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To Be Honest…

Honesty-is-Best-PolicyFor a couple of weeks now, I’ve been having a conversation with myself; where do I want my career to go within the world of education? For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I am half-way through my final teaching practice and the end of my degree is in sight. Consequently, I have been applying for NQT posts and the obvious question of “where do you see yourself in [insert number] years?” has been doing the rounds. While the obvious answer is to say I want to move up the leadership ladder within school; I’m not sure that’s what I want. Do I really want to be a Head-teacher? While I like the idea of being able to influence a school with my values of education, in all honesty, I love talking about education with my peers. However, I’m aware that this is in effect all I know to date.

My ‘training’ as a teacher has revolved around talking in seminars and discussing education for the past three years, and it feels like that is all about to disappear and replaced with a class of 30 eager to learn (!?) children. Yes, this is what I have always wanted, and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere but education. But, I already miss developing my knowledge of education and discussing it with peers.

So, where do I see my career heading? I’ve already voiced interest in doing a Masters degree after completing my NQT year and secretly, I’d love to complete a Doctorate (Dr Church does sound quite good!). Ultimately, I love researching and reading around education and innovative ideas that are happening; it’s this sharing of ideas and pedagogical success stories that enthuses me and is a community I want to join. In reality, I can conduct research in my classroom and publish it in journals. Being honest, I’d happily attend conferences, such as the Association of Science Education’s (ASE) annual conference and present my research in workshops or keynotes (how’s that for honest?). Am I aiming too high and being pretentious, or just an amibitious nearly-qualified teacher?

lightbulb2I am aware of the benefits of using social media for developing CPD and providing the ‘virtual staffroom’ and using chats such as #ukedchat to develop and share my experiences. Although, I want to complete more research and move the field of education forward; in particular primary science. There are some great advocates out there already, who I greatly admire, both lecturers and teachers. I guess really, I want to inspire the next generation, not just children, but teachers. Sharing knowledge and experiences is powerful. As a student, some of my own ‘lightbulb’ moments have not been while teaching, but have developed from the discussions with Link Tutors and Mentors afterwards.

To answer my question, I don’t really know where I want my career to go, as there are so many more options available in the industry than I ever thought possible. But I think it’s clear I want to move beyond the classroom and into some area of leadership (preferably primary science).

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One thought on “To Be Honest…

  1. Hi there Mr Church. It is refreshing to hear students talk positively about the nature and importance of pedagogy and research as a core part of good teaching. As a academic in ITE I would of course say that but I am worried about the move (by the current Gove-erment) of ITE into just schools where I fear there is less interest, time and expertise for these kind of conversations. I am also bias because I teach on the primary science course at my Uni and love this hugely (as I guess you do).

    So my advice, which you can ignore, the best thing about advice, is that you get a couple of years of teaching under your belt whilst not losing your research framework. You should be able to do some action research in your own classroom and if you want (and have the time and energy (and probably funding unless you are very fortunate and find a school that will offer support)) do an M.Ed part-time as part of this.

    Then think seriously about further research – you will have lots of time. Doing a part-time Ed.D or Ph.D is very hard work but very rewarding – I’ll show you the scars!

    You may of course find in /3 years time that other things become more exciting and interesting but keep reading and more importantly keep thinking asking those “why” as well as the more pragmatic “how” and “what” questions about learning and teaching.

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