School Direct: Secondary Personal Stories

My story: Nick Hext (English)

I’m training to teach English at Key Stages 3 and 4. My previous career in journalism underpinned my decision to qualify as an English teacher: I believe that the skills I accumulated as a journalist can make a real difference to pupils.

However, as a career changer with no background in education, I needed lots of help and information in choosing the right course. The TIE team impressed me from the start – which happened to be a Train to Teach event in Leeds and I was given the chance to arrange some school experience at Trinity Academy Halifax before submitting my application. The School Direct path appealed as I wanted to spend most of my time learning in schools. In my case, I worked with both TAC and Leeds West Academy, but Trinity also includes the opportunity to get primary, SEN and PRU experience during this intensive year.

My top tip
Even if you don’t have an education background, teaching is a great career option, so don’t be put off in the slightest if you are moving from another industry. I haven’t regretted my decision for a moment since signing up to the TIE course. It could be just what you need you need if you’re looking for the opportunity to be challenged every second of the working day in an environment like no other.

My story: Katie Smithson (History)

I’m training to become a secondary school history teacher. The three years I spent doing my degree highlighted to me that I wanted to focus on History in my day to day life. Secondary teaching means I get to use and show that passion in every lesson.

Although I was worried about going straight into teaching after my degree, it is was the right decision for me as my subject knowledge and skills are still really strong. I chose TIE because they showed the best welcome, support and communication during the interview process and their excellent organisation helped to make the process as smooth as possible. They’ve continued this approach on the course and I could not have asked for more support from the team.

TIE’s partner schools and academies are all of a high calibre, allowing me to observe teaching of the finest quality and become the best teacher possible. I’m so eager to become a teacher who can inspire and motivate all pupils. My favourite teachers were those who made my lessons different and exciting, and I can’t wait to become that teacher!

My top tip
Doing placements and volunteering in secondary schools was the best thing I ever did to confirm that teaching was for me. Forging relationships with staff and pupils showed me how rewarding teaching can be. It also meant that I had the opportunity to witness the life of a secondary school teacher and the demands of the job, giving me realistic expectations.

If you’re at all unsure whether teaching is for you, take time to go into schools – it’s an invaluable experience!