Life as an NQT during a pandemic

A steep learning curve, and so much learned!

As my colleagues said, the first few years in the profession will have a huge hand in shaping the rest of your career. I’m willing to admit I didn’t quite anticipate those formative years being in the midst of a global pandemic. I described it to a couple of friends in other industries who were moaning about the endless nature of their work via Calls as… “For teachers, it’s a bit like hosting an eight-hour Zoom call with nobody on mute and your camera always switched on.”

Although the experience of lockdown did highlight the very real benefits of digital learning. During this time, we relied heavily on a digital-learning platform to help Cargilfield pupils stay connected with their teachers, classmates and their school work. 

As the pupils have re-engaged with lessons in school, we have been exploring the potential of digital technologies as valuable tools in meeting lots of diverse post-lockdown learning needs. We are also aware of the need to be measured in relation to this approach, as many children may have experienced increased amounts of screen time during lockdown. 

I really missed the buzz of the classroom and the interaction with my colleagues – good, bad and ugly – and became grateful when anyone spoke in my morning online Form Meetings. However, the return to school has brought life and laughter back to the school and it appears life is getting back to a sense of normality. This week we have even attended a chapel service in person for the first time in over a year.

I think inevitably the post-lockdown teaching world will leave a lasting impression on me as an NQT. But this does not need to be a negative. I am hoping it will breed a group of teachers who are placing health and wellbeing and nurturing approaches at the heart of everything now. Allowing careful planning of the curriculum with the child at the centre. Teaching during a pandemic has been a challenge and it has required an ability to adapt and improvise from week to week, but I feel we as a school have risen to the challenge. 

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Cargilfield where everyday is an adventure

Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.

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