SET member Stephanie Sluman explains how she believes her QTLS status led to her getting a job at the number one school in the South West of England.
What inspired me to be a teacher
I have always strived to be the best I can to make sure my dream of being a teacher came true. In fact, I have wanted to be a teacher since I was very little. I would sit all my teddies and dolls up and take a register and teach the bears about a subject I had learnt at nursery or in reception class.
When I was at school I volunteered at a youth club which encouraged students to enjoy creative subjects and sports activities on a Friday night with their friends, instead of hanging around at the shops or parks. I then started working at a nursery and after school club where I helped create activities that encouraged the children’s cognitive thought processes and their motor mobility.
My career journey to this day
My first big career move saw me become a drama teacher at a secondary school, and it was during this time I completed my QTLS with the Society of Education and Training (SET). I was the only drama teacher and therefore had sole responsibility of planning, teaching, learning and assessment of the students. After achieving my QTLS status and receiving a letter of commendation, I successfully earnt a place teaching at the number one school in the South West and the 20th school in the country. As a cover supervisor I teach all different subjects and it is my responsibility to ensure the students complete the work and assess their level of learning and achievement.
I’ve always wanted to be a drama or English teacher in a secondary school because I felt this age range was more suitable to my teaching style and the knowledge I have acquired over the years.
My advice to those entering the teaching and training profession
The best thing you can do is to focus your own learning and development. Signing up and attending webinars and other training sessions provided by SET means you learn something new every day. Even though some things may not seem as if they directly link to you, I can guarantee you will use everything you have learnt. It may not necessarily be in practice, but you may use this knowledge to reflect on your own professional development.
I would also recommend using the Professional Standards SWOT analysis or questionnaire to assess where you are in your learning process and what targets you need to complete to achieve a higher level of understanding and professional development. I still use these materials provided by SET to assess my professional learning in terms of how far I have come and how much more I need to achieve to reach my overall goal. But remember, being in the teaching and training profession means that you always learn new things and need to continuously update your knowledge to ensure the students are receiving the best quality and current teaching.
Ambitions for the future
I would like to continue developing as a teacher and be a permanent drama and/or English teacher. To achieve this I intend to continue teaching and learning as a cover supervisor. I will also continue as a member of SET as this enables me to attend webinars and ask other professionals for valuable advice.