Being an early career teacher (ECT)
is intimidating and at times it's straight-up nerve-wracking. That’s why it's
important to know how to be the best ECT you can be. We’ve made a list of
insightful tips for any ECT wanting to start their career with a bang.
Build Relationships & Connections
One of the most important things that any ECT must do is build as many good relationships and connections as possible. These connections will become your support network within your new school and the earlier you can make these good impressions the better. Always ask for help if you need it, asking these questions and listen to what the more experienced teachers say is a good way to form a bond with them.
Look After Yourself
Being a teacher, especially an ECT can be overwhelming at times. Remember to focus on a healthy work-life balance that works for you. You need time to relax, unwind and blow off steam at the end of the day and during your spare time. Make time for whatever it is that relaxes you and remember that your well-being affects you, your work, and your students.
Know Your School’s Policies & Procedures
Familiarising yourself with the policies and procedures of the school you’re working for is crucial. Knowing what to do if certain situations arise is the key to being a prepared and diligent teacher. Read and understand the school’s safeguarding policy, this is vital.
Keep Your Ideas Manageable
Bringing ambitious ideas to your classroom and coming up with learning incentives, like ‘reader of the week’, is a good idea, but as an ECT it’s important to not over commit yourself. Your ambitious ideas need to be manageable, achievable, reasonable and functional.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
There are times when you will doubt yourself, it is very common for ECTs to criticize themselves for making mistakes. You are still learning, it’s only natural to make a few mistakes, remind yourself that you are improving with each day and every mistake is a step forward. Take things in your stride and focus on your professional development and you will be a great teacher.
Take opportunities to better yourself as a teacher and your network with both hands. ECTs need to make a good name for themselves while embracing the opportunities available to them. Building your knowledge makes you a better, more confident teacher and bringing everything you learn to the classroom helps a lot. Trying out new teaching strategies and behaviour management is how ECTs find their best teaching methods.
Get To Know Your Students
Knowing your students’ names shows your school that you care and are passionate about your work. It also helps ECTs develop stronger bonds with their students and gain confidence in their skills. Knowing what your students like, what they struggle with and the best ways to engage with them is the mark of a great teacher and can even help with behaviour management. Find ways to remember your students easily, for example, Mike likes Superman.
Connect with other ECTs & Experienced Teachers
There is a lot of value in sharing experiences and tips with other ECTs. ECTs can relate to each other and are all learning how to do the best they can, having a community, online forum or social media group is a great way to share tips and stay in touch. Seeking out the knowledge of more experienced teachers is a good way to learn advanced tips quickly.
Own Your Classroom
Taking over a classroom is an intimidating thing for an ECT to do. The most important thing is to make your classroom a learning environment and make it your own. You can cater it to your class by decorating the walls with their work. Rearrange the room often to find your perfect layout. Make it feel like a home away from home for you and your students. Don’t be afraid to make changes, after all a change is as good as a holiday.
Some Teaching Tips for ECTS
Always be consistent, and enforce rules, deadlines, and structure.
Make classroom rules visible and clear.
Have a reward system for your class. Stickers, magic markers, and stamps are fun ways to reward students.
Encourage and call out good behaviour.
Celebrate the small things.
Your diary is invaluable. Use it!
Be on top of student needs, SEN indicators, allergies, medical needs, and safeguarding matters.
You will encounter difficult parents and guardians. Do not let them get to you and find the best way to deal with them.
A class mascot is a great idea for young students.
Keep things clean and have cleaning implements nearby.
Stock up on post-it notes, pencils and other little necessities.
Simply Education cares deeply about finding the
perfect placement for early career teachers. Your first school is where you
start your career, and we understand how important that is. We offer free CPD
courses to all of our registered candidates. Our dedicated consultants provide
support around the clock for registered candidates and are well trained in finding
what you need. Register with us online today at https://www.simplyeducation.co.uk/register.