We are continuing our series showcasing the incredible impact our Graduates are having in schools as part of our Step into Teaching programme. This week we have James!
James is a talented and ambitious Science graduate who came to i-teachers looking for a classroom support role in which he could gain classroom experience before embarking on teacher training. i-teachers found James a fantastic role as a Graduate Academic Tutor at a great Secondary School last year! We recently got in touch with James to have a chat and see how he was getting on in his placement.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
When James first started his role in September 2020, he was employed as a Graduate Academic Tutor – supporting students in the classroom during Science lessons. Since then, James’ responsibilities have increased significantly, and his role has most recently been promoted to Higher Level Teaching Assistant / Unqualified Teacher!
“My days are extremely varied – 16 hours of my week are now spent teaching Science lessons independently! I have three classes of my own, so my work involves planning the lessons, delivering the lessons, and undertaking any marking”.
Another big part of James’ role involves working closely with students who have typically been out of mainstream education for a period of time and are transitioning back in. “This involves a lot of 1:1 sessions and these cover a wide range of core subjects. I’m also heavily involved with student wellbeing check ins which is fantastic experience”.
How is the role preparing you for your future career?
James will be starting his PGCE in September and will be training to teach through his current school’s trust!
“The role has prepared me amazingly for the future! I knew that teaching was the career I wanted to do but I made that decision late last year and was still a little on the fence. This role has made applying for my PGCE a breeze – I have so much experience to draw upon. I actually found it hard to write my personal statement because I had so much experience to write about!”.
James believes that his experience working in a classroom setting means he is going into teacher training with much more confidence – “I’m not going into my PGCE blind. I’ve been teaching full classes, so I feel so prepared!”.
How was your experience working with i-teachers?
“I had a great experience with i-teachers. I was hesitant at first as I had heard stories of agencies having a bad reputation. My consultant Joe was upfront from the very start – always open and always super helpful with any issues”.
James felt that the communication from i-teachers was great from the very beginning – “I really felt that i-teachers were in my corner from the start. I definitely feel as though I got lucky!”.
What advice would you give to someone looking for or starting a role like yours?
James’ main advice would be to go with a goal in mind. “I knew from the start that my goal was to gain as much experience as I possibly could. I would advise anyone to go into the role to really make this experience work for yourself – take any opportunities available!”.
James’ testimonial is another great demonstration of what our ‘step into teaching’ programme is all about. There are so many options when it comes to teacher training that it can be confusing choosing which path to take. You may not want to commit to a teaching career when you have never experienced life as a teacher. This is where our ‘step into teaching’ programme comes in. Our experienced consultants place graduates in a paid teaching assistant position perfectly suited to your skill set, in a school that suits your personality. i-teachers’ friendly consultants are always with you every step of the way!