People in newly qualified teaching jobs often face the same trials and tribulations as more experienced teachers, but few have come to the realisation that they have a built-in support network right at their very fingertips - their fellow teachers and other colleagues.
Interacting and becoming more involved with the academic community can be a great way to help NQTs ease into their new positions and help manage classrooms both effectively and with the poise and grace necessary to succeed throughout a lifetime of teaching. If you haven't yet landed your NQT role, you'll benefit from our NQT job interview questions and tips.
Networking in teaching.
One of the first ports of call for many newly qualified teachers is joining a union. This will, of course, automatically link teachers with the most knowledgeable minds possible when it comes to various tips and tricks for teaching success. Joining a union sometimes costs a fee, as is the case with the National Union of Teachers in the United Kingdom, the largest teacher's union in the country, which costs £1/year. However, membership with the NUT will provide newly qualified teachers with all of the resources necessary to gain further insight into classroom management, behavioural issues, and other challenges they might be facing in the classroom. These are widely available as digital downloads for registered teaching members and are available at any time of the day.
The NUT is not the only union in the United Kingdom though. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which targets those holding higher positions within schools like the head teacher, and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) also offer differing levels of membership and support for teachers and can be valuable resources.
Unions are not the only prospective connection when it comes to networking with fellow academic professionals. Teachers can simply reach out into the academic community around them in order to find the most effective leads for their needs. Teachers who are intimately involved in the school where newly qualified teachers are serving can prove to be the vital link for their own success, since these teachers will have the highest level of insight into what happens at their school and can offer the most relevant tips for any pressing situations that teachers are facing.
This is especially important when teachers are faced with an issue that seems common to a wider range of teachers or within multiple classrooms, like a named problematic student or universal issue with an administrative fault. Other wider contacts will not be able to offer personalised insight into these issues, since they will not have the pertinent details surrounding the issues. Any insight gained from an external source might not be immediately applicable to what the questioning teachers are facing.
How to succeed in NQT jobs.
Teachers might also want to consider using the power of the Internet to network with fellow teaching professionals. Social websites including LinkedIn and Twitter can be valuable resources when it comes to meeting teachers on a less intimate basis, which can appeal to some teachers who are hesitant about approaching their colleagues within their own academic setting. This does not necessarily mean that it should form the only basis of communication between teachers, but it can prove itself to be a valuable starting point for some who are not sure of where to turn.
The wider community.
Teachers do not necessarily need to communicate only with schoolteachers. The wider community can provide appropriate links between positions of mentoring and leadership with learners and might prove themselves more comfortable contacts for newly qualified teachers. Reaching out to religious service people, club organisers, trainers, or similar positions might prove itself to be a useful resource. While the ability to communicate on a more academic level will be absent, that is not to say the messages these individuals have to say will be useless. However, they might require a degree of tailoring to suit the academic setting.