Day Two of the holidays: still can’t believe my first year of teaching is over (probably because I just spent the whole day moving classrooms, ha!).

I am now a RQT. A recently qualified teacher. I PASSED MY NQT YEAR!!!

Safe to say, it was certainly the hardest year of my life, in many ways. Not just the pressures of a new job (which as you will know if you teach, are EXTREMELY pressuring) but I also had to deal with some pretty life changing events in my personal life and battle some demons. It’s been incredibly tough and there were so many days where I didn’t think I could get through. I definitely thought there was no way I could complete the year, keep up with the demands of the job, get all my books marked, actually help these children achieve. But they have: they’ve all grown in various ways and I couldn’t be any prouder of my children. I feel very blessed to have had them as my first class and I will miss them dearly.

I feel like there are lots of posts out there giving advice on your NQT year but I don’t want this to be one of those. ( I may put out a request for any questions about NQT years on Twitter soon and write one). This is more a reflection for me and trying to come to terms with everything that has happened. It’s quite overwhelming to sit back and think about it.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have got through my NQT year without the support of many amazing, selfless people. My family have been amazing, helping not only with advice but with cutting out lettering, proof-reading reports and all the other random things a teacher needs help with. LF, my year group leader, has been a constant pillar of support even when things have been extremely tricky in her own life. VM has brought so much laughter and fun to my year, always lightening the mood and putting things into perspective. KR has been a steady source of advice and wisdom and I’ve learnt a lot teaching alongside her. My TA has saved me in countless ways and I certainly would not have made it through the year without her and her organisational, Mummy ways. NL has been a source of laughs and distraction (good ones). TJ has changed my life in many ways and given me a whole new outlook on things. I definitely would not have survived this year without him.

I feel positive about next year. I know it is still going to be very difficult – new class, more children, greater responsibility and new challenges. But this year has been extremely tough and yet, when I look back I don’t necessarily remember the late nights marking until 11pm, or the meltdowns over planning or the stress of getting children to expected level, nor the worry about your children’s personal situations. What I do remember is the funny moments with my children, the times I got up on the desk and danced around (don’t tell Health and Safety), the times I laughed until it hurt with my colleagues: mainly though, the times when I just knew everyone was there for me, no matter what. I’m looking forward to making more of these memories next year.

For now – sleep!


10 MORE times Friends perfectly reflected life as a teacher.

I really enjoyed writing my last blog post about Friends and teaching, so I decided it was time for another. Enjoy…


  1. That one member of staff who keeps taking your stuff.

They do it on the daily. They take your prized resources, sometimes without asking. Where’s all my newly ordered tissue paper gone? Oh yeah, them. My valuable red paint collection? Yep, them again. Glue sticks? May as well kiss them goodbye forever. It’s OK though, because you do it back. And you love them. They get away with it.



2. When a child finally gets that tricky concept you’ve been working on forever.

Whether it be long multiplication, short division, apostrophes for possession or using commas to mark clauses (writing out the statements makes them sound even more ridiculous), when a child finally understands something, it’s like the seas have parted, the mist has cleared and you’ve actually imparted some knowledge. You are offically the Best. Teacher. Ever.



3. When you get that new room feeling.

The new class lists are out. You realise you’re moving year groups. This must mean…a new room?! And you’ve got the spacious, bright one with the good view? Compared to your hole this year, you are living the dream. I’m a teacher and welcome to my crib…



4. Waiting for children to stop talking.

You’ve done your countdown. You’ve clapped. You’ve rung a bell. Yet, there will always be someone who thinks it’s still OK to carry on. We shouldn’t be sarcastic but…



5. Finding activities which not only engage but actually WORK.

It’s the best feeling, stumbling across something which not only helps you teach (and helps them learn) but which your children LOVE.



6. The Sports Day competition.

It’s the Sports Day time of year again and so time again for teachers everywhere to pretend they don’t care about the teacher race. Statements of “I’m going to purposely go slow because I don’t care,” and/or “I may just walk it to show it’s the taking part that counts,” will be echoed around every staff room. Bonus points if you hear a “I’ve hurt my back so I don’t think I’ll be doing it.” Then of course, you realise everyone is really competitive and actually wants to win.



