What’s your background?
I studied English Literature and History at Lancaster University and graduated in 2020. As this was mid-pandemic I got a work from home job and waited for things to calm down.
Why did you decide to go into teaching?
I always knew that I wanted to go into education - I loved the school environment. Whilst at University I worked part time as an outreach mentor for disadvantaged KS4 students in the Fylde coast area, and I was a reading mentor for KS2 students. Once I went into full time work I ended up progressing to a management position where I was responsible for training new starters, and I loved every second of it. It reaffirmed that teaching, mentoring and supporting others was the job for me. My hardest choice going into teaching was whether to specialise in History or English! Becoming a teacher was a no brainer for me.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love working with the students. I learn so much from them, and love seeing them grow into young adults ready to face the world. I also enjoy being able to talk about a subject I am passionate about everyday.
Why did you choose the School Centred Initial Teacher Training route and specifically the Cheshire East SCITT?
I wanted to spend the majority of my training time getting hands-on experience in the classroom, rather than sitting in lectures. Having conferences with subject experts who are current teachers was a huge draw for me - the pedagogy and strategies that we learn are current. I had interviews with other SCITT providers, but from the moment I walked through the door at Cheshire East SCITT I felt valued and supported and knew this was the place for me.
Do you have a job for next year and what are you looking forward to?
I have a job at Ruskin Community School teaching History and Psychology. I'm looking forward to working with my year 7 form, having my own classroom and having the opportunity to teach Psychology GCSE.
What were the three best things about the programme?
The support - from everyone! As everyone in the SCITT works so closely together, there is so much support available from Lorraine, Lilian, Annabel and Subject Experts at the SCITT, and Professional Mentors and Subject Mentors in placement schools, and you are always directed towards whoever is best placed to help.
The time spent in placement schools. Being at a placement school from day one allows you to build strong relationships with the students, immerse yourself in the curriculum and take risks in the classroom to find your own teaching style. You get staff badges, not visitor badges, and really feel like you are part of the school. I've attended inset days, whole staff CPD sessions, moderation sessions and parents evenings which have enabled me to experience the full life of a teacher.
The Friday conferences. Learning something on a Friday and then being able to implement it in your own practice the following week has been so helpful for me. Having the ability to take on board pedagogy from the conferences, and then having the freedom to trial this in your teaching has been brilliant. The Friday conferences are also vital for connecting with other trainees and sharing your experiences.