Starting as an
early career teacher (ECT) is an exciting, but daunting challenge. It’s your
first time to show off your skills as a teacher and your chance to strike the
right first impression, but there’s a lot of pressure to perform too. This
guide is here to help you unlock your full potential as an ECT and stand out at
the school you are teaching at.
The best way to stay on top of your work is to be organised and efficient. A diary is the best weapon in an ECT’s arsenal. Write down everything you need to remember. Due dates, student names, feedback, personal notes, etc. Anything that you think you’ll need is a good thing to write down. Having all of that information on-hand is a good way of being prepared for anything and is a source of confidence, you won’t feel like you always need to rely on someone to answer quick questions if you already have the answers. In saying this, don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re there to learn too.
It's also important to plan your schedule and lesson plans properly. Knowing what needs to be done and when you need to do it makes you a reliable and dedicated ECT who is ready for anything. A good lesson plan is a flexible lesson plan, be prepared to keep the lesson going no matter what happens without being too rigid or overly strict.
Never be afraid to ask questions. This is a key part of being a good ECT. You are there to learn how to become the best teacher you can be and asking questions, no matter how insignificant you may think they are, is the key to learning. It’s also important to show that you have listened to the answers you get and incorporate them into your teaching style and the way you work this is how you really shine as an ECT. Your mentors and the other teachers are happy to help and have all been ECTs at one point as well, they will be more than willing to give you a helping hand whenever you need it. Simply Education offers additional CPD to enhance your skill set, please look at our website for further information.
Focus on Your Students
Get to know your students. Find out what inspires them and what they react well to and adjust your teaching style to make sure they are as engaged and excited to learn as possible. Never underestimate the importance of a good rapport with your students. The more they respect you the easier it will be to teach them and the easier it will be to manage their behaviour.
Set goals for yourself that are achievable and realistic. Don’t overwhelm yourself with unreal expectations and remember to appreciate every small victory. Getting better does not happen overnight, but by achieving small, reachable objectives you will soon find yourself improving quickly. It’s important to set goals for yourself and your class this way you can see yourself and your students’ progress over time.
It's Okay to Have a Bad Day
Being an ECT is tough, there are a lot of small victories to revel in, but a lot of bumps in the road you need to expect and more importantly learn from. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning and for the sake of your own mental health and progress, it’s important to have a bad day and not be too tough on yourself. That’s why small achievable goals are the best way to grow and turn your lows into new incredible highs. Talk to friends, relax during your time off and do things that make you happy to stay at the top of your game as a teacher and a person.
Always Be Learning
As mentioned before, it’s an ECT’s job to learn as much as possible from their experiences and other teachers. However, you must also seek out new opportunities to learn. Join teaching networks online. Teaching groups and forums are a great place to pick up advice and learn from the build a network of teachers and other ECTs. Having other ECTs to learn from and talk to is an invaluable thing to have.
Another way to learn outside of the classroom is through online CPD courses. These help you develop new teaching skills and strategies that can shape the way you teach right from the very beginning of your career. You register with Simply Education to gain access to our library of free CPD courses and the ability to attend our webinars and online lectures.
Follow these tips to unlock your full potential as an ECT and make a strong first impression. As for finding your first job as an ECT you can count on us at Simply Education. We have loads of jobs in our pool of education jobs based all over the country. When you register with us, you’ll get a dedicated consult that can help you find the perfect ECT job you’ve been looking for that suits your schedule and your wants. We care about finding you a job you love and can thrive in. Register today at https://www.simplyeducation.co.uk/register to start your career in education properly.