7. When your children try to “up-level” their vocabulary.

Bless them, they love their thesauruses. And they are trying really hard to impress you. But for the love of God, “glamouring” still isn’t a word. And no you can’t use “plz” in your work – that’s not even a word!



8. When it all gets too much.

You’re TA-less again, you’re trying to teach 2-step word problems, you’re desperate for a wee, there’s thunder outside and everyone loses their minds, a pencil pot gets knocked off the table, a child starts crying because their fingers hurts and YOU JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE MADNESS (except of course, you do because you’re a teacher and you’re a superhuman.)


9. Getting territorial about the staff room fridge.

Labelling everything you have down to the last piece of tupperware.



10. Never…

It’s 3.30pm. You’re seven cups in. Extra strong. Your physically shaking. Head is aching. You can smell colours. But it’s OK because it’s going to get you through tonight’s stack of marking.


I hope you enjoyed! I love doing these. Until next time…

Miss Bartlett x


Pintrest classrooms are SO overrated…

Ah, displays. The bane of some teacher’s lives. Fun for others. A chance to showcase your creativity, share children’s learning and transform your classroom into your own personal space. This sounds quite idealistic as, in reality, getting a Pintrest-worthy classroom is HARD WORK. And TIME CONSUMING. And EXPENSIVE.

Regardless of this, I do enjoy a good display. I think it can make the classroom become such an interesting space and children respond really well when their learning environment is interesting and varied. As the school year is now reaching its home straight, I’ve learned a few things this year that I thought could help any new teachers (and which will hopefully help me next year!)

  1. Don’t be too ambitious for every display

As mentioned previously, displays can be hard work to create initially and to maintain. My school have a policy for what must be included in the classroom and trying to upkeep a Maths and English working wall, Home Learning Board, Progress Board, Personal Bests, British Values, Topic, Learning Powers and numerous others is tough. Of course, I want all my displays to look decent but I had to be realistic last summer when I was starting completely from scratch in an empty room. I made sure I had up all the displays needed but focused really hard on two displays, max. Now, it’s my topic display that tends to get the most treatment, becoming a real focal point for the room. It doesn’t mean the others are neglected, they’re changed regularly,  but means that I don’t completely burn myself out!

2. Get help!

Whether its friends, family, work colleagues – get help! Have you ever tried to back a board solo? It’s up there with flying the Millennium Falcon. If at all possible, get someone to help you out, whether its laminating and cutting out lettering (takes so much longer than expected), backing boards or stapling. I’m lucky to have an amazingly creative and committed TA who helps me with my displays and, to be honest, the amazingness of them is all her. It’s also surprisingly fun. Doing a display with a work colleague last term turned out to be one of the funniest times I’ve had in school.

3. Pintrest is your friend, not your Bible…

I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. We take a quick glance on Pintrest to get some inspo’ for our next display and suddenly we’re 47 boards deep with hundreds of pins and feeling like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. But it’s not realistic. Those people on Pintrest with perfect classrooms either have too much money, too much time, or both (lucky ones). Use it for inspiration by all means, but don’t feel too depressed that yours doesn’t look like it. I mean, the pile of papers at the back of my room and the mound of work on my desk could become good Feng-Shui one day, right?

4. Save things!

It can be quite tempting when taking down an old display to rip if off and throw it away, forgetting about it and focusing your attention on the new one. STOP! Unless something is literally falling apart, save it. Lettering takes so long to prepare and its wasteful to throw it away. My TA made up some box files labelled with each topic (told you she was amazing) and I put everything in there. Anything that doesn’t fit (like large banners or pictures) goes in folded sugar paper, stapled and labelled. It takes a bit of time to pack away but just think of the time you’ll save next year! You’ll be absolutely winning at display life.

