Hannah Maguire, 21 from Manchester, is in the final year of her teacher training at USW. She initially completed the Certificate of Higher Education: Introduction to Secondary Teaching, before studying the two-year BSc Secondary Mathematics with Science with QTS degree.
"For as long as I remember I wanted to be a teacher. During my time in school, like everyone, I had teachers I adored and teachers I found unfair. I aspired to be the teacher that motivated me every lesson and I also aspired not to be the teacher that didn’t. I feel I can make a difference to pupils’ educational experience.
After finishing school and college I didn’t feel ready to take the plunge into university life. I ended up taking a year out to work full time as a care assistant. Whilst working I completed my Level 3 Diploma in Adult Health and Social Care. After just over a year of working I felt I could do more, I wanted a change and a job which I knew I would want to get out of bed for every day so I began to look what was on offer and found the unique Certificate of Higher Education course at Newport.
I am currently on my final and favourite placement at Croesyceiliog School in Cwmbran. I am eight weeks in, with seven full teaching weeks left. I can’t believe how fast it is going! It’s a great school and I would love to get a job here afterwards.
The most important lesson I learnt from my very first placement is to not care if the pupils like you or not. I’m not there to be their friend, I am there to be their teacher and role model.
Throughout my first placement I had two main targets - my voice projection and classroom management. Now, in my final placement, these targets are a personal strength. I am a lot more confident, organised and I have a much louder voice (which definitely helps!).
My advice to prospective teaching students is to look for a course that gives you as much hands-on experience as possible as this is by far the most valuable learning tool. What pupils think teachers do and what teachers actually do is very different!
Teaching is hard, but it is by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. There are so many possibilities with teaching. I know some people who have been a classroom teacher for 20 years and are very happy, I know others who started as a classroom teacher and have made their way to head of department. There are so many routes to go down and always something to aim for. The thing I am most looking forward to is having a respectable career that has a high ladder to climb. Eventually I would love to work my way up to head of year, definitely down the pastoral route.
I can't wait to have my own classroom and be able to decorate and lay it out the way I want - however, I have been warned that once you get your own class room you are never happy!"