Getting off on the right foot

I’ve worked with early career teachers for decades now. I’ve worked as a mentor, an induction tutor, a trust NQT and RQT lead, an ECF facilitator and will be delivering keynotes for our local ECF provider next year as part of our region’s offer. But one of my favourite elements is working with our SCITT as both a guest lecturer and lead on the transition sessions from SCITT to ECF.

There are multiple great books, guides, resources and training now for ECTs but there is one resource that for years now has been a hit with my early career teachers and mentors, the link to which is below.

This guide, originally designed with NQTs (ECTs in “old money”) has been refined each year to provide a useful handbook of considerations which may not be research-paper-rich but which outline not just the “learn that” and “learn how to” but the actual, “you really kinda need to know this stuff too” elements of our day to day work.

I introduce them on our SCITT transition day and encourage colleagues to sit with their mentors and go through the prompts. There’s no point being well versed in Rosenshine if you don’t know where the loo is, or being fluent in desirable difficulties if you’re not sure what to do with your registers. If our ECTs are novices, and experienced teachers are the experts, then we need to be mindful of the curse of knowledge and cognitive bias. The workings of classrooms and individual schools are complex organisations which are automatic to experienced staff but all new to our colleagues. This booklet therefore reminds us of the basics, points out the oft missed seemingly obvious, and is a portable to-do list of key info to get colleagues off on the right foot. It’ll need adapting to your phase or stage or organisation but hopefully is a useful starting point for all ECTs.

If you do use it or adapt it, please do credit it appropriately – it was developed by me @Emma_Turner75 and my colleagues from Inspiring Leaders SCITT @ILSCITT, and my Trust – Discovery Trust @Discoverytrust.

You can find us all over on twitter.

Bon voyage to all our ECTs for 2022/23 and welcome to the profession; it’s truly ace.

Happy adventuring.

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