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12 Vital Sources of Support for Early Career Teachers

12 Vital Sources of Support for Early Career Teachers

Date posted : 19 November 2021

The ECT Induction Period (formerly known as the NQT year) is vital in shaping the rest of a teacher’s professional life. These two starter years are designed to provide an effective and holistic framework for developing your skills and building your confidence.

As a newly qualified teacher, you will have a great many different sources of support that you can and should take advantage of throughout your induction periods. Here are just a few that you should remember.

1. The Induction Day

Many schools invite NQTs and other new staff members into school for an induction day before the rest of the school returns in September. This will help you get a feel for the place and its routines and procedures before it fills up with pupils.

This is a safe environment to ask any questions you may have - and don’t forget to learn where the staff room is!

2. Your ECT Tutor

Your tutor will be integral to your success during your two-year induction period. They will oversee your personal development, monitor your progress and coordinate your progress reviews and formal assessments. You will be seeing a lot of them over the two years, so make sure you build a productive working relationship.

3. Your ECT Mentor

As well as your ECT tutor, your school will also assign you a mentor for your ECT period. Your mentor is there to coach you and mold you into a great teacher. Your mentor is a point of contact when you want feedback, advice or to raise any concerns. Their job is to give you the guidance you need to meet professional standards and put strategies in place to help you develop as a teacher. You should meet with them weekly to discuss your progress.

4. Your Line Manager

As well as your tutor and mentor, you will also have a line manager - usually your head of department. They will support you with the more practical side of teaching. You should use them as a repository of tips on matters like setting the correct homework, planning against the correct scheme of work, and even mundane admin like ordering in enough gluesticks for your classroom.

5. Teaching Personnel’s ECT Pool

Our ECT Pool service doesn’t just help you find the perfect job; it also gives you access to ongoing support once you’ve started working. Our six carefully-curated support packs contain hours of content aligned to both the official teachers’ standards and the early career framework, to help you triumph in lesson observations and assessments.

The packs cover the following topics: pedagogy and practice, curriculum, assessment, behaviour, special educational needs, and professional behaviours.

6. NQT Lesson Observations

In order to pass your ECT induction period, you will undergo several observations while you are teaching. The schedule of observations should be discussed well in advance and agreed upon by both you and your tutor. You should also be given clear feedback on your successes, your weaknesses and how to develop on them.

7. Peer-on-peer lesson observations

You don’t have to rely only on formal observations to get valuable feedback on your teaching. Why not take part in some mutually supportive peer-on-peer lesson observations with other staff members?

Whether receiving or giving feedback on a lesson, reflecting on these sessions can be invaluable in gaining new ideas and fresh insights into your teaching.

8. Your department/faculty

While it’s important to plan and create your own lessons, there’s also no point in re-inventing the wheel! Not only will your department already have a wealth of great resources for you to use, it’s likely that they will have also come up against similar difficulties when teaching certain subjects, and have an idea of strategies that might help you.

9. Your Teaching Union

Joining a teaching union is recommended for anyone working in education. If you ever have a query or concern about your rights as an ECT, your teaching union representative should be your first port of call.

10. PPA Time

All teachers are entitled to time off within the timetable for planning, preparation, and assessment (PPA). In your first year, you will also have the right to an additional 10% PPA time.

Your ECT period will be extremely busy, so make a plan each week of how you are going to spend your PPA time and stick to it.

11. Other ECTs

Every teacher started off in your position. But memories fade, and nobody will quite understand exactly what you’re going through like other current ECTs. Meet up with them away from school to share your ideas and frustrations. If you’ve taken a position in a small school and are the only newly qualified teacher around, reach out to the people you trained with to swap stories and talk through your experiences.

12. The staff room

Don’t work through every lunch time; make sure to visit the staff room and meet your other teachers. Those informal chats over a cup of tea with experienced and sympathetic figures can be one of the most crucial reservoirs of good advice for any new teacher.

 How Teaching Personnel can help

Teaching Personnel’s ECT Pool helps hundreds of newly qualified teachers find work every year. Our free and speedy sign-up process will put you in front of hundreds of potential employers in a matter of minutes.

Once you’ve secured your NQT job, we will be there with ongoing support throughout your whole induction period. Let’s work together to help you become the best teacher you can be.

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