Hi, I’m Marc and I’m a supply teacher in London through Zen Educate. I’m trained as a secondary mathematics teacher with a wide range of primary school experience.

Three years ago, I started work in Higher Education where my responsibilities are teaching on the BA Ed Primary course, PGCE secondary course and Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. My other priorities are observing teaching students in primary and secondary schools. As my specialism is mathematics, I always aim to observe maths lessons but I also observe many English, science and foundation subjects. During my recent PGCE observations of secondary mathematics I saw that the students had grown from ‘the scary new PGCE’ to a transformed teacher with presence in the classroom but just needed ‘polishing’ to develop into an Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

Here is what I hear PGCE students would like to see when they are NQTs in their school of the future:

  • a well-structured and supportive staff pastoral system
  • high quality and well organised CPD training that is tailored to beginning teachers
  • the opportunity to openly ask questions and observe teaching to improve their practice
  • a relaxed designated subject-specific mentor who is a good teacher
  • a structured induction programme
  • opportunities to engage with training outside of the school itself
  • association with other networks, schools, universities or professional associations
  • informal social networks within the school itself

As beginning NQTs it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the administration required. They need support from the Head of Department or Key Stage leader(s) and clear expectations of what’s required from them.

As beginning NQTs it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the administration required.

If we want our NQTs to stay for longer than 5 years in the profession then we need to nurture and support them through the hurdles they have to overcome. They will need guidance, and lots of it, and yes, some of them will be ‘Mr or Mrs’ know-it-all, but we know better as we have been in that situation. Let them make mistakes to learn from but be there with them to pick up the pieces when they need it.


Marc teaches through Zen Educate. See how Zen Educate makes it easy for schools to connect with quality teachers and save money on managing supply.