Top Tips for an ECT (nqt)

Top Tips for an ECT (NQT)

by Lee Horsford

Hello all and welcome to the currently, very strange world of education. I was lucky enough to train at NWSCITT before all this madness escalated in 2020. I can honestly say it gave me the perfect grounding for becoming a teacher and has enabled me to cope in the surroundings I  find myself in. I have been asked to give you some advice as an ECT (formerly known as NQT)… well here goes.

Firstly, be yourself. Do not try and become somebody different; emulate those that advise and inspire you, learn from them, but do not lose yourself in the process. You will have been trained and given lots of advice from some amazing people. Take that advice and use it to become a confident, enthusiastic and grounded teacher.

Secondly, as much as you want to impress your new school be careful not to over extend yourself. You will want to get involved in everything and anything in order to stand out and make and make a good impression, but remember you are there to teach and plan, to the best of your ability and deliver lessons that your pupils will enjoy and learn from. If you take on too much, it WILL impact you at a later time through the year. Pace yourself and get to know your strengths and weaknesses without pressurising yourself. Become part of your school community, but do not overburden what will already be a busy year for you.

At present I am working in an empty school classroom, trying to stay sane and keep the children engaged. It is difficult sometimes, but once you have worked with  children in a classroom it gives you the impetus to keep going and to help them get through the situation as well. The children you work with, as much as they moan about school, actually want that interaction. They want you to notice them, they want you to say ‘well done’, ‘great work’ and ‘excellent effort’, and you know what you will want to do that. It can be long hours, it can be hard work, but if you love working with children and you feed off their enthusiasm it will be a career that can take you a long way. It will give you memories and experiences (some you may wish to forget, ha!) you will carry with you your whole life. So, relax and enjoy it. Think about how you are going to change that one child’s life just by doing something great in your lesson.

Now this is really important, I nearly forgot this, always remember to talk to your friends and colleagues, don’t forget they’ve been through it too. Make time for yourself and your family, because they help you get there as well: they will be the ones who pick you up when you are down and they’ll sit and listen to your tales and anecdotes even if they don’t want too.

Finally, most of all enjoy it. I have had the best and the worst of lockdown, but it has been a ball. I’ve found some new friends and I have had the opportunity to meet and teach some amazing children. It is all worth it ….. Honestly.