After finishing my undergraduate degree at Birmingham University, I took a year to assess my options before applying for the School Direct teacher training programme at Worcester. In this time, I worked for an estate agents and as a secretary in a doctor’s surgery. I always say that it was this year that prompted me to start my teacher training; I knew after sitting at a computer for a year that I needed a career that involved working more actively and with people.
Before applying for a training programme, I did some research on the style of training that might best suit me. I opted for the School Direct programme with Worcester University and Stour Vale Academy Trust as it would enable me to get straight into the classroom and spend more time learning ‘on the job’ than in university. This approach really appealed to me; after spending so much time in further education and office-based jobs, I just wanted to be in a school setting! My training year was everything I hoped it would be: quality subject sessions in university, quality professional studies (provided by both the university and trust) and quality mentoring in my placement schools.
Three years on from my training year, I am working at my first placement school, Redhill in Stourbridge, which is part of Stour Vale Academy Trust. I was supported through my NQT year by a mentor within my department and kept in contact with both Worcester University and the mentors at Stour Vale who all took interest in my developing career.
I am now the Coordinator for KS4 English at Redhill, as well as having mentored trainees for two consecutive years. In September, I will be mentoring one of our NQTs and supporting the mentors of our School Direct trainees. I have also kept in contact with the subject mentor for English at Worcester University and have delivered sessions on developments in the subject to the new cohorts for three years running. My experiences with both establishments have been extremely positive and I owe a huge degree of my success to their expert mentorship and training programmes.