I base my teaching on individual ability, and tailor lessons to the requirements of the student. I also try to make sessions as enjoyable as they can be!
I have just completed my undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Winchester, and am now living in Manchester until my MA in September.
Creative Writing Teaching Work – 2013
Whilst at secondary school, I, along with a small number of select others, were chosen to visit a local primary school and deliver sessions on creative writing to the ‘gifted and talented’ of year five class. By the end of the sessions, the children had individually come up with story ideas, drafted, re-drafted, and completed their own detective stories, as well as learning more about the elements of a story and the creative process. As a group of ‘leaders’, we were not supervised by a member of staff, and planned all sessions independently. This shows that from an early age I had the capabilities to successfully work independently, planning sessions that were both well received and meaningful. I, along with the pupils we taught, greatly enjoyed these sessions, as they gave me a gateway into independent study, and confidence when leading and teaching.
Thailand Volunteer Trip – July 2014
In my final year of secondary school, I was chosen to be one of the eight (across two years groups of roughly 500) selected students to travel to Thailand and volunteer at both a Thai orphanage and local NGO-run school. The project was run by my school, and our trip was the first one of its kind to run, making the experience all the more special. During our time at both the school and orphanage, we spent time teaching English, to varying degrees of complexity. The lessons that we delivered ranged in topic, from core language, to geography and English culture; and these were all lesson plans that we had devised in pairs shortly before flying out. This experience was one that was incredibly rich, and from which a learnt a great deal – not only about Thai culture and the children that we worked with, but also about planning meaningful lessons – especially when there is a potential language barrier. The trip allowed me to develop my planning skills, the ways in which I communicate, and gave me a new level of independence that has followed me through into later life.
Higher Education Ambassador – December 2016 – May 2019
I was employed by my University (The University of Winchester) as a Higher Education Ambassador at the end of my first year there. This role involved me going into both primary and secondary school environments – as well as dealing with care-leavers, to promote the idea of Higher, and further Education as being something that is attainable, enjoyable and worthwhile. As Ambassadors, we would often run game sessions or stalls with these children and young people, which would change in content depending on the age of those we would be working with. This also meant that we would have to explain some High Education-specific terminology in ways that were understandable to certain groups. Overall, my work as an Ambassador was something that I greatly enjoyed, and helped to make me comfortable when both speaking in front of large groups, as well as in a more formal educational setting. It also helped me to learn how to pitch information in a palatable way to a variety of different age groups and backgrounds, as well as giving me invaluable confidence and communication skills.
Peer Assisted Leader – September 2017 – May 2019
I worked for The University again, this time in the role of Peer Assisted Leader – or PAL. This job entailed me delivering planned weekly sessions to first year students, facilitating them, and allowing them to develop their new skills, as well as prepare and settle into university life. As and English Literature student, you are expected to know a great deal of theories, and theorists, which then should be applied to your essays. And thus, a great deal of my PAL sessions were concentrated on solidifying a theoretical knowledge that is taught in students’ first year. Being a PAL leader was something that was entirely self-directed, save for ‘debrief’ sessions with a member of Academic Skills staff once every three to four weeks. As a leader, I was required to plan sessions that would not necessarily teach, but help students to consolidate information, and consequently, feel comfortable using said information in classes and lectures. Being a PAL leader has given me a great deal of transferable skills, such as innovative planning, the ability to ‘think on my feet’ (when a student would raise and issue that the session was not planned to cover), and self-reliance – alongside building my confidence at the same time. I greatly enjoyed my role as a PAL leader, especially as it was a pioneer scheme when it first begun at Winchester in 2017.
VESA Fiji Volunteer Programme – July – August 2018
During the summer of 2018, I undertook a month long volunteering trip to Fiji, which consisted of both an environmental conservation project, as well as a teaching and school development programme. During this trip, we stayed in homestay families, which were traditionally Fijian. From here we would commute to the local school, wherein we undertook construction work, making it safe for practise. Alongside this, we also taught lessons at the school. The majority of the children spoken moderate English, so we were able to teach slightly more complex subjects, such as science (this included outdoor experiments), and a rudimentary form of community and diversity studies. Some of the female volunteers were also granted the opportunity to talk to some of the older girls about female personal hygiene and puberty. Following on from this, we spent a week on Beachcomber Island assisting in the Hassleback Turtle conservation programme in operation there. This involved us washing and rehabilitating vulnerable turtles, as well as doing beach and ocean cleans, and plating coral sprouts in efforts to regrow the reef. Overall, this trip was an invaluable experience, which taught me a great deal about other cultures. I also developed my independence, yet also my teamwork and cooperative skillset, as group work was often required, with a set of initially complete strangers. My time in Fiji also allowed me to use my creative thinking and communication skills to engage the children, allowing them to understand and thrive in the sessions we delivered.
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