As I approach the end of my first year as a qualified teacher, I am beginning to reflect on the highlights and challenges of a year in teaching like no other. As schools were reopened in September, I was excited to get back into the classroom, but also apprehensive about how I was going to take on the responsibility of my own classes under such unusual circumstances; especially because there were disruptions to the end of my training year. This apprehension was eased immediately as I returned to school because of the support of my department, Nexus and the ECF programme.
As Oldham is one of the pilot areas, I have been following the ECF programme before it is introduced nationally in September 2021. I have found it useful to have the allotted time and self-study sessions to keep my targets for development focused, as well as continuing my professional development and pedagogical reading. I also have a dedicated ECT Mentor and an incredible department who have been so supportive – not only in terms of my professional development but also in helping me learn to manage the workload efficiently.
I have also had continued support from Manchester Nexus as I have transitioned from a trainee to a qualified teacher. We continue to receive support regularly through training sessions for first year teachers. These sessions look at different aspects of teaching that become more important as you take on more responsibility as an ECT. Having theses training sessions has been a great way to not only continue our professional development and understanding but also (virtually) get together with fellow trainees from the 19-20 Cohort.
I feel like the different obstacles and limitations put in front of us this year have enhanced my development within the teaching profession – I have had to be adaptable to whatever is thrown our way and the support I have in place allowed me to continue to progress within my teaching career.