Case studies from our trainees

Kelly Stanger, English – completed the programme May 2016

kelly stangerI am a latecomer to teaching having finished my Bachelors degree in English Studies with Creative Writing in 2008 and my Masters degree in Modern English Language in 2009. Following my MA, I taught an English Language module for a year to first year undergraduates studying at the University of Huddersfield. At the same time, I was also working part-time as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems. When the academic year finished, I began working full-time as a support worker. Although this was not the path I had intended to take, I fell in love with the challenging but rewarding role and before I knew it, six years had passed.

I decided to make the move to a teaching career for several reasons. A significant part of my support working role was to help individuals to achieve their goals and this quite often involved supporting them through college courses.  I found that I thrived on this aspect of my role far more than any other and it soon became apparent that I wanted to dedicate myself full-time to a teaching role. Additionally, my English teacher at school was a huge inspiration to me. She will probably never know it but she changed the course of my life by re-awakening my lifelong passion for English, encouraging me to continue to A Level and giving me the confidence to believe I was good enough to go to university. I aspire to do this for my students.

I was thrilled to be offered a job following the programme and was supported and encouraged by the programme leaders to apply for teaching roles. In September I will be starting my NQT year at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd which is also part of the Trinity Teaching School Alliance. I will be teaching English Language and Literature to KS3 and KS4 and English Language to KS5. I am looking forward to applying the skills that I have learnt in order to create a safe and stimulating learning environment.

Niall Brady, PE  – completed the programme May 2016

Niall Brady head shotI have always had a strong interest in sport, and this has led to my choice of teaching it as a subject. I knew I wanted to teach after helping out at my local rugby club when I was studying for my A-levels. I then went onto study Secondary PE at university, as well as starting work as a cycle trainer and a sport coach in America. I also got as much experience in schools as I could through the roles of a cover supervisor and a PE Technician. My School Direct year was hard, stressful, but well worth it. After speaking to people who had completed the programme, I knew what to expect in terms of workload. I was still slightly taken aback by it all though. Lesson plans, assignments, lesson evaluations, development forms and much more. Best tip I got all year was to file at the end of every week. It saves a mountain of workload, time and stress!

A real high point has been securing my first job – PE jobs are notoriously difficult to find. I’d advise trainees to be prepared for challenging times – you’ll have lessons that don’t go to plan, ideas that fail, interviews that go wrong, along with interviews that go incredibly well but you still miss out on the job. You have to be resilient and keep your eye on the end goal.

I’m now due to start my NQT year at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy teaching PE. My longer term ambitions are to continue my career in PE, with additional responsibility.

Harvey Najda, Chemistry  – completed the programme May 2016

I graduated from The University of Huddersfield with a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry, but I knew I did not want to be in a lab based job typical of most industrial chemists. There were three main things that got me into teaching. I firstly wanted to be in a job with excellent opportunities. The second reason was an influential science teacher who taught me my GCSE science. The third and most important reason was I was inspired to teach after working as a Teaching Assistant during my degree. I found that there was no better feeling than when a student has reached their goal, whatever it might be, because of the work put in by their teachers and support staff.

My School Direct year has had its highs – and occasional lows. I always found, regardless of how hard times were, that TTSA could always be counted upon for help and support whenever I needed them. I didn’t feel that one of my placements was a good fit, and the TTSA arranged an alternative placement. I couldn’t have become a successful NQT without them.

A real high point from the programme was when two mentors told me that they believed I had all the makings of an outstanding teacher. I had a low point when I began to worry that perhaps I couldn’t do it – I think all trainees go through this. Now, I am getting ready to complete my NQT year at Rastrick High School, where I was once a student myself. I will be teaching all three sciences up to GCSE and chemistry at A-level the following year. I hope to be an outstanding teacher – fingers crossed. I also want to start to move up the management scale, to allow me to have a greater impact on what happens in school.