These are simple yet effective changes you can make to benefit all.
1. Know your entitlements
2. Know how you are being assessed
3. Learn from your colleagues and peers
4. Make the most of every CPD opportunity
5. Remember your own wellbeing!
Want to find out more?
Interested in the research?
DfE, Early Career Framework (2022): https://www.gov.uk/
DfE, Teachers’ Standards
DfE, Early Careers ‘Get into teaching’ (2023): https://getintoteaching.
Have a read?
Michael Chiles and David Goodwin present a comprehensive guide for all new teachers as they begin their journey, summarising a range of essential techniques.
Prefer to watch?
Early Career Teaching: How to thrive, not just survive
The First Two Years: Tips for having a successful first two years
TeacherTalk: ECTs - Part 1
Welcome to our educational blog. Here we explore all things pertinent to education, discuss current topics and provide tips, from research and educational experts, to aid practice.
So, you’ve taken the leap and are embarking on your new professional journey as a teacher; Either in your first or second year as an Early Career Teacher.
Firstly, well done! You’ve decided to join what I believe is the most rewarding, fulfilling and motivating career sector where you will never be bored by the brilliance (and at times, challenge) of your students.
Secondly, it’s important you know what your entitlements are and that you get the right support throughout these two years. This is why we are here to provide you with some top tips and key information to help you progress, learn and develop in these early stages.
What is an ECT?
If you’re wondering what an ECT is, then the acronym stands for ‘Early Career Teacher’. This refers to the first two years of a teacher’s career, covering their induction, training and support within their chosen educational sector.
As an ECT, you will follow the ECF - Early Careers Framework. The DfE, states that the ECF is ‘A framework of standards to help early career teachers succeed at the start of their careers.’ (2022). They add that the ECT ‘sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers. It underpins a new entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to help early career teachers develop their practice, knowledge and working habits.’ Put simply, it's a framework for the early stages of your career in teaching.
Know Your entitlement?
- Reduction in Timetable
In your first year of teaching, you’ll have a 10% timetable reduction. In your second year of teaching, you’ll have a 5% timetable reduction. This means a reduced teaching schedule to give you time away from the classroom to focus on your learning and development.This is in addition to the time allocated for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) that all teachers get.
- Training and Professional Development
You’ll receive high quality, training, materials and resources based on the Early Careers Framework to enable you to build the skills and knowledge you need to succeed within education.
- A Mentor
You’ll be given a mentor to support you throughout the process. This highly skilled, qualified individual will provide you with one-to-one support and feedback, whilst also arranging other opportunities like coaching and subject specific training.
What is the ECF?
The ECF is the Early Career Framework that new teachers follow. As the DfE notes, ‘The Early Career Framework builds on Initial Teacher Training and provides a platform for future development’ (2019). It sets out the standards for your induction, including expectations on you that include:
- Key Evidence Statements ‘Learn That’
- Practice Statements ‘Learn How To’
(Early Career Framework: 2019 document)
It’s set out into 5 key areas, each with 8 sections to work in conjunction with the Teacher Standards. The ECF is not an assessment framework and you do not need to collect evidence towards it. Assessment is via the Teacher Standards.
The 5 key areas are: behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours.
How will you be assessed?
As well as your mentor, your school will have an induction tutor who will assess you against the Teacher Standards (Occasionally, in smaller schools your mentor may also be your induction tutor). Like your mentor, your induction tutor will have regular meetings with you to discuss your progress. Your induction tutor will complete four progress reviews and two formal assessments with you - each will include a lesson observation and meeting to discuss your progress against the Teacher Standards.
Top Tips as an ECT
1. Getting started
It can be daunting to meet your tutor group, take new classes and deliver new topics, even as an established teacher. Just ensure you are well prepared and enjoy it!
2. What if it doesn’t go to plan?
We’ve all been there when a lesson or day might not go to plan but be sure to take the positives away with you and use it as a learning curve. One ‘unsuccessful’ lesson doesn’t mean failure - think about all the other great lessons and reframe your thoughts. Equally, one difficult student shouldn’t detract from the rest of the class that are getting it right - always focus on the positives and the progress you and they are making.
3. Your wellbeing
It’s really easy to spend your hours planning and working so ensure you take time to spend on your own wellbeing. Plan in activities and events away from worklife to look forward to. During the school day, make sure you take time to have a drink, lunch and a moment to yourself. Having a break is shown to improve your efficiency and productivity so… step back, take 5 and you’ll see the benefits.
4. Forming Relationships
Working with your colleagues and forming a supportive network is really important when you start your career. Find a supportive peer to talk to, work things through and share advice with.
5. Your students
Initially, you might find or be concerned that some students will be challenging when you start delivering lessons. Remember, your mentor will be there to support you and over time, you will also build a positive working relationship with your students.
Be consistent in your approach, firm but fair - sincere praise and encouragement works wonders with everyone, no matter what age. As does consistent behaviour management, in line with your school’s policy.
Equally, speaking with parents both for positive feedback and for support is a powerful strategy that should never be overlooked.
As an early career teacher, you will be given a wealth of opportunities to develop your own pedagogy and subject knowledge - take it, in every form. Learn from your peers, colleagues, experts and students. Observe other lessons, other teachers and begin to gather an understanding of what your own classroom environment will become.
No matter where you are at present in your journey as an ECT, enjoy each moment. Reflect upon the positives, learn from the areas of development and take up every opportunity possible to develop your own skillset and pedagogy.
CTSH 'Together, towards excellence'