Student teachers: getting ready for the workplace

You might be thinking about finishing your qualification and entering the workplace, but what about everything else?

You will need to get your ducks in a row, so to speak, before you start your new career, and here is a helpful little list of things you may want to consider before entering the world of work.

If you haven’t already, check out our our advice centre, which holds information on your rights at work and a variety of other topics.

Support for newly qualified teachers

10 quick tips to consider:

  1. Invest in yourself – don’t think that you must accept the first job that comes along. Starting your new career requires a lot of thought, patience and consideration, and the right job for you will come along.
  2. Clarify what you want from your career – what motivated you to want to work in education? Determining the goals and aspirations that you want from your career now will set you on the road to achieving them.
  3. Plan everything out – the first few months of your life as a newly qualified professional will be very busy, so planning both your professional and personal lives will help, whether it is goal setting or even breaking everything into small steps.
  4. Focus on the task at hand – using your planning and small steps, choose a goal to focus on, then keep motivated to finish that goal before moving on to your next one.
  5. Understand your strengths – your first year is going to test you to the fullest of your abilities, so make sure to capitalise on your strengths and use them to motivate you. This will also be a great opportunity to learn your weaknesses and work on them.
  6.  Be passionate – you have studied to work in the education sector, so make sure to choose the career route that you are fully passionate about. Without being passionate, you will find it difficult to excel or keep motivated.
  7. Know your limits – you will have just finished your qualifications; no one expects you to know everything about the job, so don’t be afraid to speak up when you are struggling. Your colleagues are there to help.
  8. Workplace relationships – it is important to develop healthy relationships in the workplace. Your colleagues will be with you throughout your professional development and are there to help nurture you. If you have moved to a new area, you should also get to know your colleagues outside of work.
  9. Networking is key – as a newly qualified professional, you should be networking efficiently.
  10. Don’t settle if you aren’t happy – you are at the beginning of your career, so make sure that it is a fulfilling one and don’t settle somewhere that you aren’t happy, whether it be your working or personal life.

Moving to a new house/area

Another stressful part of finishing a qualification and entering the workplace can include moving to a new house. If you are moving, you should first consider the area where you are looking to live – we would suggest visiting during both the day and night to see how it differs.

Visit for a useful tool which will provide you with information about different areas, such as crime rates, the type of housing available in that area and nearby services.

You may also want to consider:

  • Will you be renting or getting a mortgage?
  • What areas will be most convenient for your commute to work?
  • Do you have any, or will you want, pets? Some landlords won’t allow them.
  • Would you want to share a property with a friend/relative/partner?

There are many things to do when moving home, but here are a few that are particularly important when you’re planning to start a new job soon.

  • Ensure that you have your mail redirected so you don’t miss any important communications from your new employer.
  • Make sure you pack everything you’ll need to start work (supplies, paperwork, work-appropriate clothing) in an easily identifiable box that you’ll be able to find amongst all the others. You don’t want any extra stress that comes from losing something you’ll need amongst all your worldly possessions.
  • Make sure when you update your car insurance that you note your new workplace address and parking specifics.
  • Scope out your route to work ahead of time. Are you going to drive or is there public transport available? You don’t want to be late on your first day.
  • Childcare (if needed) – you’ll need to know when your drop-off and pick-up times are, where to park, and how long this will add to your journey.

Get your Voice heard

Our student members’ voices are as equally important to us as our employed members. You are the educators of the future, so if you have any queries regarding your course, studies or placement, or would like some advice, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you through your course and into working in the education sector.

We’d love to hear from you

If you are interested in writing an article for Your voice or a blog for our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or call us on 01332 372 337.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.


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