to the best NQTs out there. Of course, it will also have a positive impact when it comes to staff retention.

How do I support beyond the guidance?

We have the benefit of knowing what it is like to be an NQT because we have all been one. That first week of trying to get to assembly on time, always missing breaks and the fear of sending a child home with the wrong parents. There is also the intensity of meeting staff, parents and governors and remembering everyone’s names. Knowing the sticking points for NQTs means we should also know how best to support them.

Have a first week timetable where you have registration times (and how to do them), assembly times (and where to sit), break times (including a meet and greet with each staff member or team each day), lunchtimes (when your class goes in and the expectations of the staff while they are there) and hometime (initially with an additional member of staff to support.)

Make sure that you spend at least one lunchtime, midweek, with your NQT just to chat about how they are feeling or what they are unsure of. Be there at breaktime and have a coffee with them – this shows that you value your staff and stresses the importance of taking a break.

After that first week, ensure that you have at least one after-school meeting with your NQT and, at least one lunchtime and break with them. Again, it is important for building that ethos of support and ensuring:

  1. They feel supported
  2. You can have set times to discuss minor issues which in turn supports you to manage your own workload.

Think about the problems that you came across when you were an NQT and try to alleviate these before they happen. You have been given this role because you are the best person to fulfil it.

As you know, the NQT year is extremely important in shaping a teacher’s outlook on the rest of their career. Make sure that you are the one that encourages their aspirations – be the mentor that you always wanted to have.

What do you think? What are your top tips for NQT induction? Leave a comment on our groups.

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As ever, please leave any thoughts in the comments below and have a great week.

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