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Diary of an NQT
From despair to where?
HAS IT really been a week since last I sat writing reaffirming to please parents with news of progress
my NQT diary? How can, what has seemed such a being made in your lessons, which, they claim, is
long week, have gone so fast? because of your teaching.
This week has seen me hit a bit of a low I feel I am making real progress in my
and I’ve been trudging through it as best teaching, and although I’m still cutting my
The benefits of global learning
I can. teeth this year, I feel my improvements are
Staying late on an enthusiastic making real differences in the classroom.
serge of adrenalin has become a My idealism has always made me
thing of memories and I have want to inspire children to enjoy
The global dimension runs throughout the
often been rushing home shortly English and I think my poetry work
after the school day’s close to with year 7 has seen some of my best
escape a job that hasn’t really ever lessons.
new secondary curriculum. Kate Brown, a
been fulfilling me the way it has Saying this, I feel that with some
done up to now. classes I have spent next to no time
citizenship and geography teacher who also
Classes have been decidedly teaching, instead re-affirming the
difficult at times and student boundaries needed in my classroom
works with charity DEA, looks at the benefits
apathy has rubbed off on me. by running through my behaviour
Apart from the welcome relief of a management sanctions. Do I really get
of embedding global learning across all subjects
few enjoyable classes, I must admit paid to make my year 8 boys copy out of
to not having had enjoyed this NQT a dictionary, in silence, for 40 minutes,
week much at all. after my lesson was derailed by silliness?!
It’s a mystery to me how one day It did make a difference next lesson OUNG PEOPLE growing up in as being more likely to believe that what they do in their
can change all that around though. though; the threat of a return to this
I arose on Thursday morning with punishment was enough to keep the
distinct anticipation of a day that proceedings on track.
would perhaps finish me off. A difficult week is drawing to a close
However, much to my surprise, and I’m proud to have fought my way
it has been, apart from long (five through it. Y
an interdependent and globalised daily lives can affect those in other countries, and that
world learn about global issues all people like them have the ability to make a difference.
the time, through the news, family But the global dimension is not just important for its
and friends. own sake; it can be a useful vehicle for helping schools
As a teacher, I find it hard to get to bring together a host of other requirements.
through a day without being asked The same study showed that students who had the
lessons, detention duty, and parents’ There will undoubtedly be more weeks a question that relates in some way to the future of the opportunity to think about news stories from around the
evening) completely re-inspiring. like this to follow and I know that it isn’t just planet and its inhabitants – climate change, poverty, and world from different points of view were more likely to
I don’t know what it is that makes a suffering reserved for NQTs; many other conflicts are just a few issues that students raise. agree that it is a good idea to have people from different
lessons just take off and become a real teachers can have weeks like these too. Giving students opportunities to discuss and explore backgrounds living together in the same country.
success, but today was littered with them Every time it happens to me, if I can fight these issues at school can have a real impact on that Global learning can play an important role in helping
– GCSE girls annotating entire scenes through, reasonably unscathed, to teach again future – but it can also help teachers to fulfil a range of schools to meet the duty to promote community cohesion
from Romeo and Juliet (although with another day, it will toughen me up I think and duties placed on them. – the checklists on this page show some of the strengths
gentle persuasion through the use of pink it will make the good times taste that little bit of global learning across this and other agendas.
highlighters); year 7 poetry performances creating sweeter.
One stone – many birds
laughs (albeit set to a musical chair backdrop of The statutory cross-curricular global dimension to the
The aims of the new secondary curriculum
reggae music); and year 8 boys enthralled with the • Matt Connett is a newly qualified teacher of English new secondary curriculum recognises the importance Global learners are:
film version of Holes. at Shenfield High, a training school in Brentwood in of global learning to young people’s future success in • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make
Parents’ evening too was a real success. It’s very Essex. He returns next week. a globalised economy and for tackling major global progress and achieve.
issues such as poverty and climate change. • Confident individuals who are able to live safe,
A study by Ipsos MORI showed that young people healthy and fulfilling lives.
who experience global learning in school are keen to • Responsible citizens who make a positive
understand more about the problems in the world, as well contribution to society.
Moral support
Subject Suggestion for getting started
Protecting our teachers
Art Students could explore a painting of a particular genre from another country,
exploring the influences and context of its creation and its role in the society it
was produced in.
EARLIER IN the year a question from Michael In many ways, teachers stand right on the
English Students can consider the representations shown in a range of media
Gove in the House of Commons revealed that frontline of the fight to improve young people’s lives.
responses to one topical news story, exploring how particular prejudices and
as of March 2008 there were 404,600 qualified Ensuring the constant development of knowledge in
teachers not recorded as being in service. The the face of difficulties – some avoidable, some not,
injustices are embodied in language.
shadow secretary of state for children, schools and some dramatic, some persistent and gnawing – in
Maths Students can develop maths skills and understanding of global trade by
families described the situation as a “tragic waste of pupils’ lives can be a genuine labour of love.
comparing the percentage cost of the transport of commodities to the UK and
talent that is costing the taxpayers millions of pounds Nevertheless, a teaching workforce that is
every year” – blaming this apparent professional compatible with the development of increased career-
how this is reflected in relative costs for consumers and producers.
diaspora on “red tape” and the reduction of powers changing should not mask the genuine disheartenment
Languages Students could investigate an environmental issue in a country where their
to “keep order in the classroom”. of many teachers with the profession that they love.
target language is spoken.
