NQT Q&A with Rebecca Dawson

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What type of school do you work in?

Muslim Faith School, all boys

What’s your favourite part of teaching so far?

My favourite part of teaching is when a pupil starts a discussion by saying something insightful that I’ve never thought of before. It shows they truly understand the text/topic we’re studying and they’re bringing their own experience and knowledge to the classroom.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“You don’t need to justify your actions. You’re a professional and I trust your judgement.”

Can you recommend a good teaching book?

Any of the Retrieval books by Kate Jones are absolutely brilliant.

Favourite tools, software, or equipment?

I carry my Hue visualiser everywhere with me and find it super useful for modelling and showing off pupil work. I’m a firm believer every classroom should have a visualiser.

Who inspires you and why?

My mum. She always supported me and wanted me to live my dream of studying English at university – even though it has a bad reputation for being a useless degree. She’s my number one fan and I couldn’t have made it as far as I have now without her genuine care and support during my childhood.

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?

I was in primary school and the boy sat next to me could really not understand how to complete some of the questions in maths. The teacher tried to explain it a few times, they did a question together and then she left him to have a go. He looked so defeated and really didn’t understand what to do. I stopped my work and explained it to him again, started off a question and got him to finish. 10 minutes later he had finished the worksheet. “Thanks, you’re a really good teacher.” His words stuck with me and I guess that buzz I got from teaching someone something new was addictive.

How do you unwind outside of work hours? What helps you to switch off?

I’ve been known to spend a few hours binging Netflix – Anne With An E is my ultimate comfort show. I like to bake at the weekends, the creations never look amazing but they do taste good and that’s what counts. When I get time I love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea to get lost in a completely different world.

Rebecca is a newly qualified teacher based in North West England. Follow her NQT journey on twitter at @MissDawsonEng.

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