Chiltern Teaching School Hub

TOP TAKEAWAYS

These are simple yet effective strategies to aid all ECTs

1. Read our previous blog to know your entitlements, the ECF and how you will be assessed.

2. Reuse, refresh and recharge

3.  Organise, prioritise and manage expectations 

4. Collaborate with colleagues

5. Think about your professional development, future    

 

Want to know more?

Read our Part 1 ECT #TeacherTalk Blog, available here: ECTs: Part 1

 

Interested in the research?

DfE, Early Career Framework (2022): Available Here

 

DfE, Teachers’ Standards

Available Here

 

DfE, Early Careers ‘Get into teaching’ (2023): Available Here 

 

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. Year One: Lighting First Teaching

 

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 - Strategies to Success

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.

 

Introduction

You’ve joined the greatest profession possible, making an impact on a daily basis to children who will grow up to be our future. How do you ensure you stay on top of your game, whilst also looking after yourself? Here’s part 2 of ECTs with all the top tips and strategies to aid you in becoming your very best teacher self! 

Before we begin, did you catch part one for ECTs?

Here’s the link if not: ECTs: Part 1  

In that edition, we covered: 

  • What is an ECT?
  • Know Your entitlement?
  • What is the ECF and the 5 key areas?
  • How will you be assessed? 

We all know that education is a busy, ever-changing world. With days full of excitement, challenge and never enough time. That’s why, in part two of our ECT blog, we’re here to share some top tips and strategies to make your workload a little lighter, more efficient and effective. 

Strategies to Success

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Build on what you have learnt over the past 2 years. Reuse lessons that went well whilst reflecting and improving on those that didn’t. There is no need to start from scratch. Be a magpie!

2. Find a support network

Most subject and phases have DfE networks or curriculum hubs that you can take part in to collaborate with your peers. Think about social media as a platform to network:

  1. Facebook groups can be particularly helpful
  2. Edu-Twitter
  3. Forums
  4. Blogs

Be mindful when using online platforms that the accounts you use may reflect on you as a person. There is no harm in having a second account for these platforms which represents the professional version of yourself.

Link with other ECTs within your school and if you are part of one, wider Academy and Trust. Your peers are the best form of support and gives you an opportunity to discuss, share and collaborate. 

3. Ask questions 

This is your chance to ask all the questions of those who have more experience and expertise - It is better to be inquisitive rather than struggle with a challenge on your own so ask your colleagues. 

4. Be Organised 

While this may seem obvious it is important to keep on top of your weekly routines. Find a way that works for you, this could be using a paper diary, an online calendar or a tool such as tasks on your email. It's important that you make sure you don’t miss briefings and department meetings - these are the gateway to all the nuggets of key information that you need to have and do on a weekly basis. 

5. Priorities

Urgent tasks are the tasks that have a deadline and will need immediate attention. Important tasks are those which can have a big impact on a situation but may not be as time dependent so ensure you prioritise what needs to be done and when and try not to let your list of ‘things to do’ get overwhelming.

6. Your Professional Development 

As you begin to settle into your subject or phase, start to think about how you might become the expert. Get to know your subject -  Are there CPD courses you could attend? Any experts on social media that you can follow? Any books or blogs that you can read? You could also think about becoming an examiner as this is a valuable learning experience for any teacher. 

7. Reflect 

Throughout your training year and into your ECT years it will have been drilled into you that you need to reflect and evaluate continuously. This never stops. Think about what went well last year. Were there any topics which you know you need to improve both in terms of resources but equally your own subject knowledge? What would you have done differently? What and who can you learn from?

8. Managing your own expectations 

So many teachers feel like they should know it all having completed their ECT years - It is ok not to be a finished article. Every teacher, no matter what stage of their career or how many years they have been teaching, will always have ways to improve. A mindset of continual professional development is a key to success, where your learning and professional growth is never finished. 

9. Planning for your future

At this stage you might start to look ahead at your next steps. A few points to consider: Be ambitious; Start considering what is next so that when the opportunity arises you are ready.  Speak to your line management about what coaching and development opportunities exist. Equally recognise that it is ok to want to focus on being great at the job you are doing. Not everyone wants to be a headteacher! There’s true merit and worth in being an incredible teacher. 

10. Wellbeing 

To succeed and be the best that you can be, you need to look after yourself. Research shows that regular breaks and time for you leads to more efficient working. It’s important to take time to unwind. Make sure that you dedicate time in the week and holidays where you completely disengage. Within education, the job is never done and there will always be more to do but some things can wait, not everything is important or urgent. Take time to spend on your hobbies and with your families - switch off, relax and recharge. 

11. Enjoy what you do!

I’ll continue to say and believe that there’s no other profession as worthwhile as education; just think about the difference you make every day to a child, a tutor group, a class and a colleague. No matter how old, we can all think about our favourite teacher from school and how they changed our world. A student you teach will be looking back in the future and thinking about the impact you made on them - it’s incredible. 

Also remember that you are human - Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes, get things wrong, miss a deadline and get chased for it. But you are not alone; other ECTs and even those who are more experienced still face these challenges. 

To conclude

There are over 600,000 teachers in the UK who have walked in your shoes or are even on the same pathway as you are right now. Enjoy each opportunity as you make a difference to so many students on a daily basis. Just think -

Will you become the teacher that inspired students when they look back on their years at school? Will you become the teacher that collaborated so brilliantly with their colleagues and peers? Will you be the individual that continued to strive for the best for all? It’s a profession full of possibilities - now is your time to carve your own pathway and career. 

CTSH 'Together, Towards Excellence'