Carissa Bulman

Teacher of English, Sandwell Academy

BSc English Literature
PGDipEd Secondary English, 2019

Having completed my Undergraduate degree at Birmingham I realised that the teaching at Birmingham is infused with a distinctive edge.

The world leading research and best practice mindset was something that cast Birmingham apart from other universities and it felt like the best fit for me to continue my teacher training here having seen how strong the quality of teaching was. 

I chose to study teaching, not because I had an amazing teacher that inspired me or was surrounded by incredibly supportive teachers, but the opposite. I felt that during my school years I lacked this role model; a person who believed in me, motivated me and made my voice as a young person feel valued. It was during this time I realised how important it is to have people in positions of power, such as teachers, who are genuinely enthused by the job and have a genuine interest and care in the growth, welfare and progress of young people as academics and as people. In turn, I became this person. 

I am currently a Teacher of English at Sandwell Academy where I teach Key stages 3-5. Having gained a good amount of English Language A Level experience during my training year, I am one of the main teachers for this as a new A Level, in its first year, at my current school. 

My role extends outside of English as pastoral care is something heavily valued for all staff members at my school and therefore we are the first point of call for parents and for teachers with regards to anyone in our Personal Tutor Group. I run a ‘Session 3’ (essentially an after school club) once a week after school and work in my free lessons or lunches to mentor KS3 or KS4 girls who are considered to be low attaining. I am also the ‘Careers Champion’ in my department, looking for new ways to embed employability skills into our curriculum map. CPD is a priority at my school and therefore you are encouraged to take on responsibilities quite early on to build evidence for progression. 

My most memorable day in teaching so far was arranging a trip to a university for my Year 10 students for a series of workshops on a book they were studying. They were the only Year 10 students there in a room full of Year 11 students and they were openly recognised as having the most critical and insightful ideas, enthusiasm and engagement in tasks and asking the most thought provoking questions out of all students. 

Carissa Bulman We Are Birmingham Alumni
Advice for starting your PGDIPEd
What I learnt during my NQT year
Teaching during COVID-19


“My best career tip is "Don’t lose sight of why you came into teaching. For every tough moment/ day, there are so many more amazing ones!"”