Megan graduated from Canterbury Christchurch University in 2012 with a degree in Primary Education. At university she underwent 4 different placements across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, which included teaching in Africa.
"I decided that I wanted to get into teaching during high school, although my inspiration was sparked by my Year 4 teacher. By undertaking a range of placements during my time at university, I experienced teaching in a range of locations, schools, and levels early on in my career, and it helped me build and question the teacher that I wanted to be."
Megan started at Brooklands Primary School in Brantham during her Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year in September 2012.
First year in teaching
Before she started at Brooklands Primary School, Megan was supported by the school to undergo training as a Forest School Leader. This is a BTEC accreditation centred around the undertaking of lessons and learning, like PE, Maths, Science and English in the woodlands.
"I had discussed my interest in PE with my Headteacher in our initial conversations, so I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to become a Forest School Leader before I had even started my NQT year. By the time I was half way through my first year I was also given the responsibility of PE Co-ordinator for the school."
What advice would you give to someone who's starting their first year in teaching?
"Try to get a good work-life balance and remember that you're also a person as well as a teacher. You’ve also got to get excited about learning, if you're not excited, the children won't be excited."
Second year in teaching
During her second year Megan became the lead on outdoor learning and the school became the first in Suffolk to achieve the bronze award for Learning Outside the Classroom. This type of award encourages the use of a range of environments, like the school field and museums, to further the pupils' learning.
Learning about pirates
"Year 1 and Year 2 visited the pier at Southend last year to support their topic about pirates – this included learning about holidays in the past and a trip to the Aquarium."
The school now supports and shares this type of learning with other teachers from schools around the county.
Leading a class of her own
Megan was also given more responsibility at the start of her second year when she was presented with the opportunity to move year groups from reception to Year 3 and given her own class.
"The class was more challenging but my teaching style didn’t change. In January 2014, I also became Head of Literacy for the whole school. This was a great step up and I was given great support from my school and my colleagues. Being in this environment built my confidence and enabled me to really develop my career."
Move into management and peer to peer support
As well as her other roles she has gained along the way, Megan became Early Years and Key Stage 1 Leader and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
"This was a big learning curve, rather than a subject lead it was a whole school management step. To support my change in role, the local authority provided me with peer to peer support with a teacher in a similar role in another school in the county. From this experience I was able to take back what I had learnt and adapt it to our needs at the school.
Our Headteacher is also very good at pointing out training opportunities for staff members to develop themselves, and we are encouraged to suggest different training options when we find them."
Megan is now mentoring an NQT and has recently been appointed as Assistant Headteacher.
“This means more responsibility and the chance to contribute more to the whole life of the school – I’ve been looking at developing ‘Beach Schools’ as a new project.
Teaching offers the chance to develop your career you just have to grab the opportunities that come your way.”
Map of where Brooklands Primary School is in Suffolk.
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