Early Career Teachers (ECTs) – Consider Special Schools when you are Job Hunting.
If you are a recently qualified ECT and looking for a teaching post I would urge you to consider working in a specialist provision, whether that be a PRU, special school, specialist unit or residential school. The children deserve your energy and passion. Why I hear you ask? Well here are 10 reasons to start off with. Please also have a read of our post Top Tips for NQT’s working in the field of special education.
10 Reasons to apply for an SEN position as an ECT
- It will immerse you in an environment where generalisations and stereotypes will be cast aside and you will get to know each child as an individual.
- Inclusion is real. You will become adept at identifying barriers to learning and developing effective strategies for overcoming them for all your students.
5. Collaboration and working/leading a team will become the norm for you. This is a skill that will serve you wherever your career takes you.
6. Building and leading a team of teaching assistant’s as an ECT will show you the true meaning of team work in an education setting without having to move into management (CV gold).
7. The children really are at the center of everything, test scores and box ticking is buried in the need for student centered school ethos.
8. Lets be honest here – smaller class sizes mean you will know every thing there is to know about every child you teach. Innovation and creativity are essential skills that you will develop and use every day.
10. The experience of a range of special education needs you will encounter in your ECT years means you can move into being a SENCO or inclusion lead as your career progresses.
These are based on my experiences of the strengths of specialist provisions, such as specialized schools or programs that cater to specific needs or interests of students. However, it’s important to note that I’m not suggesting that these strengths do not exist in mainstream education. Both specialist provisions and mainstream education have their unique advantages and play crucial roles in providing quality education to students.
- Tailored Instruction: One of the key strengths of specialist provisions is the ability to offer tailored instruction. These schools or programs are designed to cater to specific needs or interests, whether it’s providing support for students with learning disabilities, nurturing talent in a specific area such as sports or arts, or offering specialised career-oriented programs. By focusing on specific areas, students receive personalised attention, allowing them to develop their skills and knowledge in a more targeted way.
- Specialised Resources: Specialist provisions often have access to specialised resources that are not as readily available in mainstream education. For example, schools focusing on SEN will have multi-sensory rooms and maybe even hydrotherapy pools.
- Expertise and Support: Specialist provisions generally employ teachers and staff who have expertise and experience in their respective fields. This knowledge makes them well-equipped to address the unique needs and challenges of the students they serve. These educators often undergo specialised training such as signing to better understand and meet the requirements of their students. Additionally, the close-knit nature of specialist provisions fosters a sense of community and support among students, allowing them to connect with like-minded peers and receive guidance from mentors who share their passion.
- Holistic Approach: Many specialist provisions employ a holistic approach to education, focusing not only on academic success but also on the overall development of students. This often includes initiatives to promote personal growth, character building, and the development of essential life skills. By emphasising a well-rounded education, specialist provisions aim to prepare students not only for academic pursuits but also for future careers and personal fulfillment.
It’s important to remember that while specialist provisions do offer unique advantages, mainstream education also has its own strengths. Mainstream schools promote diversity, foster social integration, and provide a wide range of educational opportunities that cater to the needs of a diverse student population. Ultimately, the choice between specialist provisions and mainstream education depends on the individual needs and preferences of the students and their families.