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Mindfulness for NQTs: The best teachers are also students

by Alison Laycock

The best teachers are also students is a very true statement to make both in the sense of teachers who remain willing to learn and remain open to new ideas and also in the sense that our students are the best teachers about themselves. I mean it in both these senses.

During my career, I met many teachers who had simply stopped learning in the belief that they had enough experience that they no longer needed to try new ideas or techniques. I never understood this as each year the students change so how could you possibly know all you need to know. There were also many more teachers who continued to learn and experience throughout their teaching and also outside of the classroom. This meant they were able to relate to the students better as they kept up-to-date with technology, watched tv programmes aimed at the younger generation and also were happy to hear and learn about all aspects of culture.

As you have recently gone through your PGCE year and maybe also your degree, then you have so much knowledge to share of new guidelines and techniques to add to any school and department. Your teaching methods may therefore draw attention ad that is an amazing thing to share with your colleagues if there is something they have commented on.

Students are also our best teachers as they know themselves better than anyone so listen to them. Hear what they are saying about how they learn, how they are feeling and what motivates them. Notice who can take more challenge and those who require more support, who likes to be the class clown and be inquisitive about why, those who prefer to work alone than in a group and those who do all the work and behave but never seek your attention through making a fuss.

Remember to keep learning and looking for new techniques and ways to help yourself and students. It isn’t just the NQT year where that helps.

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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