This year has been a strange one in so many ways.
We know that there are groups who have been adversely affected, and that others have needed to be protected from the virus. At Hourglass, we’re acutely aware that new teachers are also coping with the fall out.
Before the summer break, many schools didn’t know whether they were coming or going. The guidance from the government just kept coming – and changing – and SLTs were trying their hardest to keep up, and later to prepare for the start of the new academic year.
And we’re on! The majority of teachers and their students are back in the classroom. There may be some new faces around, and the prevalence of face coverings might mean it’s not be entirely clear who’s who, but it’s most certainly a start.
At Hourglass, we’re sparing a thought for new teachers, and those starting new placements this September. For a start, they’ll be finding out who the main points of contact are in school – not just the SLT, but those people who will be extra-helpful with the photocopier, or the kettle, or any of the other tricky but essential tech in school. Any moment now, they’ll also be realising that student life as they know it pretty much over (until half term, at least) and will be grappling with the challenges of establishing something that resembles a work-life balance.
Of course, regardless of whether they’re NQTs, placement teachers or on supply, new teachers need to start laying the foundations for a solid, rewarding and successful teaching career. It’s exciting for them, and those around them have a crucial role to play.
If you can, remind them that they’re not supposed to know everything, that nerves are natural, and that no two days are ever the same. Being a teacher means opening yourself up to an enormous range of challenges and learning opportunities, and the stretch will seem exhausting at times.
We all know that 2020 has brought a unique range of obstacles, and this, just like all classroom experience is valuable. Join Hourglass in taking the time to smile at new teachers, say hello to them and make them feel extra welcome. Chances are you remember exactly how it felt, and the more positive relationships you have – in school, and in the wider profession – the better.
Hourglass is renowned for its ability to attract talented NQTs and the schools with senior leaders who value them. If you're a teacher without a job, or represent a school with vacancies, get in touch now to find out how our dedicated consultants can help.