Seven months that changed my world.
Charlotte Cook started her teaching career at Wexham Court Primary School in Slough in September 2015. She shares that journey from the initial trepidation of the classroom, through the ups and downs of being an NQT to the final hurdle of getting the first year of teaching under her belt, and knowing that a career in teaching is more than just a job.
My Life as an NQT
Throughout my training I was warned about the nerves that kick in before the first school day in September, and I thought to myself what could be that terrifying about meeting thirty six year olds? I have trained for 3 years for this moment, to be given a rollercoaster year to change the lives of thirty children in the best way possible, to see them through their ups and their downs, notice them mature as children (it’s amazing the difference a year makes) and become a person of trust, knowledge and mutual respect.
……what will I say to the parents?
During the summer holidays I spent my weeks excitedly decorating my classroom, making displays and labelling books (the laminator become my best friend) but as the weeks rolled past the nerves started to twinge. You think to yourself: What if they don’t like me? What if I forget their names? And the scariest of them all… what will I say to the parents?
Eventually, I opened the door to my classroom
After a restless night of caffeine, chocolate and laminating, the day was finally upon me. I arrived at school at 7am, sat in my classroom and that was the moment it hit me. The nerves were out in full force. I began pacing the room uncontrollably (and looking back completely irrationally). Eventually, I opened the door to my classroom and there they were 30 sets of eyes glancing up at me, waiting for my instructions, wanting nothing more than to please me.
And just in case I needed it
Throughout my NQT year I have been pleasantly surprised with the level of support both professionally and personally from not only my mentor and senior management but by all of my colleagues at Wexham Court Primary School. They have allowed me to observe their amazing teaching, given me tips and pointers on how to succeed in my NQT year and most importantly had faith in my abilities as a teacher and pushed me to be the best I can be. Without the support of my mentors, I don’t think I would have blossomed as a teacher as much as I have been able to this year.
……my life has been changed so much
Now the year is coming to an end I look back on this year with thirty amazingly talented, clever and unique children and think of the impact I have had on their lives and they have had on mine. I have grown extensively as a person by not only developing professionally but also personally. It is strange to think that my life has been changed so much by children who seven months ago were complete strangers to me! Although there have definitely been some hard times when the pressure feels too much to handle, when the children push you to your absolute limits and you feel lost, but even after all of those moments, I would not change the last seven months for the world!
Miss Charlotte Cook NQT Year 2