'My worries were unfounded'

James Williams

Nicola Miller is a 26-year-old trainee science graduate. She recently returned to the UK after working as a research scientist in the Netherlands. She is on her first placement in Hounslow Manor school in Hounslow. "It's a nice school," she says. "As soon as I saw it, it looked welcoming and the staff are friendly. They are always pleased to see you."

Hounslow Manor is working towards training school status. It places a lot of emphasis on high quality training and runs a series of seminars for all its trainee teachers. Her worries were focused mainly on the school's reputation, but these were soon dispelled.

"I had heard locally that some of the children could be challenging. In fact, once I had met the children, I realised that my worries were unfounded. I come out smiling every day."

Her first placement has just got underway, but Nicola is already looking ahead to her next one. "I imagine that the next school will have high expectations of me," she says. "I think it might be difficult to fit in with different discipline policies and working practices. My big fear is that I'll love my first placement so much that I won't like my next one."

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James Williams

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