Paul Acton is a GITEP trainee currently doing his twin placement at Dene Magna in the Forest of Dean.
“I didn’t go into teacher training straight out of University like some of my colleagues. I finished Uni about 6 years ago, and then did other work for a car manufacturer, which was steady, but also quite boring at the same time. I’d done a bit of teaching of school activities in the school holidays and things like that, so I’d worked with kids before. I had this urge to go back and help young people, so I started to look into teaching a couple of years ago, did a few open days and then I just went for it.
“Geography was a subject at school the I always enjoyed. I studied marine science at University down in Plymouth, I guess thats the reason I wanted to teach geography as its such a great subject at the end of the day.
“Im teaching at my twin placement at Dene Magna in the Forest of Dean and my parent placement is at Thomas Rich’s Grammar school in Gloucester. It’s been great, I’ve landed my feet, because they’re both really good schools, but very different. Thomas Rich’s are a high performing grammar school so there was a little bit of expectation there, they really challenge their pupils. Dene Magna is a comprehensive, which is good because you see a whole range of communities, so I’m really enjoying it there as well.
“I got a £9000 bursary for getting a 2:1. I wouldn’t say that it was a major influence on my decision, but it is a nice ting to have, that you have some money to help you through the course. I was just going to use my savings that I’ve saved up over the years, so a £9000 input was greatly appreciated.
“Regarding pastoral support, the schools have been absolutely great. The teachers haven’t been overbearing but they have been there when I’ve needed them. Subject Leader Rebecca Lillington is great, she’s got so many ideas. If I’m ever struggling with ideas, in a lesson, or whatever it might be, I’ll look through some of the notes that Bex has given us and something will come up, so its absolutely great.
“It is hard work, but it’s so satisfying at the end of the day, when you’ve taught a good lesson or you’ve helped someone or you’ve helped them get to where they need to be. Its a good feeling, I would completely recommend it!”