From a quiet, introverted teenager to a confident, outgoing individual, Cover Supervisor Oliver reveals how registering with CER unlocked his potential in the education sector.
Oliver joined CER in September 2020, having finished his degree in teaching. He originally planned to become a college tutor, but when he saw an advert for a secondary supply teacher he immediately applied.
Since then, Oliver has worked as a Cover Supervisor in different schools under an Academy Trust in the North East of England. As part of his role, he provides one-to-one support to pupils who need extra assistance within the classroom.
He said: “It was my favourite teachers Mr Williamson and Miss Kirk, who inspired me to go into teaching. I loved performing arts and drama and they advised me to go into teaching because of the different career pathways available.
“It was never my intention to work on supply, but I am so glad I did – it’s my perfect job. It was a massive challenge for me and at first, I felt out of my comfort zone. I have progressed and improved so much since I started working in schools, placed by CER. I am more confident and I can adapt to different situations.
“This has come from experience and from talking to other peers and sharing best practices in the different schools I work in. You get to meet so many different people working on supply and everyone has their own experiences to share.”
Making a difference to the younger generation and unlocking their potential is something very important to Oliver. He sets himself a personal mission for one of the students he supports to learn something new every day. As Oliver looks back at the first 12 months of his teaching career one moment, in particular, stands out for him.
He commented: “When I started working with a particular student, they were very disruptive and more often than not would be sent out of class. I started to communicate on their level and then worked through their problems with them. It took a while to start communicating but now the student has settled in class and wants to work.
“I am proud of this achievement and the difference I have made to the pupil’s life. Hopefully, I will continue to give the student the life skills and support so they can come out of a situation stronger.”
Although Oliver’s teaching style has developed since registering with CER, he always knew the style of teaching he wanted to adopt as he followed in the footsteps of his favourite teachers. Experiences from high school and in particular his lessons with Mr Williamson and Miss Kirk have shaped Oliver into the teacher he is today.
Oliver said: “My teachers unlocked my potential and inspired me to go into teaching and I am so thankful they did. They took time for their students and would speak to them on the same level. That’s something that has always stayed with me and I wanted to bring this into my teaching, so pupils would feel they can communicate with me.”
Oliver works both long and short term within schools across the North East, but no matter which school he is working in, he is always making a difference to the students he supports.
“The best part about my job is seeing the students progress. It’s such as good feeling when a student achieves, it might not even be something academic, it could be that a student has grown in confidence. If I can help a student reach their potential, then I have succeeded,” said Oliver.
Working on supply means that Oliver can pick and choose when he wants to work. The length of the work can differ dependent on the academy and its requirements. CER Consultant, Matthew and Divisional Manager, Natalie has regular communication with Oliver so he can work full time or part- time hours.
Oliver added: “Matthew and Natalie are so professional and friendly – it is like speaking to a friend. I was told the education sector has different career avenues and directions, but I didn’t expect to have so many opportunities. I am really happy at CER and I have learnt so much.
“My ambition is to become the Head of a subject and these experiences have inspired me to further my career.”