Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I left Exeter in September 2011 after completing a degree in Human Geography followed by a masters in Sustainable Development. I then had a year out working in retail and gaining work experience in various schools in my home county of Derbyshire before I completed a PGCE in September 2012. I completed this and qualified as a primary teacher in July 2013 and started my current teaching post in September 2013. Since starting at Cloudside, I have taught Y3, Y5 and I have just started my second year in Y6. I am also currently the Geography and Design Technology Lead for our school.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I have always enjoyed working with children and have always managed to build strong relationships with them throughout my life. As soon as I finished at Exeter, I quickly decided that I didn’t want to go down an office based route, I wanted to do something that would really make an impact. The thing I enjoy most about my role is being able to help children who are struggling either socially or with their mental health. I have managed to support a child in getting a diagnosis of Autism which has helped him so much as he has moved up to Secondary. I also love being in the classroom with the children, and being able to support them and help them to achieve their goals.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
During my time at Exeter, I attended a Coope of the Go Karting society sessions, as well as the Geography society.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
The programme was so varied, we studied the slave trade and colonialism alongside the human geography of film and zoos. Every module was so interesting that reading around the subject became a pleasurable experience, not a chore. My highlight was a field trip to Havana, Cuba in my second year. This was the most incredible experience, where my group spent time working on an urban garden within the city and got to experience real, authentic Cuban life.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
Exeter is the most amazing city, it’s shopping, it’s nightlife and it’s scenery are fantastic. The university itself supports you so well in everything you do, the lectures were always interesting and the lecturers were always there for you whenever you needed them. I made some fantastic friends from all walks of life at my time there. I especially loved meeting people that I would never have met had it not been for going to University.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
I wanted somewhere that was far away from home so I could truly experience moving away from home. I have always been a fairly shy and timid person and I felt that making a move down to Devon for University would help me gain my confidence. I also chose Exeter because of its reputation and it’s sheer beauty!
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
For me, in teaching, being able to manage your time effectively has been the most important skill. Teaching is an incredibly demanding job with never ending lists of jobs to complete, working to deadlines and being able to focus on these tasks and work trough them was a skill that was developed throughout my time at Exeter.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
I would encourage you to spend as much time in schools as possible. I would also encourage you to be realistic, teaching is often portrayed as a job with lots of holidays. The reality is very different, during term time it is incredibly demanding with work during the evenings and weekends, and there is often lots to do during holidays too. It is important to be open and honest about that. You have to be passionate about wanting to make a difference to the lives of children. The second they walk through the door each morning, all the stresses of the job disappear because they remind you why you do this job!
What are your plans for the future?
Over the coming years, I am hoping to consolidate my practise even further before aiming to become an assistant head then deputy. My partner and I then hope to relocate down to Cornwall.