High School Teacher

What do you do for a living?

High School English teacher.


How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?

My mother was also a teacher, although a Physics teacher! I was very fortunate to have maintained strong links with my High School so I quickly gained work experience which allowed me to feel more confident in my career choice. Speaking to people within the profession was invaluable.


What was your journey to reach the role you are in today? 

I completed my undergraduate degree in English Language before moving on to a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. The PGDE year is quite intense, as it involves three placements in different schools, with ‘crit’ lessons that are observed by tutors from the University. We also had to complete a number of assessed units, with detailed lesson plans and worksheets for pupils. In order to fully qualify as a teacher I had to complete a probationary year in a school, which involved several observed lessons, CPD sessions and personal reading/research.

Since becoming a teacher I have continued to attend CPD events, and I have been fortunate to have experienced roles within the school which have challenged me as a professional. Most recently I have been involved with pupil support, and also as a supporter to a teacher in their probation year.


Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?

Working in a school, your days and indeed years are very structured. I will see a variety of classes each day, introducing and working through activities dependent on the year group. If I have ‘non-contact’ time, I will often be found marking or preparing material for a lesson.

Due to the nature of the English curriculum, I often have quite a bit of work to do when I return home too!


Was it your planned career when you were 18?

Whilst I harbored some desire to become a journalist, I always knew that teaching was an incredibly rewarding job. It’s fair to say I’ve always thought that teaching was something I wanted to do.


What did your mum and dad want you to do?

When I was very young my mum thought that I would make a good nurse (because I smiled a lot), but I don’t think they ever really had a fixed idea in mind for my career. They were happy to let me find my way for myself!


What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?

I would strongly advise observing lessons and get some experience working with young people. You will know very quickly if this is something which suits you and if you enjoy the role. I would not say teaching is easy, but it can be easier if you are passionate about your subject. You have to know your stuff, love the subject, and love sharing it with others.


What other directions could you go in within your field other than the job you have chosen?

Educational policy and government work is often a draw for teachers. I have known of several teachers becoming politicians and social workers, as ultimately teachers have a strong desire to help improve the lives of others.


If there is anything you have not covered about your area of expertise, please feel free to add here.

I absolutely love teaching, and whilst I find it stressful at points, I would say to anyone interested in it to give it a go. You get so much back for what you give.