'Every teacher, every day, learns something new'

14th February 2003 at 00:00
Name Caroline Booth

Age 22

Current post Newly qualified, teaching Year 3 at Arbourthorne community primary school in Sheffield

Career to date?

After A-levels I did a four-year BEd course at De Montfort University in Bedford, with experience at a variety of schools around Bedford, Milton Keynes and Cambridgeshire. I finished last May and applied to the Sheffield pool.

Why did you become a teacher?

I have always wanted to teach - people said I was a born teacher. At the end of the day I wanted to help children achieve and succeed, and teaching is such a rewarding job. As far as influences are concerned, I always had good teaching when I was younger, but I wouldn't pick out one teacher in particular. And I've always been interested in how children learn.

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

I don't think there's one thing in particular. But any teacher would say that the best thing is when you finally see that the penny has dropped.

When you're watching children at the beginning of the lesson, and their faces tell you they know nothing, then at the end of the lesson it's as if a light has suddenly been switched on - everything falls into place for them and they've got it. That has to be the best thing for anyone - having a successful lesson where all the children have achieved and enjoyed it.

And the worst?

I had a lesson crumple on me. When it goes totally wrong and you know you could have done better, and the children haven't gained much from it. But teaching itself is a learning curve. I'm still learning. Every teacher, every day, learns something new, or better ways to do things.

What do you like most about teaching?

The relationships you make with children. I love the teaching itself - the paperwork's not so great.

What is your dream job?

Still in teaching but a bit further up the ladder, perhaps a subject co-ordinator. My subjects are science and technology - I've recently been made team leader for design technology for the school and I would like to achieve the same in science eventually. Science is good fun, and it's up to the teacher to make it so for their pupils. It's mainly practical and I believe that's how children learn, through a lot of practice. They're finding things out without realising it - and enjoying it at the same time.

Top tip?

Don't let the paperwork blind you as to why you went into teaching. Enjoy the children. A lot of people get bogged down by the workload because it's such a strenuous job.

Interview by Martin Whittaker

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