Sitting in a classroom surrounded by elaborate textiles, colourful wall displays and sewing equipment, Beccy looks very much at home and immediately you can see her enthusiasm for textiles and the arts.
An artist and maker, Beccy completed a degree in Textiles, Furnishing and Manufacturing and informally taught for many years by running workshops for community groups and aspiring artists. It wasn’t until 2012-2013, when Beccy completed her PGCE and she started to teach formally and share her love for the subject within the classroom.
She said: “It’s easier to pay the bills being a teacher than an artist. I can combine the two things I love and share my enthusiasm for the subject with the younger generation. My experiences as an artist allow me to be more adaptable in my teaching and I hope it inspires the pupils.”
"Teaching is what I love"
Beccy joined CER a year ago, having taken a few years away from teaching. During this time, she continued to work on creative pieces and explored creating art with recyclable materials. Having returned to teaching, Beccy registered with CER and has completed long- and short-term placements in secondary schools across the North West of England.
“I have worked in some fantastic schools with CER. Teaching is what I love and CER has been so supportive and helpful as I come back into teaching. My consultant is so approachable and friendly and is always on the other end of the phone if I need anything” explained Beccy.
It’s clear speaking to Beccy that inspiring and unlocking the pupil’s potential is something that she is passionate about.
“Seeing students achieve and have the confidence to be able to go forward academically and continue their learning is so rewarding.
“For me as a supply teacher, students sometimes think they don’t need to be on their best behaviour because they have a supply teacher but when you turn the class around it’s so rewarding.”
A success story
Reminiscing about how she has helped unlock her pupil’s potential and made a difference to the students she teaches; a specific success story comes to mind for Beccy.
“I taught a pupil who grew up in the UK and had Thai heritage. I’ve travelled around Thailand for 6 months, so brought in examples of textiles I had collected during my time there and encouraged her to speak to her family and research into this.
“You could see how inspired she was and produced an outstanding piece of work, giving a modern take on traditional Thai textiles. The piece was part of a curated exhibition at St Martin’s, University of the Arts London and shown with the crème de la crème of the art world. It was a very proud moment for her and her family.”
Beccy’s passion for the arts is palpable and it’s clear why her students become inspired to produce amazing work. Working on supply means that Beccy has the time to continue with her passion for textiles and produces her own work which she shows to her students.
“I still have an independent career as a creative person and I think this captures the imagination of the students. My pathway into teaching was very different. I am creative and I have travelled around Asia whilst developing my own work, so I like to think I bring my world experience into the classroom.”
There’s one individual that Beccy looks up to when she is teaching and it’s her very own teacher, Carys Jones. Mrs Jones was Beccy’s English teacher who she describes as “strict, enthusiastic and eccentric in equal measure” and her methods of teaching is something that Beccy has adapted into her teaching style.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Beccy explained: “I always remember Mrs Jones’ lessons. Any misbehaviour and you would be sent out of class, but it meant that the students left in the classroom had quality learning time and I remember it being fun and enjoyable.
“English is a compulsory subject so pupils aren’t choosing to be in that class, but her passion for the subject was infectious and it made everyone enthusiastic; she was an inspiration.
“I hope I bring some of those elements to my teaching and inspire and encourage younger people to form their own dreams and go on to achieve them.”
Although Beccy has registered with a number of agencies, CER is the agency that provides her with the work and she believes her consultant takes a unique approach when they offer work.
“I would highly recommend CER as an agency. They are like matchmakers for teachers. They adopt a personal approach and build a relationship with you so they can provide you with placements that best match your requirements and skills.
“Other agencies just send out placements to all their candidates and it’s taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The placements I have with CER are more meaningful and I feel they help me develop my skills as a teacher.
“If I was part of an SLT, I would be using CER as an agency in my school. They do the job that needs doing in a professional and friendly way – they get my 5 stars.”