As a teacher at Mercer Wood’s Academy in Gainsborough Claire Taylor says the biggest reward is hearing about the successes of former pupils.
Claire, 44, started her teaching career at North-County Primary School, which is now Mercer’s Wood Academy, in September 1994 as a Newly Qualified Teacher. She has remained within the Trust throughout her whole career and she says this is purely because she is totally committed to the school, the local community and the families that attend the schools.
During her career she has worked within all primary year groups and her teaching specialism is Early Years.
Claire said: “My heart lies within foundation stage and Year 1.
“I did work experience at a primary school in Retford when I was a sixth form student and I really enjoyed the children’s enthusiasm for learning.
“I then did some other work experiences within school and these just reinforced that I wanted to be a teacher.”
Claire studied for her BA Hons with Qualified Teacher Status at Lincoln Bishop Grosseteste University.
She said: “I have never regretted going into teaching, but I probably didn’t fully appreciate at that early stage what the impact of the role would have on other elements of my life. But I simply love working with the children.”
Claire says teaching is a reward in itself but in particular it is rewarding working with Early Years.
She said: “The children are like little sponges. Everything you give them is small steps but they progress so fast. They are so enthusiastic and just want to learn.
“Also it is great working as part of a fantastic team, and being able to support other teachers and new staff in other roles.
“I really enjoy nurturing Newly Qualified Teachers and mentoring students from other colleges and universities about modelling skills and how to teach lessons.
“I am very lucky to work with the fantastic nurseries within the Gainsborough area which means I am able to understand our children and families and their specific needs before they join our school, and then I can build on this relationship during their time with us.
“I have been fortunate to have many achievements over my career.”
But Claire says the biggest achievement has to be seeing and hearing about how former pupils have developed, matured and succeeded over the years since they left primary school.
She said: “I know I have some former pupils who have gone on to attend university, build successful careers and some have gone into teaching.
“I am extremely proud of my role as Early Years Lead within the Trust. This is a role I started in 2012 and therefore I was part of the team judged to be Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014.
“I was also tasked with the job of setting up the new Early Years classrooms and outdoor play area at Castle Wood Academy. This was a real challenge as it was something new to me and the Trust.
“However, the hard work and time that was needed to set up the area was well worth it when the first children came into Castle Wood Academy on September 1, 2015, and I was able to see their excited faces.
“I still take great pride in looking at the classrooms and area knowing that it was my vision and ideas that created the wonderful learning environment that our children enjoy.
“I also feel a sense of achievement when former pupils request work placements at the Trust.
“Many say that they like to return as they had such a wonderful experience themselves when they attended the school.
“I am also teaching children of parents that I once taught which is lovely, almost like going full circle although it can be a little strange when I carry out home visits.”