On the other side of the Commons, schools Many of the challenges facing schools may
minister Vernon Coaker gave qualification be inevitable, but this does not mean ICT An ICT department can support students to design leaflets about their school
to the figure. Some of this number that all of the difficulties that teachers
and their views on education, and share and discuss online with a school in
would be working in the independent face in their jobs are inescapable,
another country.
sector, he explained; some in higher too. Nor is it merely a question
education; others in more diverse of decreasing bureaucracy and Geography Students can explore reasons for and consequences of population movements
educative positions not recorded in improving discipline in schools.
within and between countries, and how such movements impact on lives and
the total. Some would be working Excessive workload, the
environments in the place left behind and in receiving communities.
outside England and Wales, he said, rapid pace of change in schools,
although the Conservative Party later difficulties with management, Religious Students can explore portrayals of religion in a range of daily newspapers. Which
cited a survey from online recruitment bullying in the staffroom, and
studies religions appear most? Do articles recognise diversity within religions? Who speaks
service Eteach in which a third of problems with pupils’ parents all
teacher respondents said they were contribute to the massive extent of
for particular religions? Are religions portrayed positively or negatively?
actively seeking work abroad. emotional health problems among
Citizenship Students can decide how schools can be more sustainable. Considering issues
There are of course many other reasons teachers.
such as energy usage, food sourcing and waste, they can consider global
why such a seemingly high number of Too many schools have been
teachers may be working outside of the unable to develop meaningful policies
impacts of actions and choices made in school. Students can discuss and
classroom. I have always welcomed the to address these problems – or the
develop ways to monitor progress, such as carbon footprinting.
recruitment of teachers from a variety stress, anxiety and depression that
PSHE Through keeping food diaries, students can consider where food comes from,
of backgrounds; whether fulfilling this lack induces among their staff.
urgent ambitions to influence young And schools need the support of
and the impacts of production and transport, as they consider health and diet.
people’s lives and join the profession both local and central government
Are there correlations between price, nutrition and ethical impact? Consider
immediately after graduation or coming in producing and implementing food adverts and what techniques encourage buying decisions.`
to the classroom later in life, bringing these kind of policies.
invaluable experiences from other areas of In order to ensure that the wealth
Design and Students can assess the impacts of the production, use and disposal of
society. of talent present in classrooms across
Technology products. For example, mobile phones impact on: coltan extraction; easy
There are few “jobs for life” anymore, and the country chooses to remain in the communication; the use of phone images in recording human rights abuses;
while we may be rightly concerned about the profession unfettered by genuine concerns
disposability encouraged by phone contracts; landfill. This activity could also
reduced job security that this may bring, there about their wellbeing, the scale of common
apply to products students design/make themselves.
are many benefits to the transfer of the skills and mental health problems among teachers – and
experiences of employees between sectors. Teachers the causes of these – must be addressed. History Students look at Britain’s trade development including the history of a trade
may benefit from a break from the classroom, both in In addition, in order to get the most out of our
route. Students could explore Transatlantic Slave Trade and its abolition. Links
terms of their personal development, the experiences existing teaching workforce, solutions to problems
can be drawn from past slavery to consideration of where it persists today.
of schools that they will take to other organisations, with the performance of individual teachers must
and the knowledge they will bring back to the not be viewed purely as weaning out the weak or PE Rules for activities are a key part of PE. Taking part in activities students learn
classroom when they return. imposing undue scrutiny, unreasonable performance
why rules are important. By dealing with disputes and the interpretation of
On top of this, while often hearing first-hand that criteria, and unwarranted pressure, but understood
rules students can understand more about conflict resolution.
teaching can be the most wonderfully rewarding in the context of how to prevent the manifold
of vocations, we do not believe that teaching is for difficulties of teaching reducing teachers’ abilities to Music Students can explore musical ‘journeys’. For example, how music rooted in
everybody; nor should qualified teachers remain in do the job they love.
Africa influenced many musical genres such as, calypso, jazz, blues, gospel,
the profession throughout their lives through sheer
classical or contemporary pop music.
obligation. While assisting a child to achieve their • Julian Stanley is chief executive of the Teacher
ambitions may be supremely gratifying, even in Support Network. Visit or Science Students learn about a pandemic, how it spreads and why a particular virus
the best-run schools, teaching can be tremendously call 08000 562 261 (England), 08000 855088 (Wales).
could be dangerous to humans. Consider alternative responses to the threat
challenging. Moral support returns in two weeks.
at local, national and global levels.
8 SecEd • February 4 2010
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