|Name: Jacqueline Battersby|
|Degree studied/year gained and classification:
BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology 2002 – 2:1
MSc Forensic Psychology 2014
PGCE – 2017
|What was your previous career?
I previously worked for Children’s Services for 13 years, 11 of those working in a Family Support and Assessment team that focused heavily on Child protection, CIN and TAC. This role saw me supporting children and families in a wide range of social/ emotional/ behavioural / physical situations. I then moved into a role that saw me managing the Youth Service provision (8 – 18) across the area of North Kesteven. As part of this role I was also teaching accredited parenting courses to help parents/carers develop their parenting skills/child development knowledge.
|Did you have transferrable skills/experience for a career in teaching?
Extensive knowledge of working with children/child development. Holistic understanding of the needs of children.
Dealing with parents of children – often having difficult conversations.
Teaching adults – understanding of differentiation/ AfL/planning etc.
Not really any school based experience.
|Why did you decide to train to teach? / What inspired you?
Lots of different things throughout my life inspired me to get to this point. My personal experience of education was mixed. I was never the ‘clever one’. I never felt inspired at school and I don’t really remember much about primary school except the climbing frame and that we all once saw a grass snake on the field … but! I have always had a passion to learn new things. Mix this with a dogeared determination (stubbornness?!) which has stood me in good stead – At 16 I went to night school to complete a GCSE in a year because my school didn’t do it and then being told I probably wasn’t going to do very well in one of my a ‘levels at school meant I made sure I got the top marks in the year J. I also remember my form tutor from that time because he encouraged me where others before hadn’t. He had a great outlook on life that was inspiring and this made me realise I controlled my own destiny. After uni, I later completed my Masters part-time while bringing up two young children and working full-time because it was something I had promised myself I would do – that feeling steeps from those times and strangely I have both those teachers – the negative and the positive one to thank for helping me feel that way. I want others to feel that passionate about things, to feel that they can truly do anything they put their minds to because I absolutely believe you can. I have worked with children who have had terrible experiences in their formative years and I met them as struggling teenagers. Their resilience and determination saw them put all that behind them and achieve by making it to university etc.
My daughters learning to read also inspired me to want to teach. Seeing how the world opened up to them was a delight; it showed me how valuable that life skill, that is so often taken for granted, is. Couple this with the children I had previously worked with (those with few life advantages), this makes me passionate about giving children support, love and guidance from the earliest of years. My knowledge of child development helps me understand how important a child’s formative years are to the person they become and to be a part of that for someone is an honour.
|Why did you choose your chosen teacher training route?
I wanted to make sure I had a true understanding of how a school worked and how education really worked day-in, day-out, especially as I didn’t have a vast experience of being in school prior to starting my training. Even though I had lots of experience of working with children, my school based experience was limited. Reflecting back, this route of training helped me start developing my own way of teaching really early on.
|What were the benefits of this route in comparison to the other teaching routes? (for instance SCITT, School Direct ect)
I feel the benefits of this route for training was seeing the ‘real, day-to-day’ side of education. I got the opportunity to develop those all-important relationships with a class, which in turn enabled me to develop a robust understanding of formative and summative assessment over a full school year. I got to develop my teachers tool kit of ideas when things don’t go to plan/ something happens and plans need to change because you are one of the teaching team. Reflecting back in enabled me to have a true understanding of the events that happen across the school year – not just snippets of being involved with a class that didn’t seem like it was ‘mine.’
It also meant that I developed a meaningful professional relationship with my mentor that has continued to this day. This has been invaluable as both an emotional support and a support in respect of my teaching development.
|Please describe your experience / journey of your NQT year
Where do I start?! I started nervous but excited; not quite believing how quickly my training year had gone! I moved to another school so I was unsure about the routines and expectations, so it felt like I was one of the new kids! Autumn 1 and 2 flew by before I knew it, it was Christmas. I think Spring 1 and 2 were the most challenging
|Please describe some background information about the school you have completed your NQT year in
A Large city centre primary school with a 3 form entry. Working in a year 1 class.
|Please describe the support that you have received from Equate Teaching School Alliance as the Appropriate Body …
Equate and Stacey in particular have been incredibly supportive to me throughout the whole NQT year. I had a change of mentor mid-year owing to school demands and this was a little unsettling for me and to be honest I have found the pressures of the importance of the ‘NQT year’ overwhelming at times – mainly I think because of the expectations I place on myself and because I had taken such a big step in leaving my previous career. Equate have always been there via email and when I have asked face to face to offer support and advice and at times that has been absolutely invaluable in supporting me to re-evaluate what’s important and what needs to be prioritised (such as to stop working so much and to have some down time!) Whilst the support from your fellow teachers is important it is nice to have someone ‘separate’ and impartial to talk through things with and there were a couple of occasions when this was just so helpful to me to get me back on track focusing on what I wanted to and needed to do.
|Please describe any impact / thoughts with regards to the NQT workshops based around the Teachers’ Standard during your NQT year
I found the NQT workshops very useful. Sharing of ideas, magpieing ideas from other schools and then going back and trying some ideas. I used a number of AfL strategies and behavioural management ideas directly from training. It was also beneficial to meet with other NQT’s to sound off and talk to about how things are and again share ideas about what actually works in particular scenarios.
|What tips and tricks/advice would you share with future NQTs?
Try not to have too high standards for yourself – sometimes you can be your own worst critic.
Make sure you are happy and confident in what you are doing – when you put yourself forward to do something and with what you agree to do. If you aren’t ask someone.
You can say no!
Get how you manage your class and classroom how you like it and find what works for you, that isn’t always the same as someone else.
Get the kids to do as much for themselves as is age appropriate (this is a huge life skill AND makes your life easier!)
Concentrate on TEACHING – yes it is lovely to have beautiful boards etc etc but teaching isn’t always about those things.
Don’t give up the things you enjoy doing to cram in more work.
Teach the children – care, compassion, to share, to problem solve, to be resilient and to put 100% into everything they do – model these things always – the world needs more of all of these things and they cannot learn them without being immersed in them.
And my new life long mantra – Remember – No one will ever count the number of staples in your boards 😉 (I.e Don’t sweat the small stuff!)
|What are your next steps / aspirations for your newly chosen teaching career path?
Firstly I am going to enjoy the 6 weeks off 😉 I want to develop into a consistently outstanding and inspiring teacher, with inventive and exciting ideas. I’d like to teach so children don’t know they are being taught!
Eventually I want to move into a SLT role working in an area that I am passionate about and where I can become involved with inventive and creative curriculum changes.
|What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting into teaching?
Do it! When it comes down to it, it is the most rewarding job. Yes it is challenging but every day is different and you will never be bored! It truly is a perfect opportunity to be influential in children’s lives, to offer them a positive role model, to expand their thoughts and beliefs – invaluable life lessons our children desperately need.
| Any further information?
Thank you Equate and Stacey – I could not have done this year without you!