Emily L.

Secondary Teacher of History and RE
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Emily L.
History/Archaeology (Equal)
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Secondary Teacher of History and RE
United Kingdom

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A day in the life of a Secondary Teacher of History and RE in the United Kingdom

History Teacher after degree and PGCE at York

How I looked for work

I mostly used the TES and local authority websites of the areas I wanted to work in. I applied for a lot of jobs between January and June of my PGCE year. With the TES being a centralised place for advertising teaching jobs, it is relatively easy to find jobs to apply for. The application and interview process is the hard part.

How I found out about the job

First job through TES, second job through personal contacts and school's own website

The recruitment process

Lots of applications to a variety of school. I had to write a carefully thought out covering letter and application form. Plenty of research about the schools I was applying for. Interviews are intense - teaching a 20 minute sample lesson was difficult, especially when competing with other, more experienced teachers. Followed by an interview with the head and governor and sometimes a separate interview with the school parliament.

My career goals when I graduated

Successful teaching job in the north of England

My career history

One year teaching in Huddersfield. Currently in my second year teaching in Carlisle.

What has helped my career to progress

Observation of colleagues and as many CPD sessions as my employer will allow, taking initiative and sharing expertise.

Courses taken since graduation


How my studies have helped my career

Detailed subject knowledge to support teaching and PGCE supported learning of teaching skills.

What surprised me about my career so far

That it is not possible to master anything. Each day brings something new.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Head of a successful history department

My advice to students considering work

Be open minded - the job you want may not necessarily be the one you think you want. You may have to compromise in the short term to get your end goal. I didn't particularly want to work in Huddersfield but needed a job. It was very beneficial to me and gave me the experience that I needed so that when the job came up in Carlisle, I was a better teacher.

My advice about working in my industry

I'm not going to lie - it's tough. However, its also worthwhile and you can make a difference but only if you are prepared to work for it.

Contacting me

I'm happy to help with applications - many of my applications were successful in getting an interview (it was the next part that wasn't so great). Any questions about history or, to a lesser extent, archaeology in the classroom.

What I do

I teach history and RE at a secondary school with an attached sixth form.

Skills I use and how I developed them

1. Communication - developed over time through university seminars, clubs, and part time work.
2. Patience - developed with some difficulty
3. Explaining and breaking down information in a variety of ways

What I like most

When a student 'gets' something that they have been struggling with - the 'lightbulb' moment

What I like least

Dealing with a range of diverse needs within the same classroom

What surprised me most

The lack of cultural capital and ambition among students and the opportunity (and necessity) for teachers to cultivate these things.

Next steps...

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

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