“When I received my job offer from Erdington Academy, I was ecstatic at the prospect of joining the school at a time of such exciting transition. As a Teach First participant, I was motivated by the notion that no child’s educational success should be limited by their socio-economic background. In an institution such as Erdington Academy, situated in the ninth most deprived constituency in the UK (April 2015), this ambition to narrow the gap in attainment is even more significant here than in other schools in Birmingham and beyond. This belief and desire for the pupils at Erdington Academy to achieve, despite the factors that may be working against them, was apparent on my very first day in September 2016. Furthermore, I didn’t just feel this passion from the staff and leaders around me at the academy, but felt it extend to the leaders of the wider FMAT regardless of how recent the move to the FMAT was. It felt inspiring to be working alongside a team that held similar views and ambitions for the pupils as my own.
My first year has been a whirlwind in so many positive ways. Studying for a PGCE whilst teaching was a daunting prospect at first, but after a few weeks I realised I had a solid support network at Erdington Academy. The support, training and culture of the Academy has inspired me every day and pushed me to develop into a confident and competent teacher. My mentors have provided timely and quality feedback every step of the way and all staff have been willing to help me. The high expectations in behaviour and standards have been phenomenal foundations to discovering my professional persona and for building my teaching skills on.
However, my absolute favourite thing about working at Erdington Academy is the kids. The pupils here are ambitious, polite, interesting and each and every one of them puts a smile on your face in one way or another! Despite the challenges they may face at home, in school or as a result of the increasing pressure on schools in the current climate, they approach each day with a positive fighting attitude and their resilience shines through. They have made such an impression on me in such a short space of time, I am honestly motivated by their willingness to succeed – and I want to help them as much as I possibly can.
Erdington Academy has also widened my vision to the professional opportunities within school and the education sector. I am fully committed to having a positive impact on our education system in a leadership role, and I know the FMAT will support me in that. Already this year, I have been given responsibilities such as running extra-curricular clubs, providing enrichment activities for tutor time and co-ordinating a departmental cognitive programme.
To summarise, my first and qualifying year of teaching has come with its challenges, but I know I have succeeded due to the support Erdington Academy has given me. I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing what the future holds!”