What’s your background?
I graduated from university with a degree in Creative Writing and History in 2022. Due to the pandemic, I returned home and was offered a position as a TA in the local secondary school as I was completing my studies online. Before this course I had only worked in retail and bar work.
Why did you decide to go into teaching?
Teaching had been a career that others had told me I would be good at, so obviously that just put me off! Who would want to spend their days battling with entitled teenagers?! However, the experience I gained as a TA encouraged me to consider the profession. I tailored my dissertation to focus on Creative Writing in schools and I was able to create workshops, competitions and trips for students to aid my research. This opportunity enabled me to realise my love for the profession. The small changes our words and actions can have in shaping these young people is monumental. The students I worked with inspired me and I realised the satisfaction and pride I had in this work was something I needed to hold on to.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A day in the life of a teacher is never the same! Even with a set timetable and scheme of work, students are able to surprise you daily. What I have enjoyed the most is, that even in the role of ‘teacher’ where I am guiding students to learn, students teach me something new everyday. Trust me when I say, you’ll never be bored!
Rewards come in all shapes and forms; from a student telling you that they ‘finally get it!’, or improving on an assessment based on the feedback you gave them, a student coming to you for help because you are someone they trust, or the simple pleasure of a student stopping to tidy up their uniform when they see you, as they know and respect your expectations.
But most importantly it is sharing the passion for our subject, finding ways to help students access the curriculum and feel confident in their abilities is the most joyful and satisfying factor of the job.
Do you have a job for next year and what are you looking forward to?
I will be teaching English at Middlewich High School. I am very excited to be starting at the school as it was my first placement. I was extremely apprehensive about walking in on that first day in September, yet there was no need! As throughout my placement, I was granted so much support and guidance and was made to feel like a valued member of staff.
I am most looking forward to starting a fresh with classes, building relationships with students and making the curriculum as engaging and accessible for them as I can.
What were the three best things about the programme?
For starters, what makes Cheshire East SCITT stand out from other providers is its ‘hands-on’ approach. The weekly theory element of the course is outstanding, but tied with this is that we spend four days per week in schools. I loved this, as coming straight from university and studying online I was eager for a practical approach to my training. The best way to describe it is ‘learning on the job’, after two weeks of observing you gradually transition into taking on classes where you receive instant and constructive feedback. Personally, it made me feel like I was improving with each day which created a constant positivity to the work I was doing and my approach to the course.
Secondly, where the SCITT shines is the network of connections throughout schools and the personable approach to our mentorship. For each subject there is a Subject Expert we meet with regularly who is there to help with any knowledge concerns or planning ideas. You will also have the 1-1 support of a Subject Mentor who will be with you in the classroom and offer weekly feedback and support.
Finally, what surprised me most was the relationships built with the other trainees and the SCITT staff. Over the year of this course we have very much become a community who support, guide and champion one another. Not one of us hasn’t relied on those connections and they have definitely enhanced, if not made this experience.
I would definitely recommend the Cheshire East SCITT to anyone, regardless of position or experience. The SCITT itself will make you the best possible teacher you ca