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James's Story.....

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Firstly, just a little about you and why you chose a route into teaching:

I am 33 years old and have been working at Maplefields since 2010.  I began working here as the ICT Strategic Lead managing the IT systems in school.  During my time at Maplefields I have been involved more and more with the students who attend here.  In 2013 I decided to train to become a teacher as working in this setting gives me great satisfaction.

Which route did you choose and why?

The route I chose was QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills).  I chose this route because my skills and knowledge in my chosen subject area (Computing) enabled me to complete professional formation which leads to the QTLS status.  This route also allowed me to work full time with training at University on a Monday evening.

What support were you given?

I was given a Mentor who supported me and gave me guidance where needed.  My mentor was involved in observations which I critically reflected on and meetings to discuss progress and planning in my teaching.

How difficult was it to manage the course and work?

The course was manageable while working full time but I needed to stick to a strict timetable for the work.  I used my weekends and after school to work through my required paperwork whilst still being available for my young family.  Although it was hard work I always kept in my mind it would be worth it in the end.

Is there anything you would change if you could to make the route more manageable?

Some of the evidence required for the course was not made known at the beginning.  This meant some evidence needed to be collected towards the end and this meant a lot of time was taken to do this.  If I had been made aware of this I would have collected this throughout the year.

Would you recommend the route you chose to others?

Yes I would definitely recommend this route to any professional who is thinking of becoming a teacher.  It is great that I was able to work and get paid whilst also training for the role I wanted to be.

Where are you now?

I am currently teaching KS4 students in Computing and loving every minute.  Although I am qualified I am currently completing the last evidence work for gaining my QTLS status which means I will be fully qualified.  I am enjoying watching all the students I teach make progress and feeling a part of what they are achieving.

What next?

I am happy in my career at present and plan to gain a few more years’ experience of teaching.  In the near future I plan to look at completing a Master’s Degree and possibly mentor for others.