|Language and Linguistic Science
|French and Spanish
|Associate Teacher and Future MSc Audiology Student
|Castell Alun High School
|Large business (250+ employees)
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A day in the life of a Associate Teacher and Future MSc Audiology Student in the United Kingdom
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I currently work in a large high school based in North Wales. The school puts a particular emphasis on arts and humanities, wanting to install a good sense of cultural and social values in students.
What do you do?
As an associate teacher, I am responsible for all of the duties that are required of a teacher. These duties include teaching live lessons to students aged between 11 and 18 years old, developing student growth and acting as the primary source of their initial routes into a study or career aspiration.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I was motivated to pursue education after undertaking the TEFL module that was on offer at York.I further developed an interest in clinical science during my time studying language acquisition, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. These modules inspired me to question how the language faculty functions on a biological level, what happens when the faculty is incomplete or impaired and how one may go about fixing or improving the well-being of those who suffer from disorders that impair linguistic competence.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Absolutely. You learn something new every day. I try and incorporate the new and unplanned moments to improve my future practice.
Describe your most memorable day at work
My most memorable day at work so far would be when I did an “escape room” style activity with my students. I find it fascinating to explore students’ critical thinking abilities as it gives you a good indication of how the student thinks and processes information.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Being a teacher can at times be stressful. There have been times where I have been put under a lot of pressure due to workload and the never ending paperwork. I try and organise my work so that I work smarter and not harder, to balance my working life with my personal life and free time.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I strive to achieve a positive learning environment and open culture with my students and colleagues. Language education is beneficial in being flexible as to how communication is enabled. This allows for a strong dialogue and rapport with all my students, who learn more than just the target language during my lessons.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I served as President and Secretary of the University of York Linguistics Society (LingSoc) between 2017 and 2019. During this time, I had the chance to gain leadership qualities that I was able to put into practice during my time as an associate teacher and beyond.
What would you like to do next with your career?
After fully qualifying as a secondary teacher, I would like to use the skills I have learned in teaching and education to pursue careers in healthcare . I hope to pursue my upcoming degree to seek employment as a clinical scientist, as part of the NHS Scientist Training Program.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Keep your aspirations wide and always have a plan B. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get into a job or study opportunity the first time round. There is always a chance for you to try again after you gain more experience and knowledge.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I am happy to answer questions on routes into education, ESL, applied healthcare and general employability.
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