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Success stories from cohort 2018

You’ve made it to the half-way point: February half-term! Some of you may have heard it “all gets easier from here”…and then you start your NQT year.

At our NQT Teach Meet last month, many of you heard first-hand the challenges Cohort 17 & 18 faced and were reassured that they still made it through. But it isn’t all tales of woe and many of you will already be experiencing some of the unique rewards that can only be found in the classroom.  

The Cohort 2018 Whatsapp group has been pinging with positive stories – as Zed Holmes so rightly comments: “how else are we going to survive if not by celebrating the moments that make everything worthwhile?”. They’ve allowed us to share some of these with you, to remind you what makes the profession you’ve chosen so worthwhile.  

We hope you’ll share more of your success stories with us – we want to hear them!


“A bright, giggly boy came and asked for a lunchtime talk-through on Jekyll & Hyde. He is a ‘cool’ guy and should have been out horsing around on pitches. But he was so open and honest about his struggles to understand and his ambition, that he gave up his lunchtime to hear me walk him through the novel. But my utter highlight: the year 13s – whom I don’t teach – have asked me to do an intervention with them on political ideologies.  I only teach year 12. I’m beginning, finally, to think I might actually be able to help some young people. Am I a teacher now?!”

Ciara Brown, English teacher


“For the first time in my entire working life I cried tears of happiness when the parents of a Year 9 boy, big in my form, told me that everyone has “that” teacher in their lives and for him that teacher was Ms Holmes. He calls me a “legend” behind my back. The parents have written to the school that they turned down an offer from a top public school because they want him to stay in my care. I cried in front of the headteacher when he told me.”

Zed Holmes, maths teacher


“I had to reveal to some of my Year 7s that they were moving sets and this was beyond my control. The students who were staying with me cheered (literally) and two of the students who were leaving me started crying! I was actually pretty upset too, and had to take a moment after the lesson. It shows that with the right school, and enough experience, we really can build relationships with these students.”

Matthew Male, maths teacher


“One of my students who has ADHD today worked so well (the first time since September!) after last night’s parents’ evening when I told his mum how he has a great capacity to understand French and that his French accent is really good (he wasn’t expecting praise I imagine!). I challenged him to do all his jokes in French and I think he is taking it on…little steps towards positive changes feels great!”

Sarah Biasibetti, MFL teacher

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