Retraining as a Teacher: A Fairfield High School Teacher’s Perspective

If you have ever considered retraining as a teacher you may well be interested to hear that Fairfield High School is currently offering members of the local community the chance to do a one-year PGCE at the school from September 2017.

The opportunity is being organised through the Excalibur Teaching School Alliance in collaboration with Bristol University and Bath Spa University.

Today’s post features an interview with a teacher at Fairfield High School who explains the reasons why she decided to retrain as a teacher and how she did it.

Before teacher training had you always wanted to be a teacher?

No, I originally trained to be Air Cabin Crew. Following a very bad car accident, I ended up working in Sales. It was only after having my first child that I decided to change careers.

What factors made you decide to train to be a teacher?

My university lecturer said I’d make a great primary teacher but after completing a British Council placement in a secondary school in Germany, this was the route I decided to take. I also worked as an EAL teacher for Berlitz where I was told by the CEO that I was a natural born teacher.

What route did you take in your teacher training?

I did a PGCE in Secondary Education (Modern Languages) at Manchester University.

What are the best bits about being a teacher?

Knowing that you’ve helped students to reach their goals, being a positive role model for our future leaders, learning from the students and being a tutor.

And the worst bits?

Sometimes the extra work at home can be difficult to juggle with the demands of home life, but it’s important to keep things in perspective and remember the many positives that comes with this career.

How well does teaching fit around family life?

My husband and I have to work hard to make things work, like agreeing which evenings are dedicated to family time every week.

You can’t frequently take or pick up your children from school and it’s difficult to attend events in school time. It is nice having the same half term holidays as my children though. We try to ensure we plan some great activities to do together. Having school holidays together makes up for a lot.

Do you have any advice for Bishopston Mum readers who are considering applying to do a PGCE in teaching?

Don’t take the decision lightly. Some adverts can make teaching look easy and glamourous – it’s neither. It can really test your strength and resilience.

Don’t expect to change the world. It takes time to master behaviour management and to build up relationships with students but once you do, you have those relationships for a very long time.

Prior to starting a PGCE, visit schools and observe teachers to get a feel for the profession and the role you’ll be training for.

A PGCE and NQT year involve a lot of work but once you’ve qualified and you have your own classroom, tutor group and classes to teach, you’ll see how rewarding the hard work was.

Why would you recommend doing a PGCE at Fairfield High School in particular?

FHS has a great support network and due to the diversity of our students, you will be well-equipped to work in all kinds of schools in the future as well as being able to cater for the needs of EAL, SEND and Pupil Premium students.

Anything else you feel it is important to mention?

As a teacher you become a “parent” to hundreds of students. You’ll know their life stories, their hopes and fears, you’ll share the laughter and the pain and though at times it may be hard and you’ll feel like you can’t go on, somehow you’ll make it through together and at the end of their 5 year school journey, you won’t want to say goodbye to them.

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If you have ever considered retraining as a teacher you may well be interested to hear that Fairfield High School is currently offering members of the local community the chance to do a one-year PGCE at the school from September 2017.

The opportunity is being organised through the Excalibur Teaching School Alliance in collaboration with Bristol University and Bath Spa University.

If you would like more about the teacher training opportunity please email admintsa@stjohns.wilts.sch.uk or phone 01672 519 555.

You can also find out more information by visiting http://excalibur.org.uk/excalibur-tsa/.

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