Protocol Education's ECT Pool helps hundreds of newly qualified teachers find their first teaching job. We will find you a job, then the work really starts as you begin your teaching career, but you are not alone. There's so much expert help you can enlist to make your first two years as an Early Career Teacher (formerly known as an NQT) a success. As John Donne once wrote, no man is an island (least of all when surviving their ECT induction years).
Let us start with the people who can support you.
Your ECT mentor will be your ‘go to’ person for all your queries along the way. They will be integral to you getting to grips with how the school works, and what is expected.
Get to know your fellow teachers; they might be your lifeline. Working as part of a wider team gives you people to call on for support, as well as people to share your good, bad, and ugly stories with. Sometimes you just need someone to show you where the photocopier is, or give you hints on how to deal with particular situations. And let’s be honest, there will be times when you will just need a moan, and having someone who understands what you are up against can help. You might even want to find the teacher who taught your year group last year; they might have some tips on how best to get through to the class.
The IT Team
Very few teachers will be strangers to online teaching in 2022. Teaching online provides lots of opportunities to get snazzy with interactive lessons and online quizzes, but there’s also scope for technical glitches and some students being stuck in a breakout room…so get to know your school’s technical team, they might just be able to get you out of a few sticky situations.
If you register with Protocol Education’s ECT Pool and let us do the hard work of finding your first job for you, you will have another excellent source of support on hand: your personal consultant.
Sometimes you might have questions you don’t want to share with the school themselves, so this is where you might get in touch with the person who placed you in the job, if you used an agency. They have dealt with hundreds of ECTs before, and have solved all sorts of problems along the way.
Teaching resources are plentiful online, so whatever area you need ECT support in, there'll be resources out there to help. A good place to start is the school intranet (if they have one), or even your teaching agency. Protocol Education have partnered with Best Practice Network and have six online packages on Pedagogy, Curriculum, Assessment, Behaviour and Special Education Needs available.
A Sounding Board
Sometimes you just need to blow off steam, because, let’s face it, learning new things and making mistakes along the way is hard work. Whether that is friends and family or an NQT teaching forum, finding an outlet to get things off your chest is important. The ECT blogs you can find online can help you realise you are not alone. Take a read and you’ll realise that one day your ‘oh-no’ moment will be a funny story of the days when you were going through your NQT induction year.
A Diary or Organising Method
Last, but not least. Organisation and planning are going to get you through this year (and every teaching year that follows). Get organised, work out what works for you – to do lists, outlook calendar, even a physical diary. These tools are going to be the best support when it comes to using your ECT PPA time wisely.
Just remember, all the teachers around you who make it look easy have been in your shoes. They will all have their own advice on how to tackle things and how to become a great teacher, so soak up everything they have to offer.