Blakesley Hall Primary School in Birmingham has more than 600 pupils who are cared for by more than 60 teachers and support staff. Headteacher Mrs Phillips contacted Every Child Needs a Mentor (ECNAM) in the summer of 2014 with a very clear brief:
1. Tell us about how you got into teaching.
To be honest, it’s the vocation I always wanted to follow. I loved teaching and learning right from being a leader at my local church youth group as a teenager. After completing my degree and PGCE, I went straight into the classroom and have never looked back. I’ve met other fantastic teachers who have joined teaching after several career changes so there are plenty of routes in! I think the key to remaining fired up is to evolve your role in different schools. It will keep you fresh and motivated. Over the years I’ve been an assistant head of year, outdoor education and expedition coordinator, departmental and faculty leader, and now senior leader. All have had their unique rewards and challenges.
No teachers like being observed when they are teaching; when it comes to schools positioning cameras in classrooms for lesson observations, teachers naturally feel in the spotlight and under pressure. Assessing children is one thing, but while all teachers want professional development, no one is comfortable being reviewed and assessed themselves.