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'There's a lot to learn and I like to be good at what I'm doing'

Name Naomi Rickman

Age 27

Current post Newly qualified, teaching Year 3 at St Barnabas C of E primary, Manchester

Career to date?

After A-levels I took a degree in tourism and regional studies at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. Then I worked as cabin crew for the travel company Airtours for two years, then a further two years doing their rosters. I took a PGCE in early years at the University of Wales, Swansea.

Why did you become a teacher?

I'd always wanted to be a nursery nurse, then when I did well in my GCSEs I was told I should do A-levels. Then I forgot about working with children for a while. I did the flying job and then went into an office, but it wasn't for me because I really like working with people. I started thinking back to what I wanted to do originally - working with children. So I found out about teaching and managed to get on a course.

Flying was very demanding and took up a lot of time, and I think teaching does as well. On a flight, there were lots of families, so you got quite used to being around children. You were dealing with difficult customers and little accidents that happened. You had to stay calm and get on with it, so in some ways teaching is similar.

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

When you've been in the classroom for a while and the children know you and trust you, and there's a bond there. On my first teacher training placement a teacher was off with laryngitis and I was left with the class. And that suddenly gave me the confidence, because there's always a teacher in the background and you tend to rely on them a bit. When they're not there you realise that you can actually do it without them.

And the worst?

When I first started teaching and had my own class. There was the classroom to sort out with all the learning environment to set up, and all the planning to do. It was a bit overwhelming. When I went home after the first day, it hit me how much I had to do.

What do you like most about teaching?

I enjoy being in the classroom. The staff are really good - it's a forward-thinking school. Everyone works hard and is supportive, so I'm learning a lot.

What is your dream job?

I am quite happy as a classroom teacher. I haven't thought about going much further than that. There's a lot to learn and I like to be good at what I'm doing.

Top tip?

I think the most important thing is try and be organised, and keep on top of everything because there's always something new to be doing.

Interview by Martin Whittaker

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