Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Shanthi and I completed my Engineering in Computer Science in India. I passed out in 2006 and worked as a software engineer for couple of years in a leading software firm. I later moved to UK with my husband and had a four-year break from work due to childcare issues, during which time I owned a bakery business making cakes for various occasions. I had always thought about teaching, but just didn't find the right time.
I started taking tuition at home for primary children and realised how much I loved teaching. I then started applying for jobs as a teaching assistant in Milton Keynes but with no luck as they felt I had no experience or qualification from the UK. This led me do my Level 3 Learning and Supporting in Schools which I did by volunteering in my son's school. I felt I would suit better in a secondary school and started applying for jobs in secondary schools and succeeded whilst on the course.
I worked as a TA for three years and often had a feeling that I could stand in front of the class and take lessons. I had so many ideas that I wanted to try out with the children. This made me apply for teacher training and I was glad that all the providers I applied to gave me an offer, which boosted my overall confidence in becoming a teacher. I have been teaching for four months now and should say, this is the best job I could have ever considered. The school I work in help me so much and I love my department. I was the first one in my training group to be offered a job in October itself. I was quite pleased and felt proud of my achievement. I am thoroughly enjoying my experience as a teacher.
I haven't said much about BCS so far, but the amount of support I get from them is tremendous. The webinars I have attended helped me so much. In particular, the behaviour management webinar was so useful that I use some of the tips that I gained through that in my everyday lessons. I'm glad I was offered a scholarship as I love being a BCS member and I feel valued. My calls with Nadine help me relax a little as she really understands the situation, concerns, doubts etc. and helps me overcome struggles. We share our experiences and I receive so much feedback from Nadine which helps me develop in my career. Thank you BCS for the opportunity provided.
What do you love most about teaching? Tell us about your proudest moment so far?
I love it when I see children enjoy what they do. Marks and results are not the only things I look for at the end of a lesson. I like when students enjoy the lesson and try to make it as fun and engaging as possible. It is so rewarding when I see my students grow and develop. Within a short period of four months, I realised how much I have taught my students. I feel proud when they see me on the corridors and say they are waiting for the next lesson and ask me what I have planned.
My proudest moment so far would be related to my year 8 class. I have motivated the class so much, that every single student tries to get 100% whenever I set homework and they always try their best in class. I chose the topic of motivation for my PGCE assignment and have been experimenting with my classes and wow, students really work well with motivation and I will certainly be continuing it in my future lessons.
What made you make the move into teaching? What motivated you to teach?
There was one particular day when I was in a Computing lesson standing behind as a TA and the teacher was trying to teach binary addition to students. The students did not understand much as the explanation was not very clear. I nearly stepped forward to explain better as I had so many ideas in mind that I wanted to explain to ensure students understood but could not do it. This made me really think on why I cannot be a teacher and then I started looking at how I can be a teacher and realised I had to do my GCSE English in order to apply. I persisted on doing it and took the exam within three weeks and passed with an A. I applied as soon as I got my result and here I am, being a successful budding teacher.
What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a teacher?
Go for it. Do not listen to people who say "Teaching is hard", "Loads of marking", "16 hours work a day". No! We do work hard, we do have lots of marking, but no one really speaks about how rewarding it is to see the work your students produce. I feel so happy every single evening, reflecting on what I have done and I get wonderful dreams of my students moving on with flying colours. It is just a start for me, but I am enjoying it thoroughly and would highly recommend more and more teachers in the field to support our lovely children.