Partnership London SCITT
Sydney Russell School
Dagenham, RM9 5QT
PLS Teacher Blog Number 4 – Megan
“I don’t even want to be a teacher”, these were the words that I recited to myself over and over again since the day I started University. I studied Psychology at University which meant I had to learn a lot about developmental and educational psychology (a subject that many prospective teachers will study), so obviously, I was questioned on what I wanted my future career to be quite a lot. Throughout my years at university I had convinced myself that I didn’t want to be a teacher, there’s too much work and not enough reward I kept telling myself. I graduated university and keen to find a secure job, I was offered a position as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant at a secondary school in East London, I told my family “I don’t even want to be a teacher, I just need a job” and both them and myself believed it. Every day I would go into Ko work and the teachers at the school would tell me “you’re doing a great job, you’ll be an amazing teacher”, I would just smile and try to be polite by saying “thank you but I don’t really want to be a teacher”. The thing is, I genuinely enjoyed my job and I looked forward to helping in the lessons that I found interesting. Somewhere along the way I had found myself enjoying teaching, I enjoyed the routine of the school and I enjoyed watching the excitement on these kids’ faces when they had finally understood the lesson, and of course, the holidays were a bonus. I fantasised for a while about the idea and finally decided to send my UCAS application off, I had to sit my family down after telling them for years and years that I didn’t want to teach and tell them “I think I am going to become a teacher”.
The application process itself was not the worst, but the interview had me more nervous than I had been in a very long time. I had spent every day sat at the back of the classroom with year 7’s and now I was expected to stand at the front and teach a class of year 12’s. Most of these applicants were sure of the fact they were going to be a teacher since they were in nursery school, whereas I had just decided that I wanted to be one less than a month ago. How was I supposed to sell myself as someone who was going to be an outstanding teacher when I wasn’t even sure if I would make an ok teacher? Amid the whole application and interview process, we were going into nationwide lockdown, and for the first time in modern British history, schools were about to close down indefinitely. It was not the best time to be applying to be a teacher. My interview at the school was one of the last times I set foot in a school before they closed, and you could see the panic that was ensuing around the school.
Usually, a trainee teacher applicant would be expected to teach a lesson to a classroom of students as part of the interview process. However, due to COVID (a phrase I’ve heard way too many times recently) visitors were not allowed into the classroom. I had spent my whole night tossing and turning, stressed that I was going to have to teach a lesson to a classroom full of students only a few years younger than me, to find out shorty before the interview, that the plans had changed. I was beyond relieved. Luckily, it all worked out to my advantage and I was accepted and offered a place on the programme. A few months later and here I am, sat writing this blog post in my placement school surrounded by mountains of work and lessons to be planned and somehow, it’s not too bad.
“I do want to be a teacher” – after all!