I have always had a passion for teaching and after years of travel and experiencing life, I decided to retrain as a teacher in my mid 30’s. In 2012 I completed a PGCE in Early Years education with the intention of somehow combining the roles of mentor, role model and teacher for children who faced challenges that impacted their access to education.
My teaching career has focused on working with children with special educational needs, who are at risk of, or are permanently excluded from, mainstream education. As literacy coordinator, I experienced firsthand, the range of obstacles and barriers that affected children’s ability to learn successfully and the effect this had on their wider education and lives.
I was responsible for rejuvenating my school’s literacy curriculum and implementing a new scheme of work that matched the needs of our learners. This improved children’s confidence, engagement and enthusiasm for reading and writing. Winning funding for our school’s library, I was able to provide a range of books that appealed to the interests of our children which encouraged them to read just for fun. Watching their attitude towards reading improve and love of books soar, was one of my greatest teaching achievements.
I also trained as a level 3 forest school leader, taking a group of children into our local forest every afternoon, all year round. I was able to provide children with opportunities to build their confidence, self-esteem and motivation, through group activities and guided play, which helped them build and understand their social, emotional and personal rules and boundaries. This influenced and informed my approach to teaching – ultimately teaching needs to be engaging, relevant and fun! I worked with Deborah in this environment for several years and saw, firsthand, the impact that her work had on children’s enthusiasm for reading and the way it improved their reading levels. Children couldn’t wait for their weekly sessions to arrive! It had always inspired me, so when the opportunity to become a reading doctor arrived, I jumped at the chance.