March 3, 2015, by Hannah Smith
Going back to school…
By Hannah Smith, student blogger
Last month I had my first taste of being on the other side of the staff room door – I’m now working in a school! I’m taking part in the Students in Classrooms scheme run by the Widening Participation team within the University, which means that I spend one day a week mentoring pupils one-on-one about careers, higher education, revision and exam techniques.
Best laid plans
After avid over-preparation and mental imaginings of how each meeting would go, I turned up at the school bright and early excited to get going. My main disappointment of the day, however, was that I only managed to meet two of my five mentees and I only managed this after confusion about timetables and who I was seeing first. Unfortunately, due to snow, absence and whatever other unforeseen circumstances, three of my mentees were unable to attend. This took me by surprise and actually really disrupted my flow of thought as I’d planned down to every detail how each session would pan out, and now I was sat in the staff room for two hours with no students to see!
On the positive side
Thankfully the sessions I did manage to do went really well and I’m feeling positive about those, but I think what I’ve had to take away from this is that over preparation isn’t always necessarily great as it leaves little room for manoeuvre if things go wrong. I do feel, though, that I could perhaps use this experience as an example of ‘flexibility’ and ‘adaptation’ for those horrible, tricky questions on graduate application forms, so not all bad!
In terms of my future career, it has definitely swayed me towards the education side of things, however because my role as a mentor is not subject specific and more about personal skill building, I’m wondering if I’d be more suited to a pastoral or careers advisory role – perhaps something I will look into in the coming weeks! In the meantime, my Teach First application has been submitted and I’m hoping for deferred entry which would mean I could spend the whole of my third year safe in the knowledge that I was already lined up for the scheme – keep everything crossed for me!
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