Taking part in the ECF as an ECT
Click HERE to watch Leanne's video about her experience with the ECF or read her blog below.
I am a Primary ECT and this year I have been part of the pilot scheme for the Early Career Framework with the Educational Development Trust. Although our initial training is really comprehensive, it is not the same as doing it on the job and that is where the Early Career Framework’s training and the modules that they provide really supports you by looking into your practice as a teacher, while you are doing it.
When you are training, some of the things they talk about like establishing your classroom and thinking about the layout, you don’t have any control of it. So when you get to look at the framework and you go through the module, step by step, increasing your knowledge to a mastery level, you are there in the moment. You really get to reflect on your practice with support from your mentor, who will help you and guide you through these modules and really make you look at what you need to develop as a teacher, where your strengths are and where you weaknesses are. A year in SCITT is not going to make you an expert in teaching. It is going to give you a fantastic idea and give you some ideas of who you are as a teacher but when you go into your NQT year, all of a sudden, you are in charge of a classroom and they are your responsibility. Although you have really great training from different SCITT providers, it is not the same as being in your classroom.
The framework is made up of 5 modules, all split up into different topics. In those modules there will be a certain amount of time for self-study, this is when you will go through the online website, it will ask questions, it will provide you with extracts from texts and instructional videos.
This year has been a little bit different, I believe where they wanted some of the seminars that take place to actually happen in person, this has been going on via zoom. You still get the opportunity to meet other NQTs in your area but just not face-to-face. You also have roughly about one hour a week with your mentor to go through step-by-step, it is all written out on the framework which is fantastic so you have a good idea of what you should be talking about in each of those NQT sessions, which sometimes I think can be up in the air as you do not really know what you should be discussing each week when you meet with your mentor. This gives you a really good focus to go through and think ‘this week we are going to look at behaviour management’ or ‘this week we are going to talk about observations of other teachers and how we can use those to influence our teaching’. There are seminars throughout the year, you have a welcome one, one in the spring seminar and there is also another seminar in the summer term. Each of them will have a really clear focus, there is a really structured process to it, to really get you thinking about how you can be the best teacher on those areas that you might not be so confident on because, a SCITT programme is only a year long.
This is an opportunity for you, in the safety of your own class to really develop who you are as a teacher and so far I have to say it has been great to really get you thinking and reflecting on different aspects and the different processes of what is expected of you in the profession.