Blog – What does it take to be a Newly Qualified Teacher?

The mainstream media isn’t short of articles highlighting the plight of the teaching profession. Falling teacher numbers, cut budgets and increasing demands on workload seem to be the principle straplines. So what draws young, talented people to the profession? This year two NQT (Newly Qualified Teachers) started their teaching careers in the humanities faculty; Mr Mahy and Miss Haywood. They tell us what drew them away from promising careers in business and publishing to join the world of education.

Mr Mahy says: ‘I hold an undergraduate degree in geography and town planning from the Sheffield Hallam University and a PGCE from the University of Sheffield. Prior to teaching, I was a business manager having worked in businesses in Nottingham, Mansfield and Sheffield. Whilst in my prior career, a friend of mine who teaches English invited me to observe a couple of lessons. I was fascinated with the learning process and how his questioning could build knowledge. I could also picture myself in his shoes straight away, motivating and inspiring students to learn about the world we live in and how their decisions and actions have meaning.

In my NQT year, I receive an extra layer of support from the academy – this includes a quality assurance process that ensures that I am giving 100% and our students are receiving the excellent quality of education you would expect from any teacher. It’s a fantastic challenge and I’m having a wonderful time helping the students understand the world around them.’

Miss Haywood, who also started at National in September 2019 continues: ‘I have a degree in History from Royal Holloway, a Postgraduate diploma in American History from the University of Nottingham, and a PGCE from the University of Derby. I trained through the George Spencer SCITT (school centred initial teacher training) as having been at work for 5 years I wanted to have a more practical approach to teaching. The SCITT course gives individuals more time in the classroom environment and less time at lectures in university.

I realised I had a passion for working with children after running the children’s section of bookshops throughout the East Midlands and from conversations with friends who are teachers. Being something I had always considered, I decided to try out some taster days at a few different schools to decide if it was the career for me. After being in the classroom and talking to teachers, I wanted to start training as soon as I could!

I chose to join National because of the students and staff. Both on the day I visited and the day of my interview, I was overwhelmed by their welcoming nature and this heavily influenced my decision. I believe I made the right choice – in my first few weeks of teaching I have had a fantastic welcome and incredible support from both my faculty and the wider academy community. The children I teach as well have been equally as welcoming, and I’m constantly hearing “Hi miss!” As I walk around school, or am holding my door open for the next class. I am delighted to now be a part of this academy.’

Thank you to both Mr Mahy and Miss Haywood – we wish you both great success in your careers at National.

National Church of England Academy