When I work in schools I’m often asked by both children and staff ‘Why did you go into teaching?’ and I often feel compelled to make something up out of fear from the truth, but after some persuading it’s about high time I explain why I am where I am now.
I was born in 1992 in Poole, East Dorset. I’m the younger of 2 siblings, with a sister 7 years older than me. Just like a lot of people, I learnt to walk and talk early and experienced a relatively easy early life, or so you would think. The reality is things were never that simple. Both of my parents were not what you would call the ‘perfect family’. Neither one had ever worked. They both lived on benefits for their lives. My father is registered disabled and my mother is his full time carer.
I started out life in a large school in a 3 tier schooling system, meaning that I was in First School from Reception as it was known in those days through to Year 3, Middle School from Year 4-7, and Secondary School from Year 8-13.
First school was challenging. I found it difficult to fit in and struggled with reading and writing. I was labeled as a ‘lazy student’ and was bullied a lot. I constantly ended up in trouble and must have held the record for the most appearances in front of the Deputy Head by any member of the school. However, it was then that some glimmers of intelligence started to show. My parents weren’t particularly supportive and I often didn’t do homework (who likes homework anyway?). They also argued practically all the time and often at night, which meant I struggled to get some sleep. Unsurprisingly I had few friends at this point.
Middle School showed signs of improvement. My reading was improving at a rapid rate and I finally started to be able to work confidently. My reputation for being good at maths grew and grew. Sadly at the same rate, my home situation got worse and worse. My parents’ arguing grew more and more constant with every passing day, and they even resorted to throwing things at both my sister and myself. It grew so bad that I fell into a complete state of depression. The bullying at school didn’t show any signs of stopping either.
Secondary School was when things started to change. I passed 11+ with great success and earned a place in Poole Grammar School, where I would finally be recognised as a genuine talent. Things weren’t always easy though. Year 8 saw my grandfather in hospital for the most part, Year 9 saw SATs, Year’s 10 and 11 saw GCSEs. All of this was happening at the same time my parents went officially bankrupt, was evicted from 2 separate houses and grew to their worst state yet. How I walked out of GCSEs with as good a set of grades as I did was amazing.
I stayed on at the Grammar School for Sixth Form, where I studied Psychology, Statistics, Economics and Business Studies. This was a broad range of subjects, mostly because I had no idea of any career path I wanted to go down. I knew I had to break the cycle in my immediate family. I had initially struggled with a huge lack of confidence and social development, however I really enjoyed my Psychology. I learnt a lot about myself and my family there. It was then I realised that something had to change. My parents were out of control, I struggled to work at home or anything. I needed out.
This led me to make the hardest decision of my life. I walked out on my parents not long after my 17th birthday. I went to live with my grandparents, originally for a few days. But after malicious allegations of kidnap from my parents, I made the decision to break all contact with them completely. This decision was the turning point of my life. I went from a very controlled life under my tyrant parents where I had to ask to do anything and my career was decided by them, to a chance to have some freedom over my life and make my own decisions. Having decided I didn’t want to be an accountant I looked at plenty of Universities and decided I wanted to go into a teaching degree, where I could use everything I’ve gone through to my own advantage.
University – What I’m up to now
So I decided on Plymouth University and enrolled on a 4 Year BEd Primary Education course, and I am having the best time of my life. I’ve met some fantastic people, both children and staff. I really love the classroom and don’t ever want to leave it. Right now I’m almost at the end of my 3rd Year, and am currently on for a First. I also work for a local Secondary School as a mentor, just so I am still in the classroom. I’m not due to be on placement again until January and can’t wait.
Well this is my life so far, and who knows? Over time there may be more and more things that I can add to my life. The moral of the story for me is: No matter who you are, or where you come from, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. My aim in life is to be able to give as many generations the opportunities that I never had as possible, but for me to do that, I have 1 more year of a degree to complete before getting a job.