Debbie gained a BA History from the University of East Anglia and went on to do a PGCE Primary Education at Brunel University. She is now a primary school teacher in her second year of teaching.
I have always been interested in teaching but only really decided to train as a teacher at the beginning of my third year of university. I had worked voluntarily in youth clubs and summer camps in America and completed two weeks of work experience in contrasting primary schools before starting the PGCE.
I am now a KS2 class teacher in a local Roman Catholic school. The job was brought to my attention by my final placement school as they had links with the school. I went through the normal application and interview process and was offered the job. My school is in a multicultural area and many of the pupils speak English as a second language.
I arrive at work at about 7.45am and have an hour to prepare for the day before the children arrive at 8.45am for registration and early morning tasks, including reading and spelling. Lessons take place between 9am and 3pm (with a break in the middle, which is flexible as timetables are controlled by the class teacher and subject to change) and I teach every subject except for music and drama. I have two hours of preparation, planning and assessment (PPA) time a week during the school day. When the children leave at 3.15pm I concentrate on assessment and further preparation, leaving work at between 5pm and 6pm.
Having just completed my Newly Qualified Teaching (NQT) year I am now part of the curriculum team. I have the responsibilities of being a history and geography subject leader and assistant English coordinator. I will also be getting involved in a transfer project with the local authority (LA) as the year group I teach will transfer to middle school at the end of the year. I would like to continue to progress, probably down the route of developing the curriculum whether this be as a deputy head or head, or in a local or national capacity.
I enjoy developing relationships with the children, the variety each day brings and constantly developing my own practice. Current issues include the large workload, the challenging behaviour of some children, dealing with parents and occasional lack of support for special educational needs (SEN) children.
I feel teaching is a fundamental part of society and impacts communities in a significant way, as it is all about people and developing characters. My advice to prospective teachers is don't get too caught up with all the paperwork and let it become a big burden - see it as a means to an end to enable you to do the real job (teaching the children) well. Find a healthy work/life balance.
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