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Elizabeth Buie meets three new teachers starting out on their careers

Knitting to teaching

Patrick Canning, 50, a secondary religious education teacher, is moving to St Joseph's High, Workington, in Cumbria because he could not get a post in Scotland teaching RE.

He said: "I started looking further afield - in the south - rather than going into supply. I've got a wife and three kids and I couldn't afford to go down the supply route.

"I've worked as a double-glazing salesman and a religious lay postulant.

I've also worked in the old Caterpillar factory and I had my own business selling knitting machines. I decided to go back to university and did a theology degree at Glasgow University and then a masters in theology.

"I enjoyed my probation in Alloa Academy. I got on great with the kids and I just enjoyed teaching thoroughly."

Contact and influence

Aileen Monaghan, 31, St Catherine's primary, Barmulloch, Glasgow did her probationary year in West Dunbartonshire which she said had put a lot of thought into the probationers' programme. In her school, she had a good mentor who was "very honest with me and that's what you want".

She added: "I hope I can make a difference. I did my first degree in applied bio-science and worked as a research scientist at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow for six years. I loved it but I wanted something more - more contact with people and something that gave more tangible results.

"I could have taught biology and probably chemisty as well in secondary, but my sister is a secondary physics teacher and I have seen some secondary lessons. Because children are more knowledgeable at that age, I wanted to be able to influence and mould them at a younger age."

New initiatives

Eilidh Chapple, 27, Dochgarroch primary, Inverness, hopes this year will be as successful a year as last year. "I hope I can make a difference to the lives of the children," she said.

"I am coming out as a teacher at the time of initiatives like A Curriculum for Excellence and Assessment Is for Learning. That has been good because it's new, to me anyway, and we've been taking all this on board. It's been really exciting. I want to put some of it into practice.

"Next year will be a change of school and class. I will have a P5-P6 class after teaching infants last year. I went into teaching after having my little boy. Watching his development made me realise that I can do it in class."

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