I didn’t start out being sure I wanted to become a teacher, but at the age of 22 I don’t think anyone is sure about anything! After I secured my degree, I knew a life of scientific research wasn’t for me and I decided to apply to the Professional Diploma in Education at UCD.
When I got my acceptance I was delighted, nervous, but excited about what the year would bring. The year flew in and before I knew it, it was time to start looking for a job. A real job. I spent the summer applying left, right, and centre – I got a few interviews but it always came back to the dreaded “lack of experience”. I came across KS education completely by accident, and I’m so glad I did.
Within a few days I had done a video profile with the lovely Maeve and got an interview for a school in Kent, England. It was a bit of a whirlwind as the school wanted me to start straight away, so I didn’t have time to think about the enormity of what I was doing. After a few months I wasn’t entirely happy within the school, but as ever Maeve was on hand to help out. She got me another interview, this time in Essex and I moved up there a short time later.
I was so much happier there and the school put me straight on the NQT programme which really helped. I had a mentor assigned to me who was there to guide me through the process. There was regular meetings and observations of my lessons. The programme was intense but it certainly made me a better teacher because I was getting clear feedback on a regular basis. That doesn’t happen in Ireland – you are left to your own devices which may sound nice but you can pick up some very bad habits without realising.
Now back in the Emerald isle for personal reasons, I often wish I was back in the UK. In the UK I knew what was expected of me, I had a mentor beyond my NQT year, I was offered relevant school-based CPD on a regular basis, but above all I had job security. I was permanent. I was valued. I have a short-term contract in Ireland now, but I hope that my time in the UK will help me in landing a more permanent job in the near future; I know I have a wealth of experience to draw on. Although not the smoothest of journeys, I can easily as that I had the best introduction to my teaching career I could have had. I learned a huge amount in 18 months, not just about teaching, but about myself.
Christine, 28, UCD Graduate 2013
Like KS Education on FACEBOOK
Follow KS Education on TWITTER