School Direct: Secondary Personal Stories

My story: Nick Hext (English)

I’m training to teach English at Key Stages 3 and 4. My previous career in journalism underpinned my decision to qualify as an English teacher: I believe that the skills I accumulated as a journalist can make a real difference to pupils.

However, as a career changer with no background in education, I needed lots of help and information in choosing the right course. The TTSA team impressed me from the start – which happened to be a Train to Teach event in Leeds and I was given the chance to arrange some school experience at Trinity Academy Halifax before submitting my application. The School Direct path appealed as I wanted to spend most of my time learning in schools. In my case, I worked with both Sowerby Bridge Academy and Todmorden High School, but Trinity TSA also includes the opportunity to get primary, SEN and PRU experience during this intensive year.

My top tip
Even if you don’t have an education background, teaching is a great career option, so don’t be put off in the slightest if you are moving from another industry. I haven’t regretted my decision for a moment since signing up to the TTSA course. It could be just what you need you need if you’re looking for the opportunity to be challenged every second of the working day in an environment like no other.

My story: Scott Houlahan (Computer Science)

Teachers get the opportunity to shape a student’s future, to engage, to influence and show passion for their subject – and that’s something I want to be a part of.

After studying Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering at Huddersfield University I realised that engineering wasn’t the industry for me.  At the time I was working in a retail position, it was what I knew best. It was comfortable and I enjoyed my time throughout, but inside I felt unfulfilled and wanted more.

While asking myself what I really wanted, I remembered my high school science teachers – how much their creativity and passion inspired me to study engineering. I realised that I too could be that inspiring teacher.

I began to research the different courses and pathways into teaching and came across the TTSA. I was instantly drawn to their hands-on School Direct programme. Coming from a fast-paced working environment, I knew I could get stuck in to teaching experience from the get go. The TTSA team are incredibly friendly and approachable. Throughout the whole process of applying and the interview stage they helped me every step of the way, giving as much support as possible.

My top tip
It’s never too late to make a change. In teaching there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day! Every single day is a new experience, and the profession has endless opportunities and benefits. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, what are you waiting for?

My story: Katie Smithson (History)

I’m training to become a secondary school history teacher. The three years I spent doing my degree highlighted to me that I wanted to focus on History in my day to day life. Secondary teaching means I get to use and show that passion in every lesson.

Although I was worried about going straight into teaching after my degree, it is was the right decision for me as my subject knowledge and skills are still really strong. I chose TTSA because they showed the best welcome, support and communication during the interview process and their excellent organisation helped to make the process as smooth as possible. They’ve continued this approach on the course and I could not have asked for more support from the team.

TTSA’s partner schools and academies are all of a high calibre, allowing me to observe teaching of the finest quality and become the best teacher possible. I’m so eager to become a teacher who can inspire and motivate all pupils. My favourite teachers were those who made my lessons different and exciting, and I can’t wait to become that teacher!

My top tip
Doing placements and volunteering in secondary schools was the best thing I ever did to confirm that teaching was for me. Forging relationships with staff and pupils showed me how rewarding teaching can be. It also meant that I had the opportunity to witness the life of a secondary school teacher and the demands of the job, giving me realistic expectations.

If you’re at all unsure whether teaching is for you, take time to go into schools – it’s an invaluable experience!