Here is 20 tips for ECT teachers which I wish I knew when I started teaching. If you want to delve deeper into getting a job as an ECT, make sure you check out my guide for getting your first teaching job.
1.) Join a teacher community: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all have respective communities where questions and ideas can be shared. 2.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is possible that your school may assume that you know the answer to something you don’t. Asking questions relieves anxieties and stress- and don’t stop asking questions after your NQT year.
3.) Read read read and continue CPD: Also available in other forms (Youtube)
4.) Have your breaks. I could get really deep about psychology here and the way breaks help recenter certain receptors aligned with stress but I won't. Breaks, although it might now sound it, support with productivity in the long run. I won't always have my whole break but in a 20-minute break, I'll make sure I spend at least 10 having food, perhaps a quick chat etc.
5. Make mistakes! Take more risks by trying the things you’ve learned. What you tell the kids- follow your own advice.
6.) Use your ECT time wisely. Don’t do what I did and procrastinate. More on this next.
7 Use your ECT time/ other time to go and see other teachers in your school or in other schools. Teaching Is a magpie profession and you’ll gain more of an idea of the teacher you do… or don’t want to be by reflecting on the teachers you see.
8.) Don’t take yourself too seriously. While remaining professional is important, have fun. No body wants to be around the person that isn't able to have a laugh about something that has perhaps been difficult. I like the phrase: 'If you don't laugh, you'll cry'. This isn't guaranteed but its a light-hearted reminder.
9.) Smile before chrismas. The myth about Christmas is a lie. Besides, tomorrow you may have no teeth.
10.) As Mentioned before in another teacher video, make sure you get to know everyone regardless of position: the cleaners, the admin etc.
11.) Develop relationships with parents, children and as before. (My mistake- parents only)
12.) Create boundaries too: Only answer emails during a specific time. Don’t have emails on your phone helps but I’m a bit of a hypocrite here too.
13.) Find a sensible work-life balance: Actually go and enjoy your hobbies.I found having them will mean you are more likely to get things done at school.
14.) Don’t reinvent the wheel. There are so many resources out there on a range of different websites.
15.) If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This applies to lessons, management strategies and many other factors in education.
16.) Make your future self thankful. Stay organised.
17.) They chose you for a reason. Remember that they chose you for a reason. Use this to back yourself up on those days you are doubting yourself.
18.) The job is never complete; Accept that some days you won’t finish it all and that’s okay. Perfectionism is a quality that I learned to be without during my NQT year that is reserved for those who are superhuman.
19.) The best resource for the children is YOU. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF- It's easy as a teacher to put everyone else's needs before your own. In doing this, you often sacrifice your own well-being. 20.) Reflection will ALWAYS be critical but there is a difference between reflecting and overthinking and being too self-critical; try and avoid reflection that ends up with criticism.