Tales of a Trainee Teacher: My Story


After graduating from Coventry University in June 2012 with a first class degree in English and TEFL, I was completely baffled at what I wanted to do with my life (and in some ways still am!). Having almost always been employed since the age of 13 when I landed my first paper round, I was sure that somewhere along the line I’d figure out what I want to do. And in the meantime, I’d easily land a half decent job with the various shop, bar, promotions and mentoring positions that I’d held in the past.

Alas, this experience still wasn’t enough to naturally lead me down a particular career path and so 5 months after University life I was still as a clueless as I was when I left. However, after what felt like endless days of job hunting, sleepless nights of soul searching and a handful of jobs that couldn’t be further away from what I would describe as my ‘dream job’, I finally began to find some direction. I secured my current position at the Careers and Add+vantage Department at Coventry University and began to realise where my strengths lie and what I actually want from my future career.  

My ‘Realisation’

Now when you need career direction, being surrounded by Careers Consultants everyday definitely helps. So, I took advantage of the advice available and also communicated my thoughts about my future career to my colleagues on a regular basis. I also got involved in a variety of projects at work, from conducting one-to-one and group advice sessions to contributing to the creation of new materials for the service. This helped me to recognise what I enjoy doing the most at work. Finally, I decided to partake in the Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Career Development, which allowed me to explore the areas that I am passionate about and also gain some invaluable career development skills.

So far, my experience has helped me realise that I love working with other people. I want a job where I am inspiring others to learn and helping them to reach their goals, where every day is different, and where I don’t have to take myself too seriously. Using this situation to my advantage and making connections across the University has also led to me securing a short work experience placement at a local primary school. This will not only (hopefully) confirm my chosen career path, but will also provide me with the necessary experience and insight into teaching that I need to apply for a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education). Hurrah! My life has direction once again, and as the PGCE course doesn’t start until September 2014, I can pursue my dream to go backpacking and become worldy wise in the meantime!

Over the next few weeks I will be documenting my experience working at the primary school in a series of blog posts. Hopefully this insightful blog will help those who are considering a career in teaching to take the next steps forward, such as arranging your own voluntary school placement and deciding whether teaching is the right path for you.

A Lesson Learned

Whilst arguably I did just fall into a role that gave me some career direction, I also would have saved myself a whole year of soul searching after graduation had I made use of the services available to me earlier. You should try and explore your career options and analyse where your strengths lie as early on in your University life as possible.

Book an appointment with a Careers Consultant today by calling us on 02477652011 or visiting us on the first floor of the Hub Building. Already left Coventry for the summer? We also conduct telephone and email appointments. Already graduated? You can make use of the Careers Service up to two years after graduation.

Interested in the Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Career Development to enhance your future prospects? Click herefor more information or email careers.ss@coventry.ac.uk to express your interest and request an application form.

Michelle 🙂


Posted on May 31, 2013, in Teaching. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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