Gain the confidence to make a difference

Emma Maskell, trainee science teacher

Emma Maskell, trainee science teacher

Emma is a trainee at Carshalton Boys College with a degree in biomedical sciences. On a diverse CV, an element of teaching has been the one constant through an array of previous roles – including time spent as a fitness instructor, private tutor and school science technician. So with some gentle encouragement from colleagues, she finally decided to apply her aptitude for education to a School Direct (salaried) course.

“I’d been in quite a few lessons in more of a teaching assistant capacity, just going and helping out, and I really enjoyed that,” she says. “Some of the teachers said to me, ‘Why don’t you teach?’ and some of the kids said, ‘Why doesn’t Miss become a teacher?’, and I thought, ‘Why not? I can do this’.”

Having made her decision and applied, Emma admits to being apprehensive when she first started her training: “Ultimately it’s about the kids. This is their education and the onus is on you to provide them with the best opportunity for success. You tend to question yourself and think, ‘Can I deliver what I need to deliver in order that these kids get to where they want or need to be?’”

But Emma’s found there are plenty of people around to give her support and see her succeed on her school-led, salaried course.

“We all have mentors assigned to us. They are there to support you with anything that you need, check on your progress and just help out,” she explains. “And also my fellow trainees and I are a close group; everyone’s friendly and really supportive of everyone else.”

On top of the ongoing support she’s received, Emma has found the on-the-job training in the classroom to be highly effective in helping her progression and development as a teacher.

“You don’t know how kids are going to be when you go into a classroom, or how they’re going to react to you,” she says. “The difference in my teaching and confidence now from when I first started has improved immensely.”

Even with the uncertainty that comes with changing career, Emma loves her new profession and urges others thinking of teaching to take the chance: “When you see kids that actually understand something after you’ve taught them, it does make it all worthwhile. It’s really rewarding – I know it’s a cliché, but it is. If you’ve got the passion and you’re committed to it, then definitely go ahead.”

Find out more about salaried teacher training courses