What’s your current job?
I am Head of House and a Child Protection Officer. My role as Head of House involves dealing with pastoral and behavioural issues. You need to be a good listener and be able to deal with many different things at any one time as well as the ability to work in a team. You also have to be able to deal with difficult parents and be able to analyse data.
As Child Protection Officer you need to be able to deal with upset children, be aware of the key legislation and act accordingly. You have to be able to deal with very difficult revelations and situations and act in the interests of the child. You have to be able to deal with very emotional situations.
Why did you choose this career?
I began as a classroom teacher interested in anti-bullying and led a working party to rewrite the school's anti-bullying policy. I then applied for an unpaid developmental role as an Assistant to a Head of Year which gave me invaluable experience. When a Head of Year role became vacant I applied to it and was successful.
For the Child Protection Officer role I assisted our senior person in school, went on a two day training course and attended other training as well as Optimus Child Protection conferences. Reading the latest legislation is always a good thing to do; my advice would be to research what you are interested in and apply for what you are interested in, even if they are unpaid.
Why is education important to you?
I always wanted to be a teacher and to follow in my father's footsteps as he was a teacher. I have always enjoyed working with children and wanted to do this as a career and as I really enjoyed my subject teaching it seems an ideal way to combine the two loves. I also wanted to make a difference to young lives.
What's the best thing about teaching?
Leading a group of pupils who, on the anniversary of Henry VIII's birthday, dressed up and led a procession around the school with costumes, crowns, music, and drums and told everyone about Henry and why he was great! This made me think that this is why I do this!
Another example is overcoming the challenges involved in getting a child into foster care.