William K.

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About me

William K.
History and politics
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Independent school

More about William

Low Income Household

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A day in the life of a Teacher in the Bahamas

Invest in your hobbies and interests, you will never know when these might come up, and how much they support your work.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

After going through Teach First and teaching in inner city schools for 5 years I decided in the midst of COVID to up sticks and move to the Bahamas. I am now working for an independent school on the island, running the history provision.

What do you do?

Subject lead for history at an independent school.

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

I went through Teach First as it made the most financial sense and I wanted to be working with underprivileged students. I worked in difficult inner London schools in a variety of roles from assistant head of year, head of KS5 history and head of KS3. In the wake of COVID and the lack of travelling I decided I wanted to move abroad and experience the life of an expat teacher while I still had no ties.

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

I had no idea I wanted to be a teacher, and I might even change career at some point. But it ticked a lot of boxes. It was social, active, academic and had great holidays!

Describe your most memorable day at work

Pre COVID - Reenacted the German response to the Treaty of Versailles through the use of a roleplay arm wrestle.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Time management can be one. It can also take an emotional toll in the early years. But you learn a lot and grow as a result.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Currently it is great. But there are always things you would like to adjust. I have learnt over the years how much each school differs in its work environment and culture, and that you can always find a school that suits your needs.

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

I played lacrosse and rugby. I would say these kept me very social, especially during busy work times during my MA.
I also worked in bars and restaurants in town which helped me also make friends outside of the Uni walls. Even students from St John's! I shudder at the thought.

What would you like to do next with your career?

Ultimately, progressing in a career is not the aim, if it does not fulfill you, then it will slowly drain you. I have seen too many people progress too quickly, burn out and resent their job and other aspects of their lives suffer. This is the great big lie we have been told growing up.
I can earn good money as a teacher, make it to the gym in the morning before work and leave by 4pm every day to pursue other hobbies/interests and invest in friends, family and relationships.
I will probably move back to London after my contract ends and look for a head of department job at a school I like. And will happily hone my craft, but not at the expense of everything else. It's a question I am still pondering but not one I am likely to stress myself over.

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

Work hard on your interpersonal skills, in an age where we communicate so much online it is key you can communicate the old fashioned way. Read books, watch videos, really research how and why people are successful in their face to face interactions.

Work slowly on upskilling yourself. Do you need to proficient at EXCEL? Would becoming and exam marker add a string to your bow? The more things you can add to a position the more likely people will employ you.

Invest in your hobbies and interests, you will never know when these might come up, and how much they support your work.

Work on your mental health, do therapy at least once. Read and watch information on mental health and relationships. It will allow you to grow and reflect on what you want and how you might get it. Too many people get to mid 30s and panic about where and who they are because they have not invested the time in finding out, but have focused on promotion, getting a house or having a boyfriend/girlfriend etc:

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


Next steps...

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