New face

21st February 2003 at 00:00
Name Dean Stokes

Age 32

Current post Newly qualified, teaching physical education at Abraham Moss high school, Manchester

CAREER TO DATE?

I came into teaching late. I was a professional footballer, playing for Port Vale and Rochdale for eight years, and before that I'd worked as a fitness instructor. As a footballer, you have a lot of time on your hands, so I decided to do a three-year part-time degree in sports science at Crewe and Alsager college. When I left football, I went back to working in the fitness industry. After a year I decided to go into teaching. I did a PGCE at Liverpool Hope University College. Having been a footballer does help with teaching in some ways, although I try to keep it away from the kids.

I'd rather earn respect through my teaching. I don't want to use it as an advantage.

WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER?

I have always worked with kids. While I was playing football I was coaching at the Port Vale school of excellence. Some kids saw me as a role model and they did respond.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING THAT'S HAPPENED TO YOU SO FAR?

Being appointed to my first teaching post. To be honest, it was a massive gamble - I had a mortgage to pay and I've got a family. I had to take a year out to study, hoping to get a job when I finished, although I'd had a secure job previously. So getting the teaching appointment made it worthwhile. The salary's much better than the fitness industry, but not compared to football.

AND THE WORST?

The administration, assessments and lesson plans, and finding the time to do it all. It eats into your home time - especially doing extracurricular activities.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TEACHING?

Working with the children, building that relationship and getting them to achieve - especially if they feel they can't do it.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?

At the moment I'm happy with what I'm doing - happier than I have been in a few years - and that includes the football. This has been so much more rewarding, so anything extra is a bonus.

TOP TIP?

Be organised, especially on the teacher training course. If you're not organised, you will find it difficult. If you're methodical and have your lesson plans organised and evaluations done on time, it's a pretty good life.

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