10 tips to help you survive your Computer Science NQT year

You are about to embark on your NQT year.  You have finished your initial teacher training and managed to get a job as an NQT in what you hope is a nice computer science department. The past year of assignments, observations and lectures is over and you will finally be let loose on a new bunch of students that you will totally be in charge of.

Your NQT year will be exhilarating, exhausting and emotional and in September the summer holidays feel like a lifetime away. How will you ever survive?  We are here to give you 10 tips which we hope will make that journey a little easier.  computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

1) Create consistent routines

Decide on your routines early on.  Do the children come straight into your class or would you prefer to make them wait outside until you invite them in?  Are they expected to log on and get on with a starter activity first or do you want to call a register and explain the lesson before they get going? Make sure your classes are aware of your expectations from the beginning.  The first time you meet your class, make sure you are waiting by the door and take a moment to explain who you are and what they need to do immediately i.e. “Hi, I am … and I’m your new Computer Science teacher. Come in and put your bags on the centre table but don’t log on just yet as I am going to tell you where you are sitting in just a moment.” Keep if brief and be prepared to repeat is for those who were not listening or couldn’t hear you because of the chatter in the corridor. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

2) Learn your student’s names

Learning names is probably one of the most important skills for building relationships.  Spend time trying to learn a few names per lesson, you will not be expected to learn them all overnight, but you should aim to know the majority (if not all) by the first parents evening which in some schools is only a few weeks into the autumn term.  Find out if your school has photographs saved for each pupil that you can access.  The new year 7’s will not have photographs at the start of the year but the system should have photos of the older year groups.  Use them to help you put faces to names. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

Seating plans help with learning names but be prepared to move pupils around if your plan is not working and update your seating plan to reflect this. If you move a pupil somewhere in one lesson update your plan when you get a moment in that lesson as you will never remember it later and it can cause problems if the student is adamant they are sitting in one place when your plan says different.  Until you meet your classes you will not know which combinations work well together so don’t worry about trying to get it right first time.  Create a basic plan and change it as necessary. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

3) Noise Levels

Decide on the noise levels and behaviour you will find acceptable and think about how you will make your expectations clear to your classes.  Can the children talk quietly while working on individual topics and are you going to insist on some silent time and how can you communicate which is in place at any one time with the class.  If the noise levels creep up think about how you will grab their attention early and keep on top of it. Your students don’t know you or what you think of as acceptable and it is your job to communicate this clearly and constantly. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science

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