5. Get the right balance

This is one I want to improve at next year. The guidance from our school is that displays should have a good balance of children’s work and printed out resources. The temptation to “over-Twinkl-fy” displays is tempting. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twinkl and my platinum subscription is highly adored (and abused, by my colleagues 😉 ) but I try to make sure what I print is meaningful and I rotate things on working walls as often as possible. It can be hard to get children’s work up regularly as, again, it is time consuming to select, photocopy and back but they do love it. One of the displays my children commented on the most was my outdoor one about Spring which had photographs of them and examples of work and they loved it!

6. Don’t overspend

I do dread to think how much I’ve spent on school things. It’s not right really, but we all do it because we want our classrooms to look nice. To be fair, we spend a LOT of our lives there! It doesn’t have to be overly expensive though. Always check in school first if there is anything that can be ordered there. If not, Poundland is great for display stuff (and as my mum continually reiterates when shopping there with me – “it’s only a pound?!”). Amazon is also a winner and charity shops are the obvious but useful choice. Also, ask other teachers if they have anything they no longer need or something you can borrow for your topic. There’s so much stuff lying around in cupboards, forgotten about! Take advantage and go on the scrounge. No shame, here.

6. Finally, take a picture of your completed display.

Sounds simple, but taking a picture of the completed display should save you time next year. It may seem obvious to you how the display has gone up but after a year of rotating displays and all the other stuff teaching brings, I imagine it’s easy to forget. Taking a picture gives you the chance to remember exactly how it went up, (and also show them off to your friends 😉 ).

I love seeing other people’s displays and classroom organisation, so please share any pictures or tips you might have! I’ve posted a few pictures of my classroom below and some displays I am proud of. I hope to add to these next year now that I have a bit more experience!

Enjoy the last half-term – summer is in sight!

Kate x


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Had to get the Christmas tree in…
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Topic display about electricity. I went crazy for the fairy lights!
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My gorgeous reading corner which I regularly snuggle up in (not even joking).
My latest display, completed today for our Amazon Rainforest topic. The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s much more 3D in real life!

10 times Friends perfectly reflected life as a teacher.

I’m going to leave out the standard spiel about how it’s been ages since I last blogged – we all know that. I still want to keep blogging something which is completely un-forced and this morning I woke up with an urge to get back online and post something. It took a while to think of something but at the time I was watching one of my favourite TV shows and thought: why not? So here it is. 10 times Friends perfectly, and unknowingly, reflected life as a teacher. Just for fun. Enjoy!


  1. The end-of-holiday denial.








What do you mean we go back tomorrow? No we don’t?! Don’t be so ridiculous! We’ve only been off for a few days, surely?!

2. We were on a break…


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No, I haven’t done all my planning. Or my assessment. My data? Not quite. And no I haven’t thought ahead the next two terms. Nor are my displays done. IT WAS THE HOLIDAYS!

3. Getting into work and finding out you’re TA-less.

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Your TA is so amazing, they’re quite often called away to cover classes/lead extra intervention. Great for those other children. Sucks for you without your partner in crime 😦

4. Sorting out your squat of a stock cupboard. 

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At least you tried? Back it all goes for another term.

5. Stress.

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There’s no milk in the staff room. Left your badge at home. Computer wouldn’t switch on. To top it all off, the photocopier jams after waiting in the queue for ten minutes. Your. Life. Is. Stress.

6. The ongoing battle to improve your class’ presentation and general tidiness. 

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Underline. Yes, with a ruler, not your finger (actually happened). No, please don’t roll your book up. Don’t scribble on the front of your book. Don’t leave the lid off the glue. Please be careful with the display boards that you don’t rip the borders. Please don’t draw on the table…etc, etc, etc.

7. French.

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We try our best and the children learn. But I can’t feeling like this sometimes.

8. Your militant time management. All. The. Time.

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I’ve got exactly 38 minutes until lunch is over. That’s 20 minutes to mark, 10 minutes to prep for this afternoon. 5 minutes to eat and 3 minutes to wee. Sorted.

9. Repeating yourself. Again and again and again…

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Yes, it is the long date. Like it is every day for English. Yes, it needs to be underlined. No, we’re not doing PE today, I said that at the start of the day. Yes, you need to have started by now…

10. The “we made it!” feeling you share with your colleagues.

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Whether it’s the end of the day, end of a long week or the end of term – you made it and you made it together. (Relatively) unscathed, children happy. Best. Feeling.

