New face

4th July 2003 at 01:00
Name Lucy Bell

Age 24

Current post Teaching Year 3 at Edenthorpe Hall primary school in Doncaster

The idea to go into teaching came from a woman I knew who was on secondment as an English adviser and is now a deputy head.

After finishing a degree in media studies at Sheffield University, I took a job as a nanny for three children, and that also influenced me. I spent quite a bit of time in their primary school and helped them with their homework.

Being a nanny gives you a real insight into the stages of children's development, and how different they can be. All three of the children I looked after were high achievers, and I could see how they developed - I found it interesting.

I chose to go into primary because of the range of subjects I'd be able to teach, a good mixture. Last year I did a PGCE at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln.

When I started teaching I felt I'd got the independence I'd craved, but support was there whenever I needed it. It's been hard work, but I'm still enjoying it.

With other jobs I've had, I've always worked my way in a bit at a time, and had some training each day. But with this job, the most difficult thing is the fact that on your first day you're managing the classroom.

Another big challenge has been putting an idea across, working with children who are of a lower ability, and being able to give them time. You constantly have to think of ways to overcome difficulties.

But there are rewarding moments. There is one child in my class who when he came in couldn't count to 10, could only write his first name and hardly recognised any letters in the alphabet. Now he's able to sit down and write three-letter words. That's a rewarding achievement.

There are lessons that don't go well. I'm quite critical of myself - if anything doesn't quite go right, I'll immediately think I shouldn't have done it like that.

Is there anything I wish I'd known? Obviously workload is the main thing you're warned about. I've had plenty of support as far as that's concerned.

But, having spoken to other NQTs, I know that's been the main issue with a lot of them and, although you are warned about it, you can never anticipate the load. You've got your reports to do, targets, other bits and pieces, but nothing has put me off. You get knocks, but nothing's made me regret doing it.

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