T. Alston – Head of Computing – St Peter’s Catholic High School
When I was at University, I actually wanted to be a Police Officer, but I needed something to fall back on if for whatever reason this didn’t work out. So I studied Computer Multimedia as I also had an interest in Computing. I was in the Police for 2 years and really enjoyed it, but I had friends and family who were teachers and I always found myself being envious of them.
I therefore did a bit of research into various different ways to get into teaching and thought that Catholic School Direct was the best option for me. This is because I had never stood in front of a class of students and taught before, and with CSD, you start on the first day of the academic year with all of the regular teachers, (so the pupils think you’re just a normal teacher and not a trainee). You also get ‘eased’ into teaching, so you’d have a mentor who you’d observe and help out for the first few weeks, and then you gradually start teaching, (starting off small) by maybe delivering and introducing an activity to the class for example. When I was ready, I was able to start teaching full lessons and within no time, it started to feel natural standing in front of a whole class and teaching full lessons.
At the end of my training year, I went to an interview (which CSD fully prepared me for) and got a job at the first school that I applied for, which was St Peter’s Catholic High School.
I’m extremely happy to be teaching here and I’m very fortunate to be teaching in such an amazing school. It can be challenging at times, but I make a huge effort to always be organised and not to put anything off to the last minute, which has been a key factor in my success.
In the middle of my NQT year, there was a Head of Department position in my department available and I was debating whether or not to even apply for it, (thinking “no school will appoint an NQT as head of department”). However, I worked really hard to prepare for the interview. I went over and over what I was going to say etc, and I was obviously really pleased to be offered the Head of Department role.
I’ve obviously learnt so much since starting my teacher training, and if someone said to me 2 years ago that I would be head of department in a secondary school, I would have laughed, but having put a lot of hard work in throughout the last 2 years into my new job as a teacher, I feel I’ve done myself proud and that I can enjoy the entire summer holidays knowing I’ll be returning to my new position as Head of Department next September.