5 Ways to Prepare for your ECT Year by Getting ORGANISED

5 Ways to Prepare for your ECT Year by Getting ORGANISED

Congratulations – you finished your training! Ask anyone, training to teach is hard, so make sure you take a moment to congratulate yourself. Ok, done? Right, let’s talk about what comes next: your ECT years, or Early Career Teacher years. This lasts for the first couple of years of your teaching career, and is a framework to keep you on track and make sure you are given enough support, as every school does things a little differently and there’s still a lot to learn.

We are here to help you get ready for it, and as we like to say: organisation is preparation! (Okay we’re saying that for the first time right now, but it sounds good, right?) Here are our tips and new teacher ECT essentials to set yourself up for success so you can thrive in your ECT period.


#1 A Teacher Training Planner or a Daily Planner

Let’s discuss the big one first – the teacher training planner. We know, you’ve finished your training – but this planner can still be super helpful for a new teacher doing their ECT. There are pages specifically for recording your notes while observing other teachers (key to showing your continued learning), targets (which you still regularly set as an ECT), and of course, the weekly planning pages. Your ECT period is kind of a transition period, where you’re a qualified teacher but you are still doing many of the tasks you did as a trainee, to show your development and continued learning and reflection, so you may find the teacher training planner suits you best.

However – being a full time teacher comes with a lot more to organise than when you were a trainee, so with your continued learning and development on top of that, you might appreciate one of our daily planners so you have lots of space for all of your notes! For every single day, you have a dedicated notes section, to do list, and a sectioned area where you can detail your lessons, day plan, and meetings. There’s also a monthly goals page, so you can keep track of your ECT targets. Of course, there are plenty of teacher-specific pages like student records, timetables, and yearly/long term overviews to help with all your planning needs.


#2 A Teacher Planning Bundle

Our teacher planning bundle makes the perfect gift if you know someone who is starting their ECT – or if you just want to treat yourself if you’re getting ready for your first teaching role! Step 1: choose a planner, we recommend the teacher training planner or the daily planner but it’s really up to you. Next step: choose a notebook or journal. You can grab a plain notebook to keep all the notes and plans in one place, or you could add something more specific like a Student Records Book or a Feedback and Assessment Record. Last step (and the most fun one, we think!) is picking out three accessories to go with them! You could add some fun stickers or washi tapes for decorating the planner, or you could choose a pen loop or elastic for added functionality, or some colourful pens and highlighters. A bundle is great as you can really personalise it and create exactly what you’ll need.

teacher reflective journal

#3 A Reflective Journal

Reflection is a huge part of your ECT period as a new teacher – whatever you do, good or bad, your mentor will want to see that you’re able to look back on what you did and consider how it went and what you can learn from it. It’s a key part of being a good teacher and continuing to learn and grow, which is why we specifically have a reflection journal for your first year in teaching. But aside from the professional aspect, your first ever teaching role is exciting! You’ll do your first ever school trip, your first parents’ evening, your first assembly! This journal is a great way to document all of the memories you’ll make with your first class and all the progress you made, as well as the more professional goals you’ll want to reflect on. Have fun and fill it with wonderful first year memories!


#4 Praise Cards

Let’s take a moment to think about the children in your class – you never forget your first class! A brilliant way to connect with the children, give them great feedback and let them know they’ve done a great job is through praise cards. We have a whole bunch of these to choose from, whether you want something specific like ‘I’ve been a reading superstar’ or something more broad such as ‘Wow! I totally smashed it!’. These cards have blank space on the back so you can write a personal message describing exactly what the child did to deserve the praise card. These are also a great way to establish good communication with parents, something that you’ll need to show during your ECT period. Sending them home with a praise card for their parents to read is a great way to keep in touch with parents and let them know when their child has achieved something great!

 teacher praise cards

#5 A Plan with Me Pack

Teaching is a lot of work. It can be made even harder when you have to prove you’re meeting the teacher standards too, as well as do observations, be observed yourself, have meetings with your mentor, and write reflections on your work. How can we make this more fun, you ask? With stickers! Check out our plan with me packs, which are themed collections of stickers, washi tape, and patterned design paper so you can customise your planner and make it fun and colourful. Teaching is hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun, so make your planner a reminder of that for days when you need a pick-me-up!