Naomi K.

Trainee Primary School Teacher
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Naomi K.
BSc Psychology
United Kingdom

My employment

Trainee Primary School Teacher
United Kingdom

More about Naomi

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A day in the life of a Trainee Primary School Teacher in the United Kingdom

My goal is to become an Educational Psychologist and I thought working in a primary school would be great experience to get on the Educational Psychology doctorate program.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I am currently undertaking my PGCE Primary with Durham University.

What do you do?

I have a 22 week placement in 2 different primary schools. I am currently teaching Year 1, 2 and 3 up until December 2021. From January 2022 - April 2022 I will be teaching Year 3 and 4 at another primary school. I plan and implement lessons to Primary School children.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

My goal is to become an Educational Psychologist and I thought working in a primary school would be great experience to get on the Educational Psychology doctorate program.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I was very indecisive about what I wanted to do when I graduated - I was toying with becoming a digital marketer or to work with children. I struggled to find a graduate job and although I promised myself I would not go back into education for a while I am glad that I have done.

Describe your most memorable day at work

I teach in a mainstream school which has some children with learning difficulties; one of the main ones being autism. One child who has not yet been diagnosed but is in the process of being diagnosed gets really upset with any change and she gets quite angry. The teachers usually pick her up and remove her from the situation. However, I quickly learnt this isn't a good approach as it makes her even more upset and angry. One teacher screamed at the child and it upset her even more.
My most memorable day was when I developed some distraction techniques when she got frustrated and spoke calmly to her which meant she did not get angry or upset.
Therefore I make sure whenever she feels distressed I always listened carefully and ask what she needs. I also spoke to her in a very calm voice and try to distract her by talking about something that is not Math's for example related e.g. 'Count the windows'. She did not get upset and she managed her mood well.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

There are some challenges with behaviour management. However, I have learnt that if you set a standard of what your expectations are from the start these behaviour issues are less of a challenge.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I am on my last few weeks at a small school and it is a very inclusive and a welcoming environment. The teachers and the Head Teacher I work with are very caring and have told me that if I ever feel stressed or anxious that I can always come to them, as completing a PGCE can be quite stressful (teaching everyday and completing assignments).

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I was the Vice President of the university surf club. I believe this developed my leadership skills and made me more assertive. I volunteered at a Youth Club (Door 84) where I helped to set up and run activities for children aged 10-17 years. This developed my listening skills as the children would tell me personal problems.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I am hoping to qualify as a Primary School Teacher in July 2022. I would love to work as a primary school teacher for a few years and then apply for the Educational Psychology doctorate at Exeter University.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Be open to anything. You gain key skills in any job for example working as a team, working independently, communication skills, time management etc.
Before university I worked as a Pharmacy Dispensing Assistant for Lloyd's Pharmacy. I did not want to go back into pharmacy work however I did get a job as a Pharmacy Dispensing Assistant in a hospital for 1 year before I started my Primary PGCE at Durham.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Any questions about completing a PGCE Primary.

Next steps...

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