Top Tips for ECTs
Starting out life as an early career teacher can be daunting, but it represents the first main steps towards a career in the classroom.
It’s a period of continual learning and development, of consolidating what you already know, and of looking ahead to the future.
There is an abundance of resources available to support ECTs as you make yourself at home in your new school as well as our own tips to help you succeed.
It may sound obvious, but any ECT should be prepared to ask questions if they’re unsure of anything – it’s not possible to know everything, so new staff shouldn’t be scared of asking for advice.
Other teachers and support staff will have a vast knowledge of the school and the curriculum, making them a valuable resource that you should look to tap into.
Develop a positive learning environment
Creating a positive classroom environment can help pupils to thrive, which means it’s important to set expectations early.
Once children know what is expected of them in the class, they should be more engaged with the topics being taught.
If this isn’t successful, look to the approaches of other teaching staff and see if there are methods that you can adopt.
Be prepared to make mistakes
Not all approaches are applicable in every classroom and every teacher learns new methods as they spend more time teaching.
Expectation levels are not as high for Early Career Teachers as they might be with more senior staff, so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if something doesn’t go as expected.
Instead, you should look at what you can learn from mistakes, as it will ultimately enable you to become a better teacher.
The workload for ECTs can be daunting, so make sure you have a strategy to ensure you have a healthy work-life balance.
Make sure you set aside time for personal activities and take regular breaks if you’re planning to spend time marking work or planning lessons.
Prioritise your tasks to boost productivity and maintain a clear divide between your work and social life – this will help to enhance your health and wellbeing in the long-term.
Take advantage of your ECT time
All ECTs are entitled to a period when they are not timetabled for ECT-related activities, so make sure you take advantage of that to support your development.
Avoid using the time for activities like marking or lesson planning, and instead think about ways you can improve your teaching, of times when you observed best practice in progress or take time to review your progress.
Remember – the time away from teaching is your opportunity to become an even better teacher.
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