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Mindfulness for NQTs: It’s OK not to know the answer

by Alison Laycock

Currently, we are all still connected in not knowing what is really going to happen, how things will progress or how school will be over the next school terms as we are all still unsure about conditions in relation to COVID-19 although the world is slowly opening up. Admitting to a student that you also don’t know, may not provide the answer or reassurance they wish for however it shows that not knowing is ok too. The way forward can be discovered and navigated together.

This is also relevant in other areas of teaching and life in general. Just because you are a teacher doesn’t mean you need to know every single thing about your subject area, in fact it’s even better for students to hear you admit you don’t know but you can find out. It can be a game of who is the quickest to find the answer and discuss ways of finding out about things you are unsure of.

Curiosity is a great skill to teach students and it’s important to stay curious ourselves as teachers as then we remain open to change and let go of attachment to things having to be a certain way.

In the current climate, it’s a great way to talk through events or situations with students to show your coping techniques and also for you and students to learn from each other. They may have particular concerns or specific ways of getting through times of uncertainty so it doesn’t all have to come from you. Modelling that it is OK not to know the answer is a perfect way of showing how we don’t always need to know what is coming up and exactly how things we will be. The beauty often lies in discovering along the way.

Every day throughout August, these tips will be shared across social media so I’m including my links here. Throughout August, I’m offering meditation/ mindfulness sessions for NQTS/teachers and school staff on 4th, 11th, 18th and 20th August at 7-7.45pm via ZOOM. If interested, please email Alison at

Follow me across social media if you aren’t already to have access to the tips every day:

Facebook: Being the Best You Can Be

Twitter: @alisonlaycock23

LinkedIn: Alison Laycock

You Tube channel: Being the Best You Can Be

I’m also offering 25% off all courses for NQTs who wish to develop their mindfulness and compassion skills and resources more. The courses on offer are the 8 week MBSR programme with sessions lasting 120 mins and there are also 6 week Mindfulness and Compassion courses which last 60 mins each session. If you prefer workshops rather than courses then these are also available and can be checked out and booked via

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