Year 5 Class Teacher, City Road Primary
PGDip Ed Primary Education (SSPIP) Mathematics, 2018
I currently work in an inner city school with high numbers of children on pupil premium or with English as an additional language. I chose to work in a school that faces challenges like these, and I’m really enjoying it. Day to day, I’m a classroom based teacher in Year 5 and I have an NQT mentor to support me.
The best times in the classroom are when you look back and think ‘I’ve really nailed that lesson’ and the children are really engaged, or at the end of a lesson when they come up and thank you. That’s always amazing when you can see them buzzing from the learning.
What motivates you?
I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I did placements in other professions as part of my undergraduate degree and really hated it. I love working with children and the fact that you can really make a difference. Every day is different and you’re never bored.
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
I chose Birmingham as my first degree is in Maths and I wanted to use that in my teaching career. Not many universities offer the chance to be a specialist Maths teacher, so the Birmingham course caught my eye. Then, when I came for an interview I was also really impressed by how friendly the department was and that the teaching I’d receive would be in small, focused tutor groups. I also liked the idea of coming to a city where I could get a really varied experience of lots of different schools.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
My best memories of Birmingham are coming back to university after my teaching placements. There’s a real community amongst you and the tutors, and the input you get when you come back is really motivating and moves you on.
What advice would you give other students?
To make the most of your time at Birmingham, make sure you ask questions. It’s a tough year and a lot goes on, but your tutors will have a massive wealth of knowledge that you can tap into so it’s really worth building a relationship there.
“At the end of the day, this is going to be your career, so don’t work yourself into the ground. Give everything you can within school but then you do need to go home and take time for yourself.”