As A Career Changer, How Do You Plan To Bring Your Previous Work Experience Into The Classroom? By Sam Jones
This will be my third major career change, however, I believe this will be my final time changing profession and that I have found a long term career as a secondary school teacher. It feels like all the experience I have gained has helped lead me to this and that I will be able to use what I have learnt to become a forward thinking, supportive, knowledgeable and fun mathematics teacher.
I will try to summarise each of the professions I have worked in, in terms of what I learnt and what I want to bring into the classroom.
I learnt how to teach, I learnt how to coach, I learnt how to manage people, I learnt how to talk in front of people, I discovered what hard work was and most importantly I gained self-confidence. I spent many hours planning lessons and trying to find new and engaging ways to teach skills.
Martial arts is traditionally very disciplined and I will take this into the classroom with me, but I also learnt how important it is to engage with your students and have a sense of humour. I found having a good working relationship with students was key to managing behaviour and developing a fun, positive learning environment. I will always set high expectations for behaviour but I will also strive to create an enjoyable and positive atmosphere within my classes. I will never be afraid to make mistakes or humanise myself and teach that it's about how you learn from mistakes that makes the real difference. I want to be a role model for children, and hopefully inspire them to dream big.
During my degree I learnt study skills, how to manage my time and effective ways to learn and teach engineering and mathematical principles. After graduating, while working as an automotive engineer, I learnt real life applications of what I had studied at school.
I will take this experience and use it during my lessons. I will relate the maths I am teaching to the real world, giving the students real problems to solve, useful tips and hopefully inspiring them to pursue further study or a STEM career.
Working as a teaching assistant at a SEN school helped me to improve my communication skills and how to understand students' needs, as well as helping me to learn about making learning accessible for all children. It showed me how a school should be and I will take the lessons I learned with me wherever I go by ensuring I try my best to understand students' needs.
English as a Foreign Language Teacher
In China, I taught oral English classes in a typical state school. I had a lot of flexibility and I was almost completely in charge of how I taught my classes. This was fantastic for experimenting with different teaching styles and I learnt a lot about creating fun and engaging ways to teach. I also greatly improved my classroom management skills and my ability to provide instructions. Students' often spoke very little English and I had to use modelling and examples to communicate.
I will use these skills in my future lessons, by understanding that not all students will understand spoken or written instructions, meaning I will need to think of new ways to communicate concepts and help understanding. I also hope my experience of different cultures and teaching in different educational settings will help me to become a more understanding teacher and to find more ways to relate to my students.
In summary, I want to strive to bring both my professional and life experiences into the classroom, making my lessons both engaging and productive, whilst also bringing in my personality and fun into the lessons.
By Sam Jones
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