There are so many more – maybe a Part 2 is in order? Hope you’re all doing well going into the last term! Where did that time go?!

Kate xx

2016: Looking Back

I’m not sure if anyone even looks at my blog anymore – I know I haven’t looked at it for a good few months! Life as a teacher has taken over and, to be honest, it’s left little time for anything else. I think the idea of being a regular-blogging teacher was too ambitious for me, especially in my NQT year. Lots of you manage it and hats off to you, but it’s proved too much for me!

Regardless, I knew I still had to do my end of year blog post – it’s turned into quite the tradition after three years. I love doing it – there’s something very therapeutic about reflecting on the year.

2016 has been a bad year for some but I know that I am extremely fortunate to have had the year I have. I am in relatively good health, I still have an amazingly supportive family and I have some amazing memories from this year. I got engaged – a massive personal milestone. I graduated from University with a First Class Honours degree, something which I worked so incredibly hard for. I gained my first teaching post in the only school I’ve ever truly wanted to work at. It’s in that school that I have met some amazing people, some who I count as great friends. They have pulled me through many things already and it is hard to believe I have only known them for a few months. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed as much as I have with them.

A term down of my NQT year and it has flown by, yet, it has easily been the hardest time of my life. Teaching makes you question so many things – about yourself, about the world, about people and it can be hard to look past all that and focus on the most important thing: the children. Many times it has clouded my judgement, made me doubt myself, questioned my ability to perform the job and wonder why things are the way they are. I have spent more hours at school or working than I have seeing my family. Arguably, my fault, but at the moment I cannot see a way to balance the load. I’m sure, in time, it will happen but for now I am doing everything I can to just stay afloat.

It’s a hard time to be a teacher. It feels like everyone is against you: that all that matters is the figures you type into your data tracker, that all politicians think you are useless, that the negative connotations surrounding teaching are all-consuming and that there is no joy left. As a relatively new teacher I have been told I am yet to have been worn down and that it will happen. Maybe so. I’m trying to keep a positive view and ultimately, I love going to work and teaching my children. In no way is it easy or straight-forward, but it is still the job I have loved doing most (and I’ve done a few) and I’ve never gained so much satisfaction from a job. I’m looking forward to seeing my children again and moving onto the next phase of the year.

My biggest lesson from this year has to come, surprisingly, from something outside of my career. The concept of trust and loyalty, reliability and honesty. It’s seriously opened my eyes, in the way that no matter how much you think you trust someone, how close you are to them, the memories and history that you share – sometimes none of this is enough. People can always let you down. Despite how heartbreaking the experience was, I thank them for it as it’s made me learn to always expect the unexpected. Sometimes, people just aren’t what you thought they were. Someday, they’ll look back and realise what they’ve done and maybe they’ll figure out that it wasn’t right. But they probably won’t. Either way, you survive, move on and grow from it.

Resolutions for 2017? I’m not really a resolution type person. Not in the “I will go to the gym more” or “I will eat less chocolate” way. My main focus is going to be on my mental health, something which I’ve pushed to the side lately. It’s all very well looking after your physical health and your body, but that won’t be any good if your mind isn’t healthy too. But then, it’s not really a New Year’s resolution. I actually want to keep it up past the second week of January…

I hope your year has been wonderful. As mentioned in the beginning, I want to reiterate that I have actually had a great 2016. There were bumps in the road but that is what makes life. I am in a career I’ve wanted for a long time, in an amazing school, working with incredible people and I have so much to look forward to 🙂

As for my blog – who knows? This blog will always be special to me. It’s a great reminder of my journey. I’m not sure whether the name “from campus to classroom” is still relevant now I’m no longer a student but it’ll do for now. I am putting no pressure on myself to blog. I just like knowing it is still here for whenever I want to share the next important part of my life. Watch this space 🙂

Lots of love and best wishes for 2017,

Kate 🙂

One week as an NQT

A week ago I had my first INSET day as an NQT and now I’m into my first full week of teaching. I won’t lie – my brain is completely baffled at the sheer volume of information I’ve processed in the past week. There is SO MUCH. To know, remember, learn, retain. But I expected that, and I’m working hard to take it one step at a time.

