After always wanting to work in a School, Siobhan found a way to make this possible
Tuesday 4 February 2020 9.49am
After working in retail for a short time after finishing her A-levels, Siobhan wanted work where she could have flexibility. She started a new role as a chat room moderator working from home, which fitted perfectly whilst raising a young daughter at the time.
As her daughter grew up and started school, Siobhan’s routine of home-based moderating became mundane. She knew this was her chance to start a career, so started to look for new opportunities.
Throughout Siobhan’s childhood, she always remembers wanting to be a schoolteacher. This felt like a perfect time to follow her thoughts of supporting young people, so she soon explored her options of working in a school.
An opportunity at Weobley High School as an Apprentice Learning Support Assistant to study a Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (STLS) delivered by Hoople was available soon after Siobhan’s job search started.
This felt like a perfect move for her, being the school just a stone’s throw away from her house suited her balance between work and life – something important for her and her young family.
In September 2017 after successfully securing the new position, Siobhan had a trip down memory lane – her first day at High school. She didn’t know many people there and after years working at home, she felt slightly anxious about working with others.
After a couple of months settling in, alongside supporting maths lessons Siobhan was involved in working on a six-week initiative called Motiv8. She worked with year 8 students, overseeing a budget for them whilst they choose activities they wish to try. She loved planning and delivering the activities, but the most rewarding part was seeing the students engage and grow in confidence.
Her involvement in planning, preparing and delivering didn’t stop after Motiv8 ended. Now working as a maths specialist LSA supporting small groups of students offering numeracy interventions with groups from year 7 and year 8, Siobhan develops all lesson plans focused on the students’ learning styles and abilities.
Siobhan also runs classes working towards their certificate of personal effectiveness (CoPE), providing students opportunities to develop lifelong skills in problem solving and building confidence to approach challenging tasks.
The hurdles faced when delivering alternative learning to students who are supported with their maths means everyday offers something different for Siobhan: “Numeracy interventions offer more flexibility allowing me to structure them based on students individual needs and abilities, so I have to develop lesson plans to suit the students. When they understand something after trying so hard, it makes you smile – it makes you feel like everything has been worth it, they’re so proud of themselves, it’s so nice to see.”
Siobhan’s continuing her professional development, soon enrolling onto a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies at the Open University. This can open so many doors for Siobhan from Counselling to teaching. She is looking forward to exploring where her degree will take her next, though she is set on staying in education!
Kirsty Staunton, Hoople STLS Assessor and tutor: “Siobhan started her apprenticeship at level 2 with progression to the level 3 during her time at the school, learning a variety of new skills alongside her working role to enable her to take on the lead with her Motiv8 and COPE groups. Siobhan has a clear passion for helping students who may not have the same opportunities if they were not sign posted to her group.
Through her hard work and dedication, the school identified that Siobhan had clear leadership skills, which in turn lead to her teaching and leading in maths.
During her practical observations within the workplace, I observed Siobhan’s love of maths shone. Siobhan is an asset to the school, the knowledge and feedback gained throughout her apprenticeship is clear; she is caring and compassionate, always wanting her students to achieve.”
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