I work at Ashmole Academy as a Teacher of Science, specialising in Biology. This is my sixth year working for the school however, I first spent three years as a Science teaching assistant before last year training as a School Direct trainee. After gaining a degree in Microbiology with Medical Biosciences the majority of my former life was as an employee of a pharmaceutical company. I enjoyed my medical sales career immensely but wanted a change of direction after having children. The time spent as a teaching assistant was invaluable. For this reason, I felt confident to deliver lessons from day one. There was a lot of support from the school and my tutors were also very supportive and knowledgeable. If you have always wanted to teach and feel that time is ticking, then I'd sign up today - but be prepared for a lot of work.
I have been working at Ashmole Academy since April 2016. I started as a Teaching Assistant and have since trained under the School Direct programme, and am currently completing my NQT year as a History teacher. Before I moved into teaching, I was working in retail, but felt it became a bit soulless after a while. I chose to move into the School Direct route because I had already had a career and wanted to continue with teaching as a vocation, without having to go through too much University. My work as a teaching assistant in the few months before really helped me in the first few weeks in a classroom! Ashmole are incredibly supportive of trainees and make the whole process comfortable and fun. Because there were eight of us training at the same time, we all became very close and helped to support each other as well. There were some intensely stressful moments but everything was made better with the knowledge that not much can go wrong here, there is always someone on hand and willing to help. I would definitely recommend taking the School Direct route to other potential trainees. The whole experience engages you with students learning in the classroom, and I really enjoyed all aspects of the training…even the really hard parts!
I am currently working as an English teacher; I am now in my fifth year of teaching at Ashmole Academy. Continuing to work in the institution where I trained has many advantages: I am familiar with the school's policies (and children) and I have a sound understanding of the school's ethos. I have recently taken on a new role, leading the development of the sixth form English curriculum, helping to ensure it prepares A-Level students for the rigour of the two-year course. Before School Direct I worked for numerous charities developing communication practices and this led to me learning BSL. For 7 years I worked in further Education, supporting Deaf students in mainstream education. Once my two children reached school age I decided I needed a new challenge; I wanted more control over the information I was delivering and I wanted to experience teaching a group of students. Initially I began training to teach in FE, but I realised that working, training and being a mum was quite difficult to juggle; School Direct afforded me the opportunity to train and earn. For me Schools Direct has enabled me to access a career that is fulfilling and continuously challenging. The programme undoubtedly requires perseverance and flexibility, but in this way it is the ideal way to prepare yourself for the daily demands of teaching.
My name is Stevan Simonovic and I am currently a science teacher at Ashmole Academy specialising in Chemistry. I currently teach a range of age groups from KS3 to KS5 and have worked for the Academy for four years since my training. Previously to being a teacher I worked within the chemical industry both as a Radiochemist and a Synthetic Organic Chemist. I chose schools direct as a route into teaching as I was keen to remain in employment during my training. I found that the learning curve was very steep during my training year, however, the excellent support that I received throughout my training was integral to my successful completion of the year. School direct exposed me to the day-to-day aspects of teaching that cannot be learnt in a university or college environment. I would definitely recommend school direct as route into teaching.