From International Jetsetter to the classrooms in Gorton! Why would you?!!!!
We really wanted to know so we asked him!
Here is a blog from John one of our English trainees in our SCITT at the Alliance for Learning Teaching School. He is currently doing his placement at Cedar Mount Academy one of our trust schools at Bright Futures Educational Trust. John is a real asset to the school and we couldn’t be happier he chose to switch careers….
Read on to find out…..
It happened in December. The girl asked: “Sir, are you one of those school inspectors?”
“I’m training to be a teacher, I’ve come to learn by watching you learn!” I replied, avoiding the eye of my colleague giggling in the background.
“Oh. OK. You look older though, like an inspector.”
It had been a long autumn term, I’ll admit.
Children and young people’s capacity to surprise, delight, astound and even frustrate is why I’ll never complete my teacher ‘training’. Yes, I am on track to fulfill the requirements of the Alliance for Learning programme and (fingers crossed!) will find gainful employment from September as a teacher of English language and literature, but these past seven months have been only the beginning of a career-long learning journey.
I came into teaching via six years as a newspaper reporter in the UK and a four-year stint as a marketing consultant in Shanghai, China. Apart from a total of around 10 days work experience in schools, I hadn’t set foot inside one since I sported a logoed blazer and striped nylon tie. The learning curve has been steep, to say the least.
Having been some years out of university, I was offered and took a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course at the Alliance for Learning Teaching School prior to September. I could work this around my then employment and really benefitted from learning about today’s curriculum requirements. The SCITT works in partnership with the University of Manchester and the PGCE is giving me a grounding in pedagogy, theories of learning and reflective practice I can build upon as my teaching career progresses. In addition, Alliance for Learning’s regular training sessions help hone my skills in everything from lesson planning to student mental health awareness to behaviour management.
With the SCITT programme, I have been in schools from day one of the academic year. By week two I was up ‘at the front’ teaching parts of lessons. Steadily and at a pace agreed with my supportive mentors to ensure I develop as effectively as possible, my timetable has increased. In my work history to date I have managed people, projects and budgets, but the sense of responsibility I felt toward my first class of 12-year-olds weighed heavier than any other – in a good way.
Coming to teaching from ‘the outside world’ also offers a different perspective for schools and curriculum departments. My placement schools have embraced this and given me the opportunity to work my knowledge and skills into lessons and planning. Career switchers should know that they will have something to contribute that will extend their schools’ current offering, either on the curriculum or in an extracurricular capacity. Most probably in both.
We bring ourselves to education. Our own experience. Those of our friends and family. What we read or hear about schools. And anyone who knows teachers will know how much they dread the inspector! But we do it for them, the students. Being with them today, and all the days, was a pleasure. Knowing you are preparing them for their tomorrow, well, that’s an absolute privilege.