Let’s start with a huge congratulations!
You have made it, relatively unscathed, to the end of your training year. You survived that first lesson, first phone call home, first pile of marking, first parents’ evening and you are ready to embark on your first year as an Early Career Teacher.
So, what can you expect?
Well, let’s be honest you can definitely expect more. More lessons, more phone calls, more marking and more parents’ evenings. However, as an OCL ECT, you will also get more support, more bespoke CPD and more of those moments that make you leave work grinning from ear to ear.
Being an ECT at OCL means that you become part of a huge staff body who are passionate about transforming communities and changing lives. You get to see first-hand what it means to bring advantage to the disadvantaged and make a difference to the lives of your students every single day.
We will support you to do this through bespoke CPD. This means that you will have a weekly meeting with your mentor where you will work on something that is going to make a big difference to you in your own classroom. We don’t use generic training plans, instead, we encourage you and your mentor to focus on an area that will transform your practice. Through an Instructional Coaching approach, you will practise with your mentor until you feel confident enough to go live in front of your class and your mentor will support you until that change is embedded. You will be able to work at your own pace and be encouraged to continue your own professional development with weekly readings that pull from the most current educational research available.
As well as your weekly session with your mentor, you will also access a number of training sessions throughout the year. We run two face to face conferences each year where you will be able to meet the other ECTs in your region. You can share stories of ECT life while learning about a range of topics from cognitive science to responsive teaching. These sessions are practical and aim to focus on the things we know that you will want support with.
In addition to your conferences, in your first year, you will also have three after school training sessions that look at different elements of pedagogy. These sessions are delivered remotely to allow you to access when and where suits you best. Again, they have been designed to be really practical sessions that allow you the time and space to discuss your practice with your peers and plan for how you can implement real change in your classroom the very next day.
We have all been in your position and we all know that being an Early Career Teacher can be tough. However, we also feel that we can give the right training and support so that your hard work and commitment leads to a career that feels sustainable and fulfilling.
So, enjoy your Summer holidays and get ready for more!
With many thanks to Vicky, one of our National Lead Practitioners, for writing this blog.