After graduating with BA Hons in Education Studies from the University of Bedfordshire, Ashley stayed on to obtain her PGCE. She is now the Year 6 teacher, Reading Co-ordinator and a Teaching and Learning Coach at Kettering Buccluech Academy
How did you get your job?
After leaving my first teaching job I decided to try a few months of supply teaching, which allowed me to experience a range of school set-ups and different age groups. I was invited to supply at Kettering Buccleuch Academy, where I was offered full-time employment.
What's a typical day like as a Year 6 teacher?
No day is the same - that's why I love my job. I'm always busy and every day flies by. I start my day at 7am and leave school at 5pm - this is a normal teaching day, which includes marking, assessing and planning.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love watching my children grow into independent learners, knowing that I've supported their learning journey and helped them on their path through life.
What are the challenges?
There aren't enough hours in the day and you will never get everything done. I can spend hours working on wall displays or getting on top of the reams of paperwork. It's tough, but it's worth it.
In what way is your degree relevant?
I was unsure if teaching was the career path I was going to choose when applying for university, so taking Education Studies allowed me to keep my options open. Through my studies I was able to gain a clear understanding of how education has changed over time, and was luckily able to select modules specific to my interests, such as Policy and Practice in Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability.
How has your role developed?
Throughout my 5 year teaching career, I've moved between teaching Key Stages 1 and 2 and have taken on extra responsibilities, such as becoming Reading Coordinator across the Primary phase and a Teaching and Learning coach.
Any tips for getting into teaching?
- Get experience - spend some time in a school local to you. They're always appreciative of the help and you'll begin to understand what a real teaching day is like.
- Prepare - when applying for your teaching degree, talk to a teacher about their daily stresses and achievements. Find out if the job really is for you.
- Optimise your storage space - even before you have your own class, you'll start to collect different items for your future classroom. Make sure you've got somewhere big enough to keep it all.