Christopher H.

Deputy Head
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Christopher H.
United Kingdom

My employment

Deputy Head
Maltman's Green School
United Kingdom
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)

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A day in the life of a Deputy Head in the United Kingdom

Deputy Head at an Independent Prep School

What I do

I am Deputy Head at Maltman's Green School, an independent girls' preparatory school in Buckinghamshire.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Teaching requires a broad range of skills. Efficiency and a good work ethic are vital. Being an excellent communicator (with both children and adults) is also important. As I have progressed to leadership level, I have developed skills associated with a senior position. Always being calm under pressure, possessing a high level of emotional intelligence are even more important to me know than when I first started out. Above all, to be a teacher you need to be a consummate professional who loves working with children. It's hard work, but you will get so much out of it.

What I like most

Working with children - they are inspirational and amusing in equal measure. Teaching also gives you the opportunity to be creative - in the classroom and with whole-school projects.

What I like least

There's not much, but marking and planning are what most teachers would say, and I would agree. Most of this can be counter-balanced with long holidays.

What surprised me most

The capacity for children to develop quicker than one could imagine.

How I looked for work

I used the careers advice service on campus to research the best course options. Once you are in teaching, the TES is your bible. Register online and set up daily or weekly job alerts. You used to also have to check county LEA adverts. For my money, if a school doesn't want to advertise in the TES, I wouldn't want to apply for the job.

How I found out about the job

National press

The recruitment process

For a class teacher, interview, a tour of the school and teaching a lesson (all on the same day). More complex as you progress - sometimes more than one round, on more than one day, and presentations added to the mix.

My career goals when I graduated

I wanted to become a teacher, and hoped to be a Head of Department.

My career history

I taught in Bristol (where I did my PGCE) in state secondary schools for two years, before moving to London to work at Hereward House (an all-boys' preparatory school). I was there for eight years, progressing from Head of History and Games, through Head of IT, to Director of Studies and then Deputy Head. I moved to Maltman's Green School (an all-girls' preparatory school) in September 2014 to become Deputy Head, Academic.

What has helped my career to progress

A lot of hard work and listening to those who are wiser and more experienced than I am. In teaching, going the extra mile and being pro-active will also open up opportunities for you.

Courses taken since graduation

PGCE (Secondary History) at The University of Bristol

How my studies have helped my career

More and more, the PGCE is necessary to be a teacher, even in the independent sector.

What surprised me about my career so far

The scope for doing so many different things. I write in the TES on occasion, for example.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I will certainly still be a teacher, at leadership level.

My advice to students considering work

Consider your options carefully, and ask those around you what you think. Ultimately, choose a career that you want to do, and love, not just one that pays well: ten years down the line you may feel differently.

My advice about working in my industry

Do it! Teaching is a wonderful profession and, by and large, widely respected in the UK.

Other advice

Don't listen to those around you that say "teachers clock off at 4pm and have 8 weeks' holiday a year". Yes, there are perks, but if it were that easy, everyone would be a teacher.

Contacting me

I am happy to answer questions on applying for, and passing a PGCE. I am also happy to give advice on jobs and read letters of application as necessary. If you are in the London area, I would be happy to meet face-to-face, but email contact may be more convenient.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Christopher’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Christopher a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Christopher to be your mentor.

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