Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer.
Starting your career in education as an ECT can be a daunting experience, you will be taking on all of the usual responsibilities of a teacher whilst entering a new environment and meeting a lot of new people. We understand that working as a teacher, although rewarding, can come with stress and pressure, especially when you are just starting out.
This is why we have asked a few of our teachers, who have been there and done it, and have come up with a few tips on how to handle stress and pressure as an ECT.
Entering any new workplace can be scary as you will be meeting new people and trying to make friends however making these connections is so important when it comes to our mental well-being, especially as a new teacher. Your colleagues will know how you’re feeling and what you are going through the best and will therefore be the best support you could have when you are struggling so make sure to befriend and rely on those around you in your school. You could also go to networking events to meet other ECTs for example, The Every Teacher Matters project holds regular networking events that you can attend.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed when your workload is heavy, you’ve had an accident in the classroom, you’ve got to help with the extracurricular activities, make a presentation or you’re behind on marking work. This is why it’s a good idea to make a list of everything that is causing you stress, and then separate this list into things you can control/ change and things that are out of your control. This way you have a much smaller list to work through and it will be easier to make a plan to tackle these stressors.
Being a teacher can take up a lot of time in your day and you may be tempted to put your colleagues’ and students' needs before your own; don’t. For you to be the best teacher and colleague you can be you must have the mental energy to do so, this is why you should make time for yourself. Read your favourite book, take a bath, get a hobby or go to the gym (anything that helps you mentally recharge). This can be particularly important when you start to feel burnt out or overwhelmed as a break, doing something you enjoy, will help you come back to your tasks with a fresh mind. Our mediation tips may come in handy when you need to find some peace.
This goes back to the making connections part of this blog in which we highlighted that making connections will help you create a support system within your school to fall back on when you are struggling. Talking through your problems is always the best way to feel better. If you’re working for Smile doing supply work as an ECT you can always contact your dedicated consultant if your environment doesn’t feel like the right fit or you’re struggling, after all, that’s what we are here for.
If you an ECT and are thinking about completing your induction years with supply work then check out our blog that discusses all of the benefits, if you are looking for supply work then get in touch, we would be happy to help.