As a child, education has always captivated me. I have strived for the best and despite difficulties, I never lost that love of learning. I now know that the drive derived from the passion, motivation and effort of my teachers, who never gave up on me, never lost their love for teaching and always recognised my strengths and supported my areas of improvement. These individuals inspired me to get into teaching, made me love learning and delight in working with wonderful children.
As soon as I left college, I went to university to complete my teaching degree. This three year long course and job interviews, thankfully exposed me to various education settings and schools. All schools have their strengths and of course, areas of improvement. However, when I entered Upton Cross Primary School, I immediately felt the warmth, I felt at home and could see from the first ten minutes, that the children are the heart of this school. It was in those first few minutes that I knew, this was the place for me. Upton Cross fortunately arranged for me to complete my final placement with them and despite being a student I was welcomed and made to be part of one of the team. I was so glad I accepted the job offer.
I then went on to be an NQT here. The support network was amazing and I never felt alone as I knew that I always had someone to go to, who would be willing to help. My strengths and achievements were always recognised and when there were, of course, areas of improvements, I was accompanied by many staff members on the journey. This ranged from my mentor, partner teacher, year lead, senior leaders and through teaching partnerships. The first year teaching is hard, but the support and consideration of our well-being always helped me to see the positives.
I am now in my fourth year teaching at Upton Cross and I have been given many opportunities. The continuing professional development is paramount. We are always responding to new research, our children’s needs and our areas of interests. I have been encouraged to take on more responsibility within my year group, to help my decision as to whether I want to take on a leadership role which shows Upton Cross are understanding yet also encouraging. I have been provided a student to develop my skills and impart my knowledge and have continued to support new teachers too. This has all developed my confidence hugely, providing food for thought about my career progression, which is scary yet thanks to Upton Cross, it doesn’t seem out of reach nor impossible.