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Mindfulness for NQTs: See the Individual

by Alison Laycock

Now is the time to start your career seeing you as an individual and being able to bring your own personality into the classroom more and more. Be yourself and it will be much easier than trying to emulate others. Once you know what you are comfortable doing then that will make it so much more enjoyable for you and the students.

As a language teacher, I understand students learn better at times from listening to and singing songs for the repetition. As a non-singer, I kept music in the classroom by playing the songs rather than feeling the pressure of joining in. Once I had let go of that feeling that I couldn’t do it and instead found an alternative, I was much happier.

When discussing with colleagues, there will be times when you will feel inadequate as they will be doing lots of different things. However, always remember that you are also doing some amazing things in your lessons so don’t compare but see your individuality and note how great that is and you are for what you do. If you can learn from others then even better, however there is nothing wrong with adapting it to your style too.

As you get more and more confident you will naturally bring your personality into your lessons and interactions more and more and notice how this also builds your confidence.

This is also really important when interacting with the students. See the individual in front of you rather than simply the group as a whole. See their individual needs, who they are and how they are in the classroom. This is especially important returning after the pandemic as every student you come into contact with will have experienced lockdown completely differently and will therefore have different needs and wants within a school situation.

Encourage them to be themselves and express who they are, accepting them for who they are whilst also kindly encouraging them to be involved and to develop. We all grow when we are acknowledged and seen for who we are, who we really are rather than being treated as who others expect us to be. Every student and teacher will benefit from this.

See the individual.

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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