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NQT Support
CPD: ‘Sharpening Your Saw!’
How sharp is your saw?
A lone walker comes across someone in the
woods feverishly sawing down a tree.
He asks: ‘How long have you been at that?’.
The exhausted worker says: ‘Hours and
hours, and it’s really hard work’.
The walker says to him: ‘Have you
considered stopping to sharpen the saw?’.
‘Oh no, I’m far too busy sawing’ came the
(Adapted from Covey 1999, cited in Bourdillon & Storey, 2002, p.291)
The life of an NQT
Today has not been an easy day. Only a couple
of weeks back after a peaceful half-term holiday
and yet I have a searing headache that feels
like it is splitting my skull. I feel overwhelmed by
an overload of information, telling me about
everything that I should and should not do,
exam results analysis, AfL…! I am in need of a
serious lie down….
Joys, challenges, surprises, support?
To date, what have you enjoyed the most during this
first year of teaching?
Up until now, what have been the most challenging
aspects of the first year?
Have there been any particular surprises, in terms of
expectations of your role as an NQT?
How well do you feel supported by your school?
 How are you developing your personal
interests during your NQT year?
 To what extent have you been able to utilise
your previously identified areas of particular
strength during this first year of teaching?
 How have you been able to build on these
Previous (and new)
areas of development
 In what ways have you been able to
improve/develop those aspects of your
teaching about which you previously felt less
confident or had limited opportunities to gain
 Do you have new areas of development?
Long-term aspirations/goals
 Looking ahead, have your longer-term
professional aspirations and goals remained
the same or changed, and how are you
planning to achieve/reach them?
 What could the University do to help/support
you during your early years of teaching?
And finally…
 As I reflect, I have enjoyed the NQT far more than I
could imagine. Last year on cold dark nights, I
sometimes wondered what I was doing trying to plan
lessons, create resources and write essays when I
could have gone for a far easier route. However, now
I think that even a bad day passes over and it will be
replaced with a good lesson where the pupils might
actually learn something. Far better than being sat
behind a desk!
Keep calm and sharpen your saw!
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