I am a first class Oxford University History graduate, who is currently teaching Year 7 and 8 English at a secondary school in North Dorset. I am extremely passionate about and dedicated to education, and hope to share this passion with others. To me, learning should be a fun, engaging and empowering experience, and is something that can - and should - be enjoyed by all.
As a teacher and person, I am extremely friendly, approachable, enthusiastic and caring. Fun and humour are key ingredients to each of my lessons, although I value patience and empathy as some of the most important qualities in a teacher. While I hope to push students to do their very best and reach their full potential, I recognise that this means meeting different needs in different ways.
My general methodology, however, is two-pronged. Firstly, it focuses on meeting requirements in order to ensure results. This means looking at exam specifications, model answers, exam techniques and formulas that can be followed for essays, in order to fulfill exam criteria and guarantee success. Secondly, however, it also focuses on developing a depth of understanding and sophisticated thought. This means ensuring that students do not merely learn to regurgitate information and master techniques for passing exams, but ensures that their intellectual and personal development is promoted beyond this, through stimulating discussions about new ideas, helping them to consider and grapple with deeper thoughts and more complex ideas.
I've known Isabelle for around 6 years. She is one of the most hard-working and inspirational people that I've ever met. All of her motivation comes from a genuine passion to improve the world and the lives of everyone in it. All of her grades have been, without exception, outstanding.
She is incredibly friendly and sociable, kind and patient, and an excellent teacher. She could honestly teach a goldfish to walk.
I can't recommend her enough.
I have been in my current teaching posts, as a cover teacher and Year 7 and Year 8 English teacher (with Unqualified Teacher Status) since September and December 2017, respectively, having only graduated from university in July of 2017. I have, however, had previous work experience in teaching. Throughout my second year of university, I volunteered with a student-led charity, Schools Plus, teaching a group of 8 Year 5s in Reading and Creative Writing. In the summer of 2017, I also worked on Oxford University's UNIQ Summer School, on their History: Race and Protest course, as a subject mentor. Leading fascinating discussion groups of about 10 students, this allowed me to work with older, A-Level students from across the country who were eager to go to Oxford University, and who shared my passion for history and interest in race matters.
Throughout my years as a student, I have always been extremely passionate about and committed to education and learning, believing that this is one of the most important fundamental rights we possess. I am also very aware that I owe this appreciation largely to the excellent teaching which I have received, and, being grateful of this, I now hope to inspire the same enthusiasm and interest in other students. Not only would I love to share with them the value, importance and fulfilment of learning, but I also wish to help young people find enjoyment, passion and confidence in their own unique strengths. Helping students find the things they are good at, interested in, or care about- the many different little things and skills that make them an individual- is an extremely important part of personal development, as well as a highly rewarding aspect of teaching. Knowledge is power, and I see it as imperative that the next generation is not only empowered in this way, but also supported in their personal development in order to reach their full potential and become the people they want to be. Now that I have graduated, it is therefore both a concern for education and for welfare which has led me to teaching and tutoring, in the hope that I can seize every opportunity possible to instil this passion for learning and drive for success in others.
English Language and Literature- A*
Extended Project Qualification- A*
AS Level (2013)
English Language and Literature- A
General Studies- A
English Language A*
English Literature A*
Core Science A*
Additional Science A*
BA Honours (University of Oxford- 2017)
First class degree in BA Hons History
(I also won the Kirk-Greene Prize for my thesis, for Best in African History across the university.)
TEFL 120-hour course from TEFL academy (distinction)
Gillingham Primary School (2000-2007)
School Lane, Gillingham, Dorset
Gillingham Secondary School (2007-2014)
Hardings Lane, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4QP
BA Hons History at University of Oxford (Pembroke College) (October 2014-July 2017)
Pembroke College, Oxford, OX1 1DW
English teacher at Gillingham School (Unqualified Teacher Status)
December 2017 – present
Cover supervisor at Gillingham School
September 2017 – present
Subject mentor at Oxford University’s UNIQ History Race and Resistance Summer School, 2017.
Various jobs waitressing, doing bar work, and working in factories for a local employment agency.
June - October 2015.
Waitress at Eat & Go Chicklade Service Station
February 2014- October 2014
Midday Supervisor at Gillingham School (Dorset County Council)
May 2013-June 2014
In July 2017, I worked on Oxford University’s UNIQ summer school, on their History: Race and Resistance course, working as a subject mentor, which required me to lead discussion groups of around 10 students. These were based around the topics of the preceding Oxford professor’s lecture, with subjects such as the global and British civil rights movements. Leading these seminar-like talks was an extremely valuable experience in terms of refining my tutoring skills, but it was also a fascinating one for me, as the students and I mutually learnt from each other by sharing our different perspectives, as well as our passion for equality and interest in racial matters. Moreover, the experience also allowed me to continue my commitment to outreach and access, as the scheme aims to widen access by providing a free, week-long stay at Oxford for bright A-Level students from state schools and colleges across the country.
My commitment to expanding educational opportunities has longer roots in my past, and mostly began whilst I was in sixth form, when I participated in a research internship for Action for Children and Dorset County Council. This aimed to explore some of the key barriers in society preventing young people from going onto further education after their GCSEs. Not only did this provide me with valuable insight into some of the issues involved, but it also ignited within me a determination to help overcome such barriers and make education more available and open to all.
Throughout my second year at university, I also volunteered weekly with Schools Plus, a student-run charity which aims to tackle educational disadvantage by working in schools in more impoverished areas of the city. I assisted in teaching a class of Year 5s in creative writing and reading, both teaching a group of 8 and working with students one on one. Both group and individual tutoring were extremely rewarding experiences, as well as being highly valuable in developing my own skills in tutoring. I learnt how to prepare lessons, tasks and activities, as well as how to be flexible and adapt when those plans were disrupted.
This experience also further developed my skills in working with younger children of a primary school age, as well as working with children with learning and behavioural difficulties, and whose first language wasn’t English. These factors meant that while they could be a somewhat more challenging group at times, it was in many ways even more rewarding, especially when I managed to get through to those who weren’t initially interested and find ways to spark their curiosity. Finding ways of doing so required thinking outside the box, as well as getting to know each student on a personal level, figuring out what it was that could get them interested in their work. I learnt how to relate to the children on their own terms, discovering how to develop friendly relationships and trust, while also maintaining the necessary authority and control. This tested my ability to think creatively, take initiative, and assume responsibility in a way that encouraged independence in decision-making.
Finally, of all my experiences to date, I have learnt most from my current job, as an English and cover teacher at Gillingham school, a mixed, comprehensive state school in the North Dorset area. From this experience so far, I have already learnt so much about working with young people, about teaching, and, moreover, about learning. Whilst the cover teacher role has taught me behavioural management skills in controlling a class of teenagers, my role as an English teacher has taught me a great deal about all the hard work that goes into teaching, and has shown me just how rewarding it can be. Having taken two of my own Year 8 classes and one of my own Year 7 classes for English, I have had to learn how to effectively plan lessons, create resources, materials and activities, implement these plans in engaging and fun lessons, and assess and mark work. This has required me to give precise, substantial and effective feedback in order to help students’ progression, but also to adapt my lessons and teaching according to the progress and areas of weakness that arise from these assessments. It has been incredibly rewarding having the opportunity to get to know these classes on such an individual level, being able to see them engaged and enjoying learning, and seeing them already making real progress.
My biggest hope is that I can continue and extend this work, reaching more students in more subjects, across the humanities, the arts, and the sciences, pushing students to fulfil their potential not only in their favourite subjects, but also across the board.
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