Congratulations to all the ECTs who are looking forward to starting in their new schools in September. The summer holidays are a chance to celebrate your achievement, recharge your batteries and prepare for the exciting new challenges ahead. Literacy Hive has teamed up with experienced teacher and ECT mentor Andy Taylor, aka Mr T, to provide some top tips on how to make the most of the next few weeks so that you are ready for the new term.
Get your classroom sorted early
Mr T says: The temptation can be to spend the entire six weeks tweaking and working on your classroom, so give yourself a timescale. For me, this was the first week of the holidays. By the time I had finished that week, my classroom was ready for me to teach in come September. This is the timing that worked for me, you will find a timing that works for you, but make sure you do properly switch off rather than tinkering away all summer.
Read, read, read
Literacy Hive says: Now that you know what year group you will be teaching, use the summer holidays to read a selection of age-appropriate books that you can then share with or recommend to your pupils. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, there are some great book review and book recommendation sites that you can turn to for guidance. From free online magazines such as Books for Keeps, to monthly video roundups of the latest titles, you can choose a format that works for you. Or why not sign up for the Teachers’ Reading Challenge over the summer? Read and review six books in the company of fellow teachers and educators who will be sharing their recommendations and tips for promoting Reading for Pleasure.
Mr T says: During your training it can be easy to lose contact with friends and wider social connections. Use the summer break to rekindle those friendships and plan things to do with your friends in the Autumn term to give you a focus and something to look forward to. When September comes, it can be easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel that is teaching and finding time to be sociable can be tough – making plans now will help you keep those commitments.
Tap into the wider world of books and reading
Literacy Hive says: Once term starts, life will certainly be busy as you get to grips with planning and delivering lessons five days a week. While you have a bit more head space, take some time to explore what the wider world of books and reading can offer to support your work in the classroom. Explore our Literacy Year calendar so that you can take advantage of the many events, book awards, competitions and festivals available to help you engage your young readers and writers.
Do things that you enjoy
Mr T says: Whether you love reading, walking, gaming, tennis or belly dancing… getting into a routine of doing something that energises you and that you enjoy means that you are more likely to maintain these hobbies once school starts. It can be easy to lose yourself in the day to day but keeping yourself energised through your own interests will really help.
Know what’s out there to support you
Literacy Hive says: Your new colleagues will have a wealth of expertise that they can share with you but don’t forget that Literacy Hive is also there to help. We’ve pulled resources to cover all aspects of the literacy curriculum together under one virtual roof. Whether you are looking for ways to support an EAL student or ideas to help with teaching poetry, Literacy Hive can help you find different options quickly and easily. Use the price filter to find resources to suit your budget – there are more free resources out there than you might think!
Plan in me time!
Mr T says: The first term is epic. It is usually at least 15 weeks and the last few feel like an uphill run at the end of a marathon. Get yourself as rested and recharged as you can over the summer so that you have those reserves to draw on. Remember: teaching is a marathon and not a sprint. When September starts, pace yourself and don’t feel that you need to do everything in the first week. Be kind to yourself.
Starting your ECT role in September is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. Making time for a few important tasks, while making sure you have plenty of time for you and the things that you enjoy, will mean you are fully equipped for when September comes. You are absolutely ready for what lies ahead in your teaching journey. Believe in yourself the way that others do #YouGotThis!
Andy Taylor is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester but is best known for his work as @MrTs_NQTs on Twitter. Keep an eye out for his upcoming book ‘You Got This – Thriving as an Early Career Teacher with Mr T’ for more support and guidance to help you thrive in your induction.
Literacy Hive is an open access literacy resource signposting website designed to help teachers find the resources and support they need to help them deliver an engaging literacy curriculum for all.