We are starting the new academic year with a blogpost for beginning teachers. The HA defines ‘beginning teachers’ as colleagues in their training year and up to four years post qualification. Welcome to the profession! Well done on qualifying! Every best wish as you start your first post or move to your second! Thank you to all of the mentors who are supporting beginning history teachers. You will also find this post helpful.
This post will introduce you to the support the HA offers for beginning history teachers. The Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework are both partial and generic, meaning that they are not adequate to support colleagues to lay and build on secure subject specific professional foundations at the start of their history teaching careers. There is also a risk that their application may not be suitably flexible to meet the needs of different people. The HA is here to help ensure that beginning teachers are able to confidently develop as history teachers.
I am in my training year / I am mentoring a colleague in training
The ‘Beginning Teacher’ section of the HA website has support for mentors and colleagues in training. The ‘Structuring Learning for Beginning Teachers‘ section is for mentors and course leaders. It provides support with organising and effectively supporting the learning of beginning history teachers. Mentors and course leaders will also find lots of support in terms of ideas, connections and resources in the section called ‘Beginning Teachers’ Professional Learning‘. The ‘Teaching for Beginners‘ section provides resources for colleagues in training to use on their own, and/or for mentors and course leaders to use in their training sessions. It has three sub-sections: What is history in schools?, Historical knowledge, History classroom practice.
On 28th September after school, the HA is organising a webinar that is free to members called ‘Survive and thrive in your initial teacher education’. Click on this link for more details and to book a place.
I am in my first year after qualification and my first post / I am the mentor
Congratulations on securing your first post. It is so exciting to take on your own classes and to join a department. It is also a busy and challenging year. However secure the subject specialist nature of your training year, there will be many new things to learn. Also, you have not yet ‘seen a whole exam class through’, ‘walked the curriculum for a few years’, ‘crawled to Christmas’… If you find yourself needing to go back and recap on some aspect of theory or practice then the ‘Teaching for Beginners‘ section is for you too. You can use the index to navigate to whatever you want to focus upon. In each section you will find short films, text and short tasks to support you as you learn.
You might be working with a mentor to review your learning and set targets. The HA has created this simple auditing tool (linked to the ECF) to help you RAG rate your history teaching knowledge.
Every history teacher has knowledge gaps to plug. The HA supports teachers to make this effective, time-efficient and pleasurable. One of the easiest ways to get started with the rest of the HA website (where you will find so much to support your knowledge development) is to follow the links in the section called ‘Supporting Resources‘ that are part of ‘Beginning Teacher’.
I am in years 2-4 after qualification as a history teacher / I am the mentor / I am the subject leader
Most colleagues find that their first year in post is all absorbing. However, once the second year starts, one already has different perspectives on history teaching and history teacher knowledge. Sometimes colleagues say that they feel they need to refresh / reflect on what it means to be a history teacher in the light of all they have learnt and in order to move on – to continue developing professionally. Year 2 colleagues also need to continue work on the ECF. The HA has just the thing! This September sees the launch of the new ‘Early Career Development Programme‘. The ECDP is led by a team of 7 mentors. The programme is built around webinars and readings organised into 6 modules:
The aims and challenges of being a history teacher
Building pupils’ knowledge
Progression in history
Teaching the medieval world
Teaching the British Empire
Driving your own professional development
You can find out more and book your place on one of the courses by following this link. Do talk to your school / department about ECF/CPD funding for you. If you are a mentor / subject leader, please encourage your more recently qualified colleagues to continue their subject specific CPD.
Of course, everyone is welcome at the CPD events on offer to all members too. The autumn calendar is here. Please do let the HA know of other CPD that would be valuable to you via email@example.com.
Finally, it remains to wish all beginning teachers the very, very best as the academic year gets underway!