Steph’s story

After graduating in 2009, I was employed in numerous administrative and tutor roles within education. I knew that I wanted to teach but returning to university would not have been feasible. School Direct offered me the ideal opportunity to utilise the skills that I had already developed professionally as well as to hone my craft as a teacher all while being fully immersed within a school. For me, I think being in the hubbub of the school and engaging with staff and students has given me a realistic experience of a career as a teacher. From lunchtime duties on the playground in the rain to department meetings, the learning opportunities are constant. The fact that I am still earning a salary is a big bonus!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two terms as a trainee. I have been incredibly well supported by my mentor and as such feel confident to take risks and reflect upon my teaching practice. The first few weeks was particularly daunting because I started in September with a teaching timetable. However, I knew immediately that I had found my vocation. I don’t think I’d have had that moment of realisation without School Direct. In addition, the opportunity to observe other teachers and share good practice has been advantageous because I get to see good practice “in action”. Every week, I set targets linked to the teacher standards. This gives me the opportunity to reflect and assess my own progress. This is excellent practice for me as I can be very frenetic and need that time to take stock.

I also feel totally involved in the progression of my training and have the flexibility and support to map out the route that my training will take. For example, I have been given the control to select my second school placement – this has allowed me to focus on what I want to gain from my second experience. I think it is important to see a range of school environments as it is another way to observe good practice and share pedagogical knowledge. This is something that is crucial to ensure that I become the best teacher I can be.

I love being in the classroom and my highlights have all come from the students. They are engaging, curious and inquisitive; the best feeling is when a student demonstrates an understanding of what you have taught them. It really is a light bulb moment!

The best piece of advice I can give trainees is to fully commit to the training. The more effort that you put in, the bigger the rewards. School Direct is hard work, but the rewards are immense.

Steph, St John Fisher Catholic School

Return to Testimonials