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Name Andy Rollings

Age 25

Current post Newly qualified teacher in reception at Middleton primary school, Middleton, Suffolk

Career to date?

After my A-levels, I took a two-year health and social care GNVQ at Lowestoft college. From there, I did a four-year geography degree with qualified teacher status. I always enjoyed geography - studying the weather, geology and all the subjects around it.

Why did you become a teacher?

For part of the health and social care course, I was sent out into the workplace one day a week. I decided I wanted to work with adults with learning difficulties, but Iwas sent to a special school to work with children with profound learning needs.

On the first day, I met a child who had cerebral palsy. She could say only four or five words, but during that day she mastered my name. It was such an achievement for her, and it made me think: "Wow, I can make a difference doing this."

In the second year, I had to change placements and Iwent into a mainstream primary school. So rather than go into FE with all the grown-ups, I ended up in the nursery, and I loved it.

What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?

I was trying to bring elements of homes into the curriculum - that's our subject for this term. It was a lovely day, so we got some bamboo canes and went over to the field with a load of sheets and blankets to construct our own tents. Things like that that have been hands-on and real life have been the high points.

And the worst?

We had a child who was withdrawn because his mother thought he was being bullied. It was a bit of a diplomatic nightmare to resolve. That's probably the most difficult job I've done so far.

What do you like most about teaching?

Seeing them achieve, and seeing them get out there and shine, every single one of them. We'd been doing work about castles, and one child came in with a big box that he'd turned into a castle. I realised he'd taken it all in - and he was one of the children I thought hadn't.

What is your dream job?

I really don't mind too much about the job title as long as I can stay in the classroom - I think that's where my strengths are.

Top tip?

Stick with it. So many times I almost didn't. I thought: "This is a job that's taking a lot of flak at the moment, so why am I doing it?" There were times when I thought I should maybe go into something else. But I'm glad now that I didn't.

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