Teaching has come under much scrutiny lately, but we found someone who is still entirely passionate about teaching and willing to fight her side for the profession she is soon to be a part of…
Amy Griffiths, 23, is currently training to be a teacher at Liverpool John Moores University. Prior to this, she travelled to Zambia to teach through the Volunteer Service Overseas.
We spoke to Amy about why she wanted to become a teacher in the first place, and why the recent focus on the strains of teaching won’t be affecting her decision…
Hi Amy – thanks for taking the time to talk to us. So why did you choose to get in to teaching?
“I always wanted to be a teacher, since I was about 14/15. It was either that or become a lawyer, and the latter won when I started GCSE English and I was given a new teacher (she was just starting her NQT year). The passion she had for her subject was inspiring.”
Would you say she was your biggest influence?
“Definitely. She made every lesson fun and exciting, and we learned something in every class. The more I sat through her classes the more I thought, I want to teach – I want to be the person who inspires other children, in the hope that they would then carry passion in their future.”
What would you say is your biggest motivation now?
“Children – watching them progress and knowing I’ve played a part in their learning experience is an amazing feeling. I feel pride when after a period of learning, a student can confidently say ‘now I understand’ – something as simple as that makes me realise how rewarding and uplifting this profession can be.”
Are there any recent developments in teaching that interest you?
“I think the fact that teaching is constantly changing is very interesting. In particular, I think that interactive technology opens a lot of doors in the learning experience. One thing that does always interest me is that not every lesson plan will work with every class. You can do something with one class and it’s perfect, but for another class it doesn’t work the same. Every child has different learning abilities, which is what makes it so challenging, but so much more rewarding when it works.”
Do you think there are any particular reasons why some people may be reluctant to choose teaching as a career?
“I think the drastic changes are a worry. So much has happened in a short space of time, which has just completely overwhelmed alot of teachers. A lot of focus is now based on the grades and the data schools achieve, rather than the most important part – the development of a pupil and giving them the knowledge and skills they need for their future. There needs to be a greater support network for teachers, especially those who feel they are the only ones who are stressed. I still carry my passion for teaching, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about the industry. It’s a demanding and time-consuming profession, so you have to be sure it’s what you want to do.”
“There are a lot of jobs in places you can’t actually afford to live at the moment, especially for newly qualified teachers. A lot of jobs down south are London-based, and there would be no way somebody could live in London with an NQT wage.”
What do you think is the biggest reason to get into teaching?
“I think the biggest reason is your passion for the subject and the passion to work with children or young adults. Without these, the whole idea of the job is well, redundant. One of the biggest reasons to do it is because of what you gain from it, such as seeing your pupil’s progress, watching them enjoy the lesson which took you hours to plan and thanking you for it. Pupils look up to you as a role model, which is so rewarding.”
Above: A picture of Amy with her class in Zambia
Would you ever consider using a recruitment agency or do any of your friends use recruitment agencies?
“Yes, I’ll be considering using a supply teaching agency. Lots of my friends who use agencies love the work they’re given. They’re a great way to find work and get experience from supply work in a variety of different types of schools, provided you have the desired criteria.”
Thanks, Amy, good luck with your training!
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