Emma Harris

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Primary & Secondary Education
Job title: History Teacher
Subject of study: History
Year of graduation: 2019
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Toynbee School

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since leaving Exeter, I trained to become a secondary school teacher, gaining a PGCE qualification in teaching Secondary History. I am currently a Secondary History teacher in a Hampshire state school. I am also a mindset coach which I do outside of my teaching career.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose to become a teacher because I wanted to help students and inspire them to enjoy history as much as my teachers did for me as a child.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a committee member of Exeter Student Volunteers. I was a Project Manager for Mentoring for Success, a project ran by the society.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The biggest highlight of my programme was getting to explore areas of history I had never explored before. I found new passions in new subjects and topics which I hadn’t come across before, allowing me to develop the depth of my historical understanding. For example, getting to study all about Magic in the Middle Ages, led by Jennifer Farrell, and learn about different magical manuals used by magical practitioners was so interesting.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The breadth and depth of different topics that could be studied under my course.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Exeter had a really welcoming campus and a great vibe of energy to it. I felt that the city and the campus had everything that I needed. Growing up in the countryside, I really appreciated how Exeter still had rural aspects to it alongside being a great thriving city.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

The skills and experience I learnt during my volunteering commitments in Exeter Student Volunteers were incredibly helpful with pursuing a career in teaching. They gave me a great understanding of the issues children face and where they need support, alongside how to build positive relationships with students.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

During your degree, learn about as many different topics within your subject as you can. As a teacher, I have to teach topics I have never come across before, so the more breadth you can gain around your subject from your degree the easier it will be to be an effective teacher. Also, try to get as much school experience as you can. The way students behave and the issues they have can sometimes be difficult to understand and negotiate, so the more experience you have with them, the better.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to progress in education into a role related to supporting student wellbeing. I am also planning to develop my coaching business where I support young adult mindsets.

 

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Exeter School. I graduated after my PGCE in 2010 and moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire for my first teaching post. I was there for 6 years before returning to Exeter and my current position where I am in my 8th year at the school.