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Raison d'être

Why I became a teacher


It may sound like a cliché, but I have found it true that no two days are really the same when working as a teacher in the classroom. I enjoy teaching. I find it a fulfilling vocation. I believe this is about as far away from a tedious office job as it is possible to get, and I have certainly experienced those sorts of jobs in the past. It is rewarding to see how pupils can be inspired and motivated. It is exciting to see creativity in action.

I can remember when I was fourteen years of age being asked at a parents’ evening what I wanted to do when I left school. My Maths teacher threw his hands up in the air in mock despair when I declared that I wanted to follow in my parents' footsteps and become a teacher! “Why would anybody want to do that?” he said wryly.

I went forth and embarked on my undergraduate degree at art school, not really knowing for sure where this was going to actually lead career-wise. The outcome was the uninspiring prospect of being a ‘Mac Monkey’, as junior graphic artists on the shop floor are nicknamed. The 'data input to order' did not appeal to me. The realisation came that I wanted a vocation that made a tangible difference to the lives of others.

So I changed direction and pursued a training to be a teacher of Art & Design. The PGCE was an extraordinary year; extremely demanding, both mentally and physically. I learnt a lot about myself and others, as well as how to teach, of course! In my first year after qualifying I cut my teeth as a supply teacher. I enjoyed having the freedom to use my initiative to facilitate purposeful lessons.

My first full time teaching job was a temporary position in the Art department at the Seaford Head School in East Sussex. I then returned to my childhood stomping ground of Kent, and for eight years taught a variety of creative subjects at the Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury, including Art & Design, Graphic Communication, Photography and Creative Media Production. During my time there I successfully introduced and developed two new A-Level Art courses.

After Chaucer was permanently closed I returned to working as a freelance teacher of Art & Design in the East Kent area, covering in a variety of different schools; both selective and non-selective, maintained and independent.

Every day in teaching continues to bring new interesting insights and experiences.