Ten top tips for NQTs, from Pivotal Education

These tips are useful for teachers who are new to the profession or who are new in post. They have been provided by Pivotal Education:

  1. Severely limit the amount of time that you demand the attention of the whole class. Organise your teaching so that you can deliver instructions to small groups and individuals. Too much ‘Teacher talk time’ promotes low level disruption. Time how much you demand the attention of the whole class in one lesson to check yourself.
  2. Give your pupils rewards that last. Reward by recognising effort and commitment. It is not what you give but the way that you give it. Use stickers, stamps, notes, certificates, positive referrals, display. Stay away from over rewarding, insincere praise and bribery. It may work for a while but the effect soon wears off.
  3. Give your energy and emotion to catching children doing the right thing. Tell them on rather than tell them off. Set a positive climate from the outset and make sure the students know that they get the best response by following the agreed routines.
  4. Talk to all pupils with obvious respect. Even when it is not reciprocated. ‘Parent on the shoulder’ is a useful image. When you are speaking to any child imagine their parent is listening in and you will not go too far wrong.
  5. Build links with home. Send positive notes home for pupils who are behaving and working well. Spend time reinforcing those children who are with you, who are working and behaving appropriately.
  6. Be aware of your own teaching performance. Demonstrate your emotional restraint and patience, resist shouting or revealing your full range of emotion, disguise your fear and panic by performing a more confident character. When you are off stage, at home you be yourself again.
  7. Spend time getting to know your pupils. Talk to them, spend time with them, design ‘getting to know you’ questionnaires and find out as much as possible to inform how you approach teaching them.
  8. Establish your routines for the classroom early and teach them relentlessly by reinforcing those who follow them.
  9. Stay away from staff room banter that labels or puts down individual students. Wise professionals know that their behaviour is judged in the staffroom as well as in the classroom. Don’t listen to the moaners, the cynics and the mutterers. They will try to drag you in and smother your optimism. Stay well away.
  10. Seek out those teachers who can manage behaviour with care and dignity. Ask to see them teach, learn from them, invite their support. Stick close to them and they will help you to gain the respect that they have built up over time.

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