Current employer: United Learning
Current job title: Nursery Teacher
Current location: Swindon
“Studying at the University of Plymouth provided me with a wealth of experience in schools and how to handle different teaching scenarios. I learnt from experienced lecturers and I was able to develop my confidence and skill to be a class teacher.”Tell us about your career path since graduation.
I started my first teaching position as a Nursery Teacher, and have just recently completed my NQT year (Newly Qualified Teacher).
How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?
My degree has enabled me to work as a teacher and the experiences I gained from studying at the University of Plymouth have supported me in my daily routine as a class teacher.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
Balancing my workload, because although whilst I was on my placements there was a fixed duration for the paperwork to be completed, as the class teacher it is continuous and can quickly build up!
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
To support a theme of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we looked after baby caterpillars and watched them develop through their life-cycle into butterflies. There was so much excitement as the children watched the butterflies hatch from the cocoon; then, within ten minutes, there was another one!
What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?
I would learn to prioritise tasks sooner, identifying which were of higher priority or needed further consideration. This would probably have helped to balance my workload better.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work?
To experience life in the classroom and to talk to teachers – any advice is helpful, especially the practical classroom tips.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Studying at the University of Plymouth provided me with a wealth of experience in schools and how to handle different teaching scenarios. I learnt from experienced lecturers and I was able to develop my confidence and skill to be a class teacher.
What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?
I learnt how to express myself effectively as a class teacher through the different placements and challenges I faced (teaching in year two was rather daunting!). As a result of these experiences, I was able to reflect and progress as a teacher.
Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?
I undertook several placements within Devon, Cornwall and Finland. The variety of experiences helped to develop my teaching ability and is something that has been praised by employers. My most memorable one would be in Finland because teaching a class of children who could not speak English was certainly a challenge. I learnt so much in the school by being immersed in a different culture. It was truly unforgettable.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
I would have to say going to the Hoe for a barbecue in the spring and summer. Being able to hang out with friends and have fun so close to campus was great, even with the occasional icy swim in the sea!
Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?
Yes, I am in touch with alumni who were on my course as well as others from Plymouth Storm Cheerleaders. It is particularly helpful to share current experiences with other teaching graduates, such as topic ideas or any tricky situations we may experience as a class teacher.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?
Yes, it is an incredible city to live in as a student. I fell in love with Plymouth, both as a city and as a university. My parents met during their studies at Plymouth, and I never quite believed how amazing it was until I experienced it myself.