My son graduated from University 2 years ago with a First Class Masters Degree in Electronic Engineering. Obviously I was so proud. Why wouldn’t I be?
But its what he has done since then that has made me oh so much prouder.
He wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his Degree. He knew that he didn’t want to join any Military based organisation, and his interests are to do with Analogue Synthesisers – that’s what he did his Thesis on. He signed up with a few Agencies, and went on a few interviews. But although they liked him – he interviews well – nothing hit him squarely in the forehead that he really wanted to do. We made him sign on at the Job Centre because he was entitled to. He hated that, but did the work experience jobs that they threw at him to his best ability and it made him realise that he really didn’t want a desk job.
At Christmas 2014 he came to us and said that what he really wanted to do was be a Teacher. He had been a bit reluctant at first to mention it as he thought his Dad might think it was a waste of his Degree but both his Dad’s Parents had been Educators so it didn’t come as that much of a shock to me. In fact I had mentioned it several times while he was at University as he had got involved in a program that involved showing youngster, particularly girls, that STEM subjects were a good thing. And he loved it.
Anyway – have you any idea how tricky it is to start any Teaching Qualification at any time except September? There he was, ready, willing and able and it was looking like he had to wait until the following September.
In February I saw a local advert for an Academy chain which have several local schools for a Teacher Training day. He went along and was contacted pretty swiftly the next week by one of the Schools who said they would be interested in him starting in September, but in the meantime would he like to go and be a Teaching Assistant to cover the Naughty Kids room. They would get him into classes to make sure that it really was a good fit for him and them. Not one to say no to a challenge, and realising that this would be a good thing to put on his CV he decided to take the job.
It wasn’t easy. He was in a Senior Girl’s School and they really were the naughty ones. He stuck it out for a Term and a half until the Headmaster came to tell him that unfortunately there wasn’t any way there would be a job in Sept, so he left. Basically he had been used as a babysitter and had hardly stepped foot in a classroom at all.
It was around that time that we discovered that there was a Post Grad course locally specifically to get Teachers into schools. It was funded by a Government Bursary, so he would be getting money to live on – although he still had to pay £9k for the Course! He was accepted on the Course immediately. Let me tell you, its been a hard slog. As well as doing his PGCE with one day a week at Uni, hes had to plan and teach for 30 hours a week – Years 7-13. Sometimes he’d be up until Midnight getting things done. But it has made him realise that this is what he wants to do and the kids have responded to him well and his colleagues at the 2 schools he’s been in this year have had nothing but nice things to say about him. I think they’re a little miffed that he is moving out of the area!
On Monday they had their Graduation Evening and he got his Certificate. He’s properly a Teacher!
He has a job lined up for September – they offered it to him on the spot at Interview -which is away from home, and that’s the only downside for me. I know that he needs to move out and forge his own path and if he had stayed in this area he couldn’t afford to have his own place.
I am so very proud of him.