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Teacher, Greenways Primary School

I took on a lot during University, but I just wanted to experience everything and get out what I put into it.

The teacher I have always aspired to be

I have always wanted to inspire children to be the best they can be, even when the going gets tough. I want children to aspire to achieve their goals even the ones that may seem impossible. Realistically I just want to be that teacher that nurtures because you never know what someone is going through and some children have it tough. 

Phoebe Huggan teaching a.

Utilising support services available

I used the support services whilst completing my degree but didn't really take advantage of them until my third year where I felt like there was more pressure to do well. The Learning Hub were useful as they would check over assignments with me. It was good to have someone else look over my work because when you’ve looked over the same piece of work a number of times, you’re unlikely to see your grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. They were really helpful with checking references too. I used the library a lot throughout my three years. I found the online library was very useful when I suddenly needed some information when I was at home but didn't have any books to hand. 

Learning through placements

I found my first placement very challenging, but as time went on, I came to realise I had a lot of support around me even when it wasn't always visible. I particularly knew this when my placement link tutor came to visit in school to check I was being assessed correctly and that I was doing well. I also went through some personal struggles during placement with events beyond my control happening and the University was very supportive with giving mitigating circumstances to help manage assignments whilst on placement. 

Having the placement opportunities I had, which also included South Africa I experienced different ways of learning and different cultures.

Phoebe Huggan teaching b.

A challenging but rewarding NQT year

After graduating I began my teaching career at a 5-form entry school, Greenways Primary,  which is huge in comparison to some of the schools in Leeds. It has allowed me to work with bigger teams and work with the other schools in the trust. 

It was a challenging year working through a pandemic as an NQT. One minute I was working full time with 30 children with the expectations to teach the whole curriculum they need in time for Year 2 SATs and then I was told I have to work from home. Despite the challenges, I have loved the independence of having my own class. I appreciate the small things such as the thank you messages from parents on Google classroom or the drawings children do of me that say 'you are the best teacher' even though they probably say that to every teacher! I have enjoyed working in a different area although it is difficult not having the freedom to go home because of the pandemic.

My advice

I would say just take each day as it comes. Every lecture, placement and the experiences that go with it will be different, but you learn so much from each one. Take every opportunity you can get. I took on a lot during University, but I just wanted to experience everything and get out what I put into it. The best way to learn to be a teacher is to be on the job. Even when you qualify you will still feel like there is so much to learn.