Alongside the steep learning curve, I have loved it. It is everything I thought it would be and more. My class are lovely, the school is incredible. It’s such a positive, forward thinking school and it’s instantly obvious that the children come first in everything, which is great. The staff are such an incredibly supportive bunch of people who, even when they are running around trying to sort their own classes, or horrendously busy with something, will stop to help you out in an instance. I feel lucky to be part of such a great staff team and feel like I’ve known some of them for a lot longer than I actually have.

The workoad is already enormous but I’m trying to keep calm and focused and just doing what I can. For example, I didn’t complete my maths marking today and I was tempted to bring it home. However, I’d been in since 7am and had spent after school marking English – so I walked away. I’ve only got one pair of hands. I can do it in the morning. My evenings are going to be mine and mine only wherever possible

This is is just a quick post to check in and say I’m alive and loving it. Maybe a more fancy post will come soon.

I hope everyone else has had a great start to the term 🙂

The end of an era – and the start of a brand new one

In two days, I start the first day of the rest of my life. I start my teaching career: something I’ve waited so long for, has sometimes felt out of my reach, has often felt like it would never arrive. But it has and I am unbelievably excited. A little anxious also, as is to be expected, but the excitement far, far outweighs that!

I have two INSET days and then the children arrive on Wednesday. I’ve spent so much time over the summer preparing my classroom. When I moved in, it was completely blank as the teacher who had it before moved classrooms. This meant I had to start from scratch but I think I can finally say I’m happy with it. I’m sure it will change and develop alongside the altering needs of the children and myself.

Also, I have had the BEST summer. I had lots of people judging me for not working over the summer, saying I would be bored, that I wouldn’t be earning money, that it was lazy. Do you know what, yes I’m financially a little (A LOT) down, but I know that by the end of this month I will be earning a regular income. Yeah, the extra money may have been nice, but I wouldn’t have had much time to enjoy it, as I’d be too busy WORKING. This way, I’ve had a LOT of time to spend with family, see friends, read books I haven’t had the chance to previously, watch Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Euros in their entirety (SO good), spend lots of time in my classroom, have extra time to prepare, and just RELAX. I don’t regret it one bit. You can always get more money, but you cannot get more time…


I’m not sure how much I am going to be able blog in the future- it’s something I have loved doing and I do find it incredibly useful so it’s something I really want to continue. I just don’t want to place pressure on myself, thinking I need to blog once a week, twice a week, twice a month…I think I will simply blog when I really feel I have the time and have something worthwhile to share, not because I feel guilty that I haven’t posted in a long time. This may start out quite regular and decrease as the workload increases. I’m not sure – will just have to play it by here!

I’m also thinking about changing the tag line and name of my blog, as technically I’m no longer going from “campus to classroom” – it’s all classroom! Suggestions welcome!

So I think thats about it. I want to say thank you to all who have read, commented on, shared, retweeted and inspired my blog throughout this journey. Reading it back details a true journey and I’m glad I’ve left this online diary and I’m looking forward to adding to it! It may be the end of an era but it’s also the start of a brand new one.

Here’s some pictures from my summer holiday – I want to remember the last ever summer of freedom I had! Also, I think the highlight of this summer has to be getting engaged 💍☺️❤️


Good luck everyone for the new academic year and in whatever you do. Kate x



Starting teacher training – tips and advice

Last week I wrote a post about tips and advice for starting University and this week I am going to do a very similar post, but focused specifically on teacher training. It can be a unknown and apprehensive time as, sometime very soon after starting, you’re thrown out there into your choice of profession. On most courses you can keep a low profile for the first term – find your feet, learn how to cook something other than baked beans and noodles (although maybe not together) and begin to understand the complexities of your course. On a teacher training course, within the first few weeks you’re in schools either for one-off days or for an actual placement. You need to be ON IT.

