Active Teacher Training - My Journey

Kara Stockbridge, ECT: Neale-Wade Academy, March


“It is amazing for me to find myself teaching at Neale-Wade Academy, as I am from the local town and this is the school where, not long ago, I was studying for my own GCSEs and A Levels! I then went to University in Nottingham and graduated in Law in 2020.

I did various jobs after graduating, before seeing an Intervention role at Neale-Wade advertised. As part of this role I was asked to step in a couple of times for emergency cover in classes. As a 22 year-old, and new to the education sector, it was terrifying at first! However, I soon realised that I actually loved it and I found myself asking a colleague about how I could go about becoming a teacher.

The first thing which many people considering teaching ask is “do I have the right qualifications?”. Don’t ever let this put you off, there is a route in to teaching for everyone. In my case, I needed to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as my A’levels and degree weren’t in Maths, which was the subject I had decided to teach.

I then moved on to the Active Teacher Training course. As a trainee secondary maths teacher I was eligible for a bursary which really helped as it supported me financially during my training. I would recommend that anyone interested in teaching looks into the bursaries as they really make a difference.

The trainee year is really full-on as you would expect! However, I received all the support I needed. The course leaders are approachable, responsive and really get to know all the trainees. I was also allocated a professional tutor and mentor.

I spent Mon-Thurs on placements in school and then met up with the rest of my trainee cohort on Fridays for training sessions. It was an amazing group, we all supported each other and still all keep in touch via a group chat.

From day one, I remember feeling that I had found what I was supposed to do. It was a real pinch me moment, I just thought “I love this”!

Now I am in my first year teaching and I still feel the same. I love the groups of students I work with and I am really committed to my role as a Year 8 form tutor.

As an ECT I feel really protected and supported. I get extra time for planning and lots of training days. No one expects you to be perfect.

I am proud of the relationships I’ve built with my students. I think they see that I am like them as I am from the same town and I was once sat in the same classroom!

I have a very positive mindset and I love learning. I think both these things help a lot in teaching because our students need our positivity. I also stay open minded. When I’m dealing with difficult behaviour I ask myself “why are they behaving like that?”

In the future, I look forward to one day being a mentor myself and working up to being a KS Lead in a Maths department.

If you think teaching might be the career for you, go for it and get in touch with Active Teacher Training, there’s nothing to lose!”