I am a Politics and International Relations undergraduate, who is currently working as a Teacher at Beal High School located in East London. My position includes teaching PSHE, English and Physics to children aged eleven to sixteen, and supporting students with special requirements/needs. I have always considered teaching as a career path, but I was unsure because of the workload and stress which came with the job. However, my placement year has helped me make a more firm decision, and I can proudly say it is a career path which I would love to take on once I graduate, even though it has only been three months.
I applied to the position through the website ratemyplacement, and accepted the position by late June 2018. After this I had to consider moving into London, where I could easily commute to and from my place of work. This was a new expedition for the Essex girl, and it was very scary.
I started looking for student accommodations around London, where I could live in for the year, since house shares, and single rooms didn’t fit my budget. I found a newly built student accommodation near a train station called Blackhorse Road, which not only gave me a direct access to Central London, but I could take a straight bus from home to work and back. The commute is approximately forty minutes long, and I enjoy it. I love sitting on the bus with headphones in, marking or reading books for my lesson.
This is a new journey for me, because I’m not used to London. I stayed in Essex most of my life (because that is where I am originally from), and I did move to Birmingham for University, but even then I had friends, and peers who I knew, which made that journey easy. But, my placement journey was different. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the city, therefore settling in was one of my biggest fears.
However, it was the total opposite; my flat mates were friendly and jovial people. They were also placement students but from London universities, there was a block in the accommodation dedicated to placement students. This made it easy for me to bond and make friends with my room mates.
My first month at work was great, I always had a subject teacher who was experienced in the field with me, supporting me and advising me. This helped me get a better understanding of what I had to do, and all my colleagues were lovely, understanding and helpful.
I am glad I moved away to a new city for my placement year because I can honestly say it has made me build my confidence level. I am an introvert, who is quite shy and very awkward, but moving out for my placement year has been the experience I needed to get over my social awkwardness. I love everything about London; I love the city itself, its history, the lifestyle, from fine dining at the Shard to the street food markets in Camden Town. I love the fact that you can be whoever you want, despite your background, status, religion or race.
Moving away for your placement year is quite nerve racking, however I would honestly recommend it. You get to experience so many new and different opportunities. As an individual I have definitely learnt that it helps you build confidence, and helps you get out of your shell.