Trainee advice

Starting a new career as a teacher, lecturer or education professional can bring with it a lot of questions. 

Here at the National Education Union, we've got lots of help and advice to support you in your new role, including specific advice on the most common questions and issues faced by those new to teaching. 

Before you start

Going into the classroom marks an exciting time ahead, but you may also feel apprehension. You certainly won’t be alone in this. Knowing where to turn for help and advice before you start will enable you to thrive, not just survive.

In the classroom

Whether you complete your initial teacher education (ITE) in a school, university or other setting, your time in the classroom should be an exciting and stimulating part of your ITE programme.

Legal responsibilities

Like others on the way to gaining QTS, you may be feeling anxious about your legal position while in the classroom. This brief summary should help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Lesson planning

As a trainee teacher, you are likely to be required to produce a plan for the lessons you teach. There is no prescribed format or length for lesson planning.

Managing behaviour

All teachers, whether they are new to the classroom or with many years of experience, can sometimes find pupil behaviour challenging and undermining.


There are lots of relationships to get used to when you first go into the classroom. Here are some tips for navigating relationships.

Your ability to control your class depends on the quality of your relationship with them, so in your first lesson with each class it is vital to start on the right foot, building a positive, respectful relationship. Here are some tips to help you.


Good induction helps you to feel at home, to fit in, to make sure you know all the routines and procedures and to understand the values, objectives and purposes of the organisation you join.


There is no stipulation around the timing of observations - the statutory guidance says an NQ's teaching should be observed at regular intervals throughout their induction.

You and your mentor

For trainee teachers, the most important professional relationship is likely to be with your mentor and time should be set aside for you to meet on a regular basis.

Additional duties

The reality is that teaching classes is not where your workload begins and ends. There are many additional duties you could take on

Social media

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed how we communicate, but it’s important to remember that careers have been wrecked over an ill-judged post.


Here are some of the most common questions asked by trainee and newly qualified members.

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