A message from a newly qualified teacher (NQT) …..

The actual going live and teaching is the easy bit…

It’s the 33 emails I’ve received before 2pm that all require responses to, it’s the filing every piece of work that’s sent to me by a parent into corresponding folders for that child, it’s the planning which has to be finalised a week before implementing so it can be uploaded for the parents to print and prepare, it’s the resources that need sourcing, it’s the adapting of lessons so that they work with no human interaction through a screen, it’s the SEN children I need to support in impossible ways, it’s the intelligent children I need to challenge but not single out, it’s the work that needs differentiating 5 ways although it’s already done 3, it’s the uploading of great work to our wow wall, it’s the class information that needs sending to the reps, it’s the groups that need changing because someone’s unhappy, it’s the links that need sending for each individual subject to each individual child daily, it’s the endless phone calls with staff trying to support through a screen, it’s the online training that needs completing, it’s the lack of separation between home and work, it’s the never ending to-do list, it’s the anxious mother who needs reassuring, the EAL child who needs 1:1 support at the end of every Webinar, it’s the lack of sheets in case someone doesn’t have a printer, it’s the grumbling parents because their child wasn’t picked to answer every question, it’s the pressure as parents sit and stare as I teach their child, the scrutiny and no room for error as my every move is judged, it’s recording my live lessons to then upload for the school to watch, it’s the not having access to my school folders and resources, it’s trying to get used to a new online system with no training, the not moving from my screen for 12 hours a day, the pain of not being able to reach through the screen and give your child a hug or help with what they are stuck on, it’s the not sleeping because I’m worried I’m not doing a good enough job or remembering something else that needs doing…. this is HARD.

This is not the job I signed up for and it is not the way I envisioned my return to work after 9 weeks off with a nasty illness. I’m exhausted and have never had a workload like it and seriously never needed a weekend more in my life!

But that said, I know I’m playing a crucial part in these little people’s lives… I’m grateful to be able provide some consistency and allow them to see their teacher and friends whilst their whole little world has been turned upside down.

I’m under no illusion that this is not hard for parents too, you’re not teachers and for a lot of people this is more time than they’ve ever had to spend 24/7 with their child. I know you’re struggling to get your child to focus, I do too and I’ve been telling you that for months!!! But I’m not going to judge you, I’m not going to judge the work they produce and I’m glad I can release some pressure and teach your child so you don’t have to get stressed trying to. I appreciate your kind emails thanking me for my work and praising what I’ve done more than you can imagine. I adore what I do. Seeing their little faces makes all the hard work worth it!

Just please give some thought to your teachers and what goes on behind the scenes. They didn’t just turn up for that 40 minute Web lesson, that took hours of preparation and to even purely invite all the children to it took them over an hour of imputing emails and creating schedules. So before you send that email moaning about something minor, give a thought to the hell they are going through too!

And to the families receiving no work or support or 1:1 time with their teacher, I’m sorry. Don’t stress, have fun, enjoy the time together- there’s education to be found in everything, ditch the worksheet and bake a cake! (If you can find any flour!)

Don’t get me wrong there’s pro’s too…I can finish a full conversation without being interrupted now, stand up without having children attached to me or being followed, I can actually mute your children so no one talks over me, I can wear pjs under my dress and you can’t see how greasy my hair is through the screen…. it’s not all bad…but trust me when I tell you, we would much rather be in the classroom teaching them too!

Sincerely,
A very stressed, overworked and exhausted Teacher 👩🏼‍🏫 x

P.S. can you tell I’ve had a tough week? 🤣
P.P.S.  I’m fully aware people have it much worse and there are people fighting for their lives and nurses/doctors risking their own health to support others, so I’m very grateful and feel guilty for moaning  – but everyone’s allowed feelings and these are mine 🤷🏼‍♀️

6 thoughts on “A message from a newly qualified teacher (NQT) …..

  1. Gosh your words really made me think. As I read the first part I could really feel the angst and the challenges that this time has brought to you. Teaching is such an important and vital role but to be there in a child’s home must bring with it so many issues – many of which you discussed. But then we move onto the 2nd part of your blog which is delivered with real humility, compassion and understanding. Please don’t give up teaching the profession needs teachers like you who can recognise the uniqueness of all children and families. Thank you for taking the time out to write this blog.

  2. Your post made me cry! I can feel your pain and frustration and beneath it, as Penny said, is that humility and realisation that teaching is an act of service.
    There is an old saying: the days are long but the years are short. This will end. You will be back with your class. They will never forget you and this strange time you have shared. Hang in there. The world needs you. You matter.

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