Teacher of Mathematics at King Edward VI Aston School
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
Teaching sixth form and being a form tutor to year 7. The relationships you are able to build with all students as a teacher are priceless. The feeling that you are inspiring the boys and will be remembered in years to come is a powerful one.
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
It is a fantastic campus in a thriving metropolitan city with a lot going on. Being from a small town, the opportunity to live in a big city with many different cultures was an appealing one. The academic reputation was also a big draw, in particular for the teacher training course widely regarded to be amongst the best in the country.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
Meeting such a wide range of people. It was very hard to be bored with so many people to speak to and socialise with, also with a wide range of activities to take part in. Seminars in teacher training were also great fun. We became very close in such an environment which really helps get you through the teacher training course.
How did you grow as a person by coming to University?
You are required to become far more independent and flexible to be able to thrive. This has really helped me meet the challenges of life in the real world. The flexibility has helped in volumes as a teacher. Meeting so many different people with different experiences helps you become more cultured.
What did you think of the learning experience within the University?
The entire PGDipEd course was mapped out so that everything was a useful learning experience for a career in the classroom. This may sounds dramatic but this was honestly how I felt. The structure of the course in particular was superb, helping us develop bit by bit at a rate that suited us as individuals.
Did you find the degree programme at Birmingham challenging or easy?
The PGDipEd was the most challenging, yet rewarding year of my life. You are required to really dig deep and put the work in outside of your comfort zone, but in doing this it helped me develop volumes. I now, as a consequence, find parts of my job much easier (for example, managing the workload and planning interesting lessons) as I was required to work so hard during my training. The easy part of the course was discussing the issues raised in seminars – very enjoyable and also a useful learning experience.
Did you find the University or your degree helpful to you in getting your first job?
Absolutely. The PGDipEd is highly respected and provided me with the skills and the insight that impressed my employers sufficiently to hire me.
What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?
The work you put in is worth it – as with any walk of life, you get out what you put in. The harder you work, the more prepared you will be for your first job. Also remember the reasons you went into teaching – likely to teach the kids and help inspire future generations – when the going gets tough. Above all else, smile and enjoy it!