While it sounds scary, there are things that can make it easier and actually, it’s very exciting! You’re already getting experience in the career of your choice, and not many courses can do that for you. All said and done, here are some tips and assurances for your first year of teacher training.

It’s OK to feel nervous the first time you enter a classroom (and the second time, and the third…)

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So long as the nervousness doesn’t always reach the level where you’re vomiting, you’re normal. At the end of the day you are putting yourself out there, it’s not safe. You can’t hide when teaching. But to me, that is what makes teaching such a brilliant career. Particularly on your first placement you may feel like you are completely unprepared and in no way ready to stand in front of a class of children but everyone feels that way. Listen to others, ask questions, observe great teaching and face the fact you will make mistakes. But you’re also going to learn from them too and that is invaluable.


2. Prepare. Especially where technology is involved.


I’m a big advocate of technology in the classroom, as you may know if you’ve read some of my other posts. But I also admit that technology can be very temperamental. I guess the advice here is, always prepare before you start a lesson, in all aspects, not just technology. Some lessons are heavily reliant on technology, but if for some reason it decides to pack out on you, is there a way the lesson can still be completed without it? It may not be as effective as you had planned but can the main message still be delivered? Just something to think about, especially if you are being observed. However, I think if you were incredibly unlucky for something like this to happen during an observation, so long as you keep your cool and make sure there are other things to keep the children engaged, your examiner should make allowances.

The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel about your lesson. I feel another crucial piece of advice I wish I knew comes out of this point, – preparation doesn’t have to be time costly. Is it more effective, for example, to spend two hours on one SMART which is all-singing-all-dancing, or to spend less time on a more basic set of slides which you can reuse several times? Just a thought.


3. Understand that there will be times when normal Uni life goes out the window.


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There are going to be periods of time, usually increasing as you move through your course, where you are going to be living the life of a teacher and everything becomes a bit of a juggling act. It will basically be like you have started work. This means, that the Uni life you knew at the start of term just won’t work anymore. When you are on a placement, you cannot go out on weeknights with your friends. You can’t watch TV all night, every night and avoid work. You need to make sure you get enough sleep, that you are up in time every morning. Sound obvious, but I used to find the switch between being on campus to being in the classroom quite tricky, mainly because it happens so quickly. I think very few people wouldn’t find it difficult. It’s an adjustment, but you can do it. It’s a bit rough having to miss out on things your friends are doing but it’s a means to an end and will be so worth it in the end!


4. Get yourself on social media!

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I received this advice at the start of my course and I’m so glad I did because it is one of the best pieces I have had. Twitter in particular is SO unbelievably helpful as a trainee teacher. Follow accounts of educationalists, lecturers, fellow trainees, NQTs, RQTs, experienced teachers, educational companies etc. There is a wealth of information and help available at the press of a button. So many of my lesson ideas, advice and assurance have come from Twitter and people are so friendly! It’s also reassuring to know there are others in your position who are also feeling scared/anxious/terrified.

Also use apps such as Pinterest which have a host of ideas including displays, lesson ideas, time-saving and general teacher hacks.


5. You will join the grammar police.


Voluntarily or involuntarily, this will happen to you. Even if you think you haven’t, your non-teacher friends will care to disagree because compared to them you are. You will find yourself correcting people’s texts/Facebook messages/Whatsapp messages, you will remind them of using apostrophes for possession and you will almost certainly correct their spelling. But it’s OK. It’s ingrained in you. It’s a habit. But in my opinion, using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation really isn’t the worse habit to have! 😉


6. Get enough rest and time-out.


Being on placement is shattering. And switching between placement and assignments makes it hard. And switching between placement and assignments and having a social life makes it harder. Make sure to get enough sleep and make time for yourself. Sometimes that means being selfish but you’ll thank yourself for it later.


7. Finally, enjoy yourself and be proud of your achievements. 

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While I know it’s inherently British to be modest about our achievements, make sure you celebrate them sometimes. ITT courses are notoriously tough and if you make it through having tried your best then you should be really proud of yourself. Whilst on placements you may feel like you can’t do anything right but afterwards you will look back and think “Wow, I actually did all that!” It’s a huge achievement and you should be very proud. Treat yourself!


