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Bring your professional skills to the classroom
Former police officer, Victoria Barton
When you choose to change careers and make a difference as a teacher, you can bring a wide range of transferable skills to the profession.
That’s certainly the case for Victoria Barton, who brought two Master’s degrees and career experience as a police officer and property inspector into her teacher training.
“During my time in those roles, I built my communication skills effectively and have been able to bring them into the classroom,” says the primary PE specialist. “Working as a police officer has also given me the understanding that some children do not have the ideal home life.”
With her personal academic achievements, Victoria’s subject specialism makes perfect sense; after graduating with a BSc in sport and human movement studies, she went on to achieve Master’s degrees in sports biomechanics and exercise nutrition science. Teacher training and her new career path offer the chance to use that knowledge and add further breadth to her professional experience.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning,” says Victoria. “As a qualified coach, I particularly enjoy the overwhelming satisfaction I get when a child I’ve been teaching has mastered a skill.”
As a primary teacher specialising in PE, she has the opportunity to impart those skills across a diverse curriculum, as well as in physical education.
“I’m really keen to promote the importance of PE both in school and in everyday life,” she says. “But away from sport, I want children to see the importance of subjects like maths, and not be afraid of it.”
Given her array of qualifications and diverse professional experience, Victoria is well placed to make an informed judgement on what good training involves – and she says the structure of her course has been excellent.
“The summer school gave all us trainees the opportunity to get to know everyone in an informal environment, which helped us develop a unique support group for each other,” Victoria details. “The first term has been great. Having three days in school and two days being taught theory gives me the opportunity to share experiences or concerns with my peers and course leaders. It’s also meant that the subjects being taught have more relevance because they can be transferred directly into classes when I’m at school, rather than having to wait a few weeks before the information can be used.”
Primary support teacher Craig Cairns describes how his experiences teaching abroad have impacted his lessons, and what he loves about primary.More about this case study
We visit a primary school in South Shields and see how the teachers interact with the year 6 children. Transcript (PDF, 46KB)
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