BA (Hons) History and the Modern World (2008-2011)
Secondary School History Teacher
After graduating in History and the Modern World at the University of Winchester I went on to take a PGCE and am now a History Teacher at a really amazing secondary school in St Ives in Cambridgeshire.
In my role as teacher I’m responsible for the learning and the progression of my classes as well as their safety and wellbeing. I have discovered that a teacher is not just about standing up in front of the class; that is just the tip of the iceberg. You are responsible for creating a safe and purposeful learning environment both inside and outside of the classroom.
Teaching is an enjoyable and interesting career; no day is ever the same. I get to help children to not only progress in their learning but also grow into young adulthood. The most challenging aspects of my job are managing behaviour, having a good work-life balance and ensuring I meet the needs of every learner in every lesson of every day. I am still working on nailing these aspects and I will do for the rest of my career; teaching is a learning process for me too.
I could never rate BA History at Winchester enough to do it justice. I was taught by a range of amazing people who were so passionate about History that they really inspired me. I was forced to become organised and was pushed to do better and better. I found that I could take ownership of my learning, whilst having the support in place if needed, which made me grow up and sort myself out. I met a range of fabulous people who had different interests and hobbies; I became a good listener.
The best advice that I can give current students is don’t restrict where you look for schools. Unfortunately there are not many History teaching jobs in Hampshire, so be prepared to look further afield if you want to teach History. Work to the best of your ability and more at university. You will be competing with the cream of the crop at job interviews so having lots up your sleeve will help. To improve employment prospects, get involved in lots of extra-curricular stuff at University and create opportunities off your own back.
If you want to teach then go and spend some time in the city schools of Winchester and Southampton. This will go down in your favour for teacher training and further, as well as helping you to decide if you definitely want to do it. Also, schools love a teacher that can offer them after-school or lunch-time clubs. I set up my own club at University, the Jiu Jitsu club, and ran it for three years. I am now in the process of starting my own self-defence classes at the school and this definitely goes in my favour.
My History degree taught me new ways of looking at History which have become invaluable to me in challenging pupils of higher ability. Choosing to study History at the University of Winchester is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I’ve taken all my learning forward with me into teaching.