Charlotte Hollis, BPhil (Special Education in Visual Impaired), 2003

Current role

Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired at Birmingham Sensory Support Service

Career experiences

In 1997 I began working at Exhall Grange Special School for visually impaired and physically disabled pupils (in Coventry), on a maternity placement. I completed my NQT Year and applied for the permanent post. I worked there for 5 ½ years. Whilst working there fulltime I undertook and completed the 2 Year mandatory qualification (BPhil). I moved to working for the Specialist Support Service in January 2005 and have remained there since, working as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired. I am a peripatetic teacher, working with a wide variety of children, schools and families, along with professionals.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

Variety!

And the worse thing?

The diversity can be a challenge.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

Opportunity to meet a variety of people, new friendships, people with like-mined attitudes.

And the worse thing? 

During the BPhil, the fact I was working full-time and completing a degree.

What were your expectations and experiences of living in Birmingham?

I came to Birmingham to study initially from not too far away, but lived here as a resident during my courses and remained here because I met my husband. Although I did not work in Birmingham during the first years of my career, so I have not left.

Advice for current students

Gain a couple of years experience in mainstream first. It is a very rewarding and interesting job.