Meet the new teachers

7th May 2004 at 01:00
Five trainees tell us what motivates them and what they hope to get out of the job. They are all are on the graduate teacher programme at Henry Maynard infants, a training school in Walthamstow, north-east London. Interviews: Sophie Fox

Michele Kelly

Age 35.

What did you come to teaching from? I've been at home for the last three years with my daughter who's now at nursery. Before that I was at university. In another life I've done many jobs at many levels, but never really loved any one thing.

Who or what has inspired you? Having a child myself has probably been the biggest inspiration to teach. It may sound corny but my own school experience was very positive.

What made you want to teach? Teaching was an idea that I've been kicking around for a while. Post-degree wasn't the right time. Once I heard about the GTP route it all seemed possible.

What's the most absurd bit of educational jargon you have heard so far? I haven't really come across anything specific yet, but I'm sure I will!

What's been a waste of time? Some of the paperwork on this GTP course has been a dragI I can see the need for records but some of this has been an exercise in my secretarial skills rather than my teaching ability.

Do you want to work in a London school? Why? Yes - I live in east London and want to stay in the borough (Waltham Forest). I also want to work with children from all backgrounds which you get here - that's life after all!

Funniest thing that has happened in school so far? Some of the childrens'

mis-spellings have been very amusing!

Can't wait to ... FINISH

Pauline Casbolt

Age 34.

What did you come to teaching from? Worked as a nursery officer for years, a job I really enjoyed.

Who or what has inspired you? My daughter had a really difficult start at infant school. More encouragement from an enthusiastic teacher would have helped her. She worked really hard eventually with the right support.

What made you want to teach? Having worked with three to five-year-olds for so long, it was time to move on.

What's the most absurd bit of educational jargon? This is an endless list, but there are hundreds of abbreviations and I hate people using them.

What's been a waste of time? Paperwork, paperwork paperworkI it's never ending. I understand why evidence needs to be provided but it's so time-consuming.

Do you want to work in a London school? Why? I haven't made any final decisions. If I choose a London school I know it will be challenging but also provide me with valuable experience.

Funniest thing that has happened in school so far? A clay activity during an art lesson. Children were making lighthouses. The results were enough to make me blush so we quickly decided to make houses.

Can't wait to ... Have a class of my own.

Janice Moyston

Age 36.

What did you come to teaching from? Research executive at 'The Financial Times'.

Who or what has inspired you? My sociology teacher at secondary school who was young, black and female. She was very hip and understood young black girls.

What made you want to teach? Working with wonderful children.

Do you want to work in a London school? Why? I have already accepted a job at a primary in Ilford (outer London). I want to work in a culturally diverse school.

Funniest thing that has happened? A tutorial about working with gifted and talented children in which the lecturer demonstrated how to make a water rocket that subsequently ended up flying into the middle of the road outside the school.

Can't wait to ... Have my own class.

Salma Ashraf

Age 32

What did you come to teaching from? I've worked at this school as a nursery nurse for the past eight or nine years.

Who or what has inspired you? Working with and watching very good teachers.

What made you want to teach?

Knowing that I could build on existing skills and have the possibility of making an impact on children's education.

What's been a waste of time? Endless paperwork! Necessary, I guess, but still it's tedious.

Do you want to work in a London school? Why? Yes, because of the huge diversity.

Funniest thing that has happened in school so far? Having a pot of PVA paint dribble over my clothes - and only realising that I had a huge patch on the back of my skirt after walking all the way home.

Can't wait to ... Qualify and complete NQT.

Nicole Hillson

Age 29.

What did you come to teaching from? Retail management at Woollies! I wanted to teach when I left university but did not feel I had the maturity at that point.

Who or what has inspired you? I volunteered at the training school when I was ill with ME. The atmosphere was creative, fun and I enjoyed working with the children. When I recovered I wanted to train to be a teacher.

What made you want to teach? I wanted to do something more worthwhile than filling somebody else's pockets.

What's the most absurd bit of educational jargon? The Gifted and Talented Scheme sounds rather exclusive but can, in practice, enrich all children's learning opportunities and experiences.

What's been a waste of time? Some of the tutorials could have been more hands-on and involved children to make them more relevant.

Do you want to work in a London school? Why? I enjoy the challenges of multicultural and multi-faith schools. There is the opportunity to try different food, too!

Can't wait to ... Have my own class and really get stuck in.

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