Full of East End promise
Teaching practice: Barking College of Further Education.
First job: Woodlands school, Basildon, Essex (11-16) "The school advertised and the post seemed like a promising challenge. I contacted the school, mostly out of curiosity, and I was invited to look around. I was pleasantly surprised and saw its potential. I also felt I could bring a lot to the school and make an impact on its art and design curriculum.
To get qualified teacher status, I have to follow the graduate teacher programme. That can be intense, but mostly it is an extension of the PGCE (FE). It is based on one academic year, but I will be pushed through in two terms.. The downside here is that you get paid as an unqualified teacher, but the work is roughly the same as an NQT.
I am fortunate in that Woodlands is a recognised GTP training school and puts a lot of effort into training its staff, so I get a lot of support.
Most of the training in my FE-based qualification was generic. The aspects that differ considerably include having to get used to the level at which you teach and the approach to behaviour management. I found that I really needed to get to grips with behaviour to teach effectively. I wouldn't say I found the switch easy or difficult - it was just different.
I would highly recommend my career choice. Working in a school is harder, but I enjoy the challenge and I think the rewards are far greater."