Top 10 tips to support you in your first week as an ECT
If you’re an early career teacher preparing for your first week in the classroom, we appreciate that it can be as daunting as it is exciting.
After all, you’re about to embark on a journey of nurturing the next generation of talent, so you’ll undoubtedly be keen to get off to a great start.
But preparation really is key when it comes to making your ECT induction years a success, so here are some useful tips to guide you through the first few days in a new school…
It’s important to remember that many of the things you’ll experience as an ECT will be new, so if you’re ever unsure of anything, just ask!
You won’t be expected to know everything, and the majority of staff will have completed an ECT induction, or similar, during their career, meaning they’re well placed to provide support and guidance.
2. Take charge
From the outset, make sure you have a clear set of expectations for your class – that way they’ll know when they may be sanctioned or rewarded.
Don’t be afraid to poach behaviour management from other ECTs or senior school staff too, as ultimately it should help you to forge positive relationships with your pupils.
3. Be confident!
After all the effort that you’ve put into becoming an ECT, make sure that’s reflected when you’re in the classroom.
If you’re ever short of confidence in your first few days, or during your ECT years more generally, just remember that you’ve earned the right to be a teacher by completing all the training to date!
4. Think about how you present yourself
Just as you can show confidence, it’s also vital to make a great first impression and that means giving plenty of thought to how you present yourself.
While you may want to appear friendly and relaxed, being too much of either may ultimately make it more difficult to control and discipline the class in the long term – finding the right balance is key.
5. Be a friendly face for school staff
It may sound obvious, but in the early stages of your ECT induction years you should be friendly to all school staff you meet – you never know when you might need their support with something.
From the head teacher to support staff and the caretaker, get to know everyone as that way you’ll know who to turn to if you require specific help.
6. Don’t be a perfectionist
While you may want to be a perfectionist, learning when to say something is ‘good enough’ is imperative to getting things done.
Spending too much time on tasks as an ECT or not being able to take yourself away from something will ultimately put more pressure on both you and your time management.
7. Be flexible
If you deviate from your lesson plans at any stage, don’t worry, as you should look to give pupils as many opportunities as possible to express themselves.
It’s also important to recognise that while one class might find something engaging, another might not, so factoring in a degree of flexibility can be pivotal towards enhancing learning outcomes.
Everyone makes mistakes during their ECT year and they will form a vital part of your learning process as a teacher – be sure to take time to reflect on each day or week as part of your own professional development.
Think about what worked and what didn’t in lessons, and ask yourself if anything could have been done differently to improve teaching delivery.
9. Make sure to switch off
For your first week as an ECT, it’s likely you’ll be very tired at the end of each day, so make sure you give yourself enough time to sleep and recharge your batteries!
You might find yourself thinking a lot about each day at work, but switching off and relaxing in the confines of your own home should help as you get used to a new way of working.
10. Embrace the experience!
Now you’re an ECT, make sure you embrace the experiences and the challenges of the classroom as that way you’ll stand the best chance of helping your pupils to be successful!
How Tradewind Recruitment support ECTs during their induction period
Keep in touch with your local recruitment consultant during your induction period and they will be able to help you with any questions you have from lesson planning to planning your journey to your school! Check out our top tips for ECTs, our favourite resources you can use, how to manage behaviour in the classroom and how you can keep organised during your first year.
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