Good luck to all starting an ITT course in September! Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@MissBartlettNQT) and I will follow you back and we can exchange some good ideas between us!

Starting Uni tips and advice

So, it’s nearly that time of year when things start to change again – children move up year groups in school, change schools, teachers prepare for new classes and some people start University for the very first time. It can be a nervous but also very exciting time. I know when I was a fresher (three years ago, sob) I loved reading blogs about starting Uni – it made me even more excited and a little less anxious, so I thought I would write my own! Next week I’ll be posting a similar blog but focused specifically on those doing teacher training, so make sure to come back if this applies to you! For this week though, here’s some generic advice for all your freshers – enjoy!


Get yourself out there and meet people.

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But at the same time, if you don’t have your own twenty-strong squad by the second week of Fresher’s, don’t panic. Uni  is painted as this place where you meet friends for life on the first day but it’s not always the case. Just get out there and meet as many people as you can and you’ll be fine. You’ll naturally meet more people as time goes on.


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It may seem obvious and you may have heard it a thousand times before, but PLEASE DO. Above everything else that Uni offers you, you are there and are paying to earn a degree. You won’t get it at the level you want it unless you work hard. I know others who didn’t work hard and look back massively, regretting it. Many people and some students will tell you it’s not really that hard but I don’t agree. I worked really hard for my degree and especially something like teaching, where you’re assessed on your written and practical efforts is tough. And yes, sometimes that means sacrificing pound-a-pint night because you need to put in an all-dayer at the library the following day. Just saying.

But, at the same time you need to enjoy yourself too!

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According to some, students don’t deserve time off as they don’t work hard enough. Well FYI people, during most of my terms I would have lectures 9-6 and then have assignments to do alongside. Most worked jobs as well and then we were on placement. So actually, students can work incredibly hard. This is why you need to manage your time so you can have fun times too! Not only going out partying but just having time to read a book, go for walks with your friends, enjoy yourself. After all, Uni is some of the best years of your life. Enjoy them!

Manage your money.

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Boring I know. But as we know student finance aren’t exactly going crazy on the handouts. It can be hard, but try your hardest not to go into your overdraft. Treat it as the safety net it is, not as a free bank. Hate to sound like I’m showing off but I managed to get through every year of Uni without going into my overdraft and without getting handouts from anyone else, not even my parents. I did get a high grant which definitely helped but really try hard to manage money. Do you really need that third takeaway of the week? Or would it maybe be cheaper to cook in bulk? Do you really need to buy a third round of drinks for those people you’ve only just met, or can they maybe get their own just this time? Little things, but you’ll thank yourself at the start of January when you go back to Uni and the prospect of eating toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t exactly inviting.

Do not procrastinate.

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Uni can often feel like a cycle of guilt. If you haven’t got a scheduled lecture, you should be revising. If you’re not revising you should be reading. If you’re not reading, you should be at a seminar. If you’re not at your seminar then, quite frankly, what are you doing? There will always be something to do but you just need to manage your time and DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. While laying in bed all day refreshing social media seems tempting (and trust me, I’ve been there) try to get up at a reasonable time and get things done. Then you’ll feel a lot less guilty and be able to enjoy the time you’re not working more.

And for God’s sake – SLEEP.

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Please sleep. Just a bit? Find the time. You’ll feel so much more able to complete the day’s tasks if you get enough sleep. I know the consecutive nights out are tempting and all that but you’re not going to get the most out of your course if you spend the whole three years running on empty. (This also doesn’t mean you can sleep in until 3pm every day either, it means get a regular sleeping pattern).

So, now I well and truly feel like your Mum lecturing you, I think that’s enough advice. Above everything, I urge you to enjoy it. The years will fly past quicker than you can imagine and, for most, you only have the one shot. So seriously, enjoy them. They’ll likely be some of the best years of your life.

Come back next week for a similar post but specifically focused on a teaching degree!

Kate 🙂