Degree and university: Goldsmiths College, University of London, BA Education in Early Childhood 3-7 with QTS.
What do you actually do?
I am a class teacher and teach in a Reception class with children aged 4 -5 years old.
Were you always interested in teaching as a career?
I have always enjoyed working with young adults and children. Before I studied at university I worked as a nursery nurse for several years. In doing this job, and having had the opportunity to work with other professionals in this field, I became increasingly interested in developing my career in education.
How did you find out about this particular job?
I found out how to get into the profession by speaking to people who were already teachers and looking at university prospectuses. I decided that I wanted to teach young children rather than Primary or Secondary because this is where most of my experience was and I also felt more comfortable with this age group.
Would you undertake further study to gain promotion?
I definitely would like to study further, but purely because I love learning new things and I miss the university lifestyle. I’d study further in order to take my career in another direction and to focus on an area I was interested in.
What do you like most and least about your job?
I know it sounds cheesy, but the best thing about the job is the children. You can learn so much from them, they can be a real inspiration sometimes. Teaching offers job security and it can take you all over the world. However, teaching is a really hard profession and you should never think it is going to be an easy job because it isn’t! The job is challenging. There is an endless amount of work to do, but you have to think about the difference you can make to someone else’s life.
What skills do you need to succeed at what you do?
I think one of the most important skills is to enjoy learning yourself, and also to be willing to adapt and change to improve your teaching. Being able to reflect on what went well and have a positive outlook is definitely an advantage in this profession. Sharing your motivation and enthusiasm with the children you teach is an important skill. I think the most successful teachers are the ones that are confident about what they teach, genuinely enjoy it and care about the children.
What is your best piece of advice for graduates wanting to come into this sector?
Think very carefully about whether teaching is what you really want to do. I would advise people first to gain experience of working in schools, because there are many differentage groups and specialist schools that you can teach in, and to be sure of which area they want to teach.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I have only been teaching since September and I’ve heard the first year is the hardest – I have to agree, the past three to four months have been very hard and tiring! They keeptelling me it gets easier!