Name: Scott Davies
Age: 25 years old.
Degree and university: Product Design at Plymouth University and then took a one-year PGCE programme at the University of Exeter.
Work Title: Secondary Design and Technology teacher
What do you actually do? My job involves working with students aged 11 – 18. I teach students how to use certain tools and model-making equipment, along with 3D drawing skills, rendering and graphical skills. My aim is to help students understand materials and products and why they are designed a certain way. This includes educating them about sustainability. I also teach Food Technology which involves teaching students a variety of skills from basic baking to designing complicated dishes, as well selecting and using different equipment found in the kitchen.
Why did you decide to be a teacher? I have wanted to teach from an early age. I find teaching extremely rewarding; I have taught people of different ages in areas of my own personal interest, such as music (I play the drums and bass guitar) and surfing. I take great joy in working with young people. Before starting my PGCE I worked with young people in an outdoor activity centre, as part of some work experience at school and during my major degree project.
How did you find out about your particular course? The Exeter PGCE was recommended to me by a friend who’d completed the course. It’s got a fantastic reputation and the lecturers are amazing!
Would you undertake further training to gain promotion? I would certainly consider further training in order to become qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST). Before starting my PGCE, I studied for an NVQ Level 2 in Food Preparation and Cooking in order to support my secondary specialism in Food Technology.
What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides? Working with young people is the most enjoyable part of teaching. I believe that teaching is one of the most interesting and enjoyable sectors to work in. It’s so rewarding to be able to contribute to students’ learning and feel that you’re making a difference.
There’s a lot of work to do outside of normal teaching hours, such as lesson plans and marking, which can take up a lot of time. Teaching is a profession in which you take work home with you; part of school holidays are also taken up by work. Despite this, the enjoyment of teaching and rewards far outweigh the workload.
What skills do you think you need to succeed? In order to become a successful teacher it is important to have a good sense of humour. It’s also useful to have a relaxed and patient temperament. As there’s a large workload involved in teaching you need a good work ethic. More importantly, you need to be passionate about teaching and working with young people.
What advice would you give graduates wishing to come into this sector? I would advise any graduate wishing to come into teaching that gaining experience is vitally important for many reasons. You need to be absolutely sure that you want to teach and visiting schools is the only way to do this. Schools vary greatly and it is important to visit more than one school, both primary and secondary, in order to decide which age group you would prefer to teach.
Is there anything you wish to add? One of the best things about Exeter is that it gives you all of your teaching theory before starting your school placements. This meant I was able to go into the classroom feeling fully prepared and ready to put everything I’d learnt into practice.