“Not one type of person makes a teacher” are the words of Amy, who joined CER in June after completing her PGCE.
Every person’s journey into teaching is different. Some join the world of education after a career in another industry, whilst others study teaching at university.
No matter their background, people go into the education sector to make a difference to the younger generation and unlock their potential, so they have the skills and confidence to grow, learn and develop.
After a busy school day, we sat down with Amy to discuss her career in education and how she has developed her skills. Although it’s been a long day for Amy, she is smiling from ear to ear and it’s clear to see the positive impact her role has made on her life.
Amy initially wanted to work in the glamourous world of radio (or so she thought) and she completed an undergraduate degree in media. Months into her internship at a nationwide radio station, Amy realised something was missing and she craved job satisfaction. That’s when she turned to teaching.
She explained: “I initially wanted to work in radio and throughout university, I worked on the student radio and successfully received an internship. I thought I would love it, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. When I was deciding what to do, I thought back to when I was a Brownie Leader and the rewarding feeling I felt, so that’s what drew me to working in education.”
Amy completed her PGCE but, due to the lockdowns, it meant she didn’t spend as much time in the classroom during her studies. This is one of the main reasons Amy worked on supply.
“I don’t think you can really understand what it’s like being in a classroom until you’ve worked in one. With Covid, I only had 60 days working within a school environment, so I didn’t feel quite ready to have a class of my own. Being a Teaching Assistant has made me get to know more behind the scenes and how a classroom works. I have already developed my skills, so I feel ready to take my own class in September 2022.”
Although working in radio seems worlds apart from teaching in a primary school, there are skills that Amy has used as a Teaching Assistant.
“Working in radio has definitely helped me. You have to be a really good communicator and communicate in different ways. That’s the same in a school environment, you have to communicate with different pupils in different ways because they all learn differently,” Amy added.
When speaking to Amy it’s clear that she feels she has made the right decision going into teaching and the satisfaction she gets from making a difference every day.
“The best part of my job is definitely working with the children. There’s no better feeling to see the pupils progress; it’s so incredibly rewarding. With children not being in a school environment for so long, there’s a lot of progress to be made but we are already seeing improvements and it’s nice that I have been able to play a part in that.”
Looking back on her time in education so far, she reflects on how she has helped unlock the pupil’s potential and given them the confidence to succeed.
“I have been supporting one pupil, who has a tough time communicating. In a maths lesson, he was struggling to read the questions, so I read them to him and out of nowhere, he answered them all correct. A few weeks ago, we couldn’t write numbers and now he’s answering and writing them down without support.
“When he answered them correctly, the smile on his face was so big, he was so proud of himself- it just clicked. I felt so proud and overwhelmed. When they get to the end goal, it makes it all worth it. I was genuinely ecstatic for him.”
As Amy hones her teaching style, she is taking inspiration from one of her teachers – Miss Kearney. During high school, Amy’s teacher was such a positive influence that she is replicating these teaching skills in her own practice.
“My Art teacher, Miss Kearney, made the world of difference to me. Art was an escape for me. Sometimes I felt misunderstood, but she was a positive influence, she was always there to listen. She made such a positive impact on my life, and I want to have that impact on someone else’s life.
“I like to think I am using the same methods in my role. I want the children to have that relationship with me, I want them to feel safe and know they can come to me with their problems.”
Since September Amy already feels like she has unlocked her potential as a teacher and it’s thanks to the placement CER has secured for her.
“My consultant, Charlotte she is absolutely fantastic, she’s like a friend. She keeps in contact with me to see how I am and gives me good feedback from the school. It’s definitely a more personalised experience than I have received at other agencies. CER make you feel like you have known them for years; they make me feel like I matter, so thank you.”