Training to teach history

Evie Gray, history teacher

Evie Gray, history teacher

Evie loves history as a subject, and got into teaching so that she can share that love with others. “I want to teach students to love it as much as I do. I think it gives them a chance to develop really important skills that can be used in the post-school environment – skills like research and resilience.”

After completing a history degree, Evie went on to spend some time teaching in Thailand before embarking on her teacher training course back home. “I was teaching English as a foreign language, but we also had the opportunity to use our specialisms – so I was looking at Thai history and was able to incorporate some of that into my lessons.”

Now that Evie is well on her way with her training, she talks about how much fun she is having teaching history. “I absolutely love looking at Second World War evacuation. At university I assisted my lecturer on a research project and came away with lots of primary source material, which I can’t wait to share with the children.” Evie thinks it’s amazing when pupils can get their hands on material that hasn’t made it into textbooks yet, and highlights the importance of being able to bridge the gap between this and what they’re learning on the curriculum.

With her school about to send pupils on a trip to Belgium – where they’ll get to look at battlefields and gain first-hand experience of the subject they’re learning – Evie reaffirms the need for a hands-on approach so that pupils can make their own judgements and conclusions. “Sometimes there’s only so much you can learn in a classroom, and it’s crucial for students to be able to get a visual connection and go through the process of experiencing emotions around the topics for themselves.”

Talking about her time in teaching so far, Evie describes her role as one of the most impressive, but rewarding juggling acts she’s ever undertaken. “Being a good teacher is about finding the right balance in every single area. So, being organised but not being too rigid and having structured lessons plans, but not being afraid to be spontaneous if it’s not working.”

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