A look back…
“How can you know what you’re capable of if you don’t embrace the unkown?” – Esmerelda Santiago
I started my teaching career in 2007 as an NQT in an inner-city primary school on a massive council estate. I was brought up on the area, I did a teaching placement in the exact same school and was offered a job instantly. What could go wrong? In fact, my NQT year was more like what couldn’t.
I found my NQT year extremely challenging and the transition from university to a REAL job, one where I was accountable and actually had to do stuff was a difficult one. In fact, the transition was non-existent. I landed in this challenging and dynamic career with an awesome class… and I was terrible at it. I built a rapport with staff, children and parents extremely quickly but my organisational skills were as effective as my cooking skills… and I eat out way too much. I rambled on and scraped over the NQT standards finish line with a faint limp.
I continued for another year and a half before I thought that actually, teaching wasn’t for me. I loved the teaching but hated everything else. I really enjoyed working with children with special needs and the feedback was that I was quite good at it. In fact, the feedback was that I should move into a different type of provision. I considered this, spoke with my wife and eventually did as I was told (ha!) and if I wasn’t naive, maybe I would have considered the quote from Esmeralda in the opening of this post. I was not too switched on so had to find this in hindsight but even so… it sums up how I probably felt at the time. I knew this was make or break. I knew this was seat of the pants time. Hold on.