Sheffield-based English teacher, Helen Simms, spoke to us at the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub about her career journey since completing her School Direct PGCE with Sheffield Teaching School Alliance (STSA). Helen was amongst the STSA teacher trainee class of 2019 and has since thrived in her new profession.

Q. Can you tell us why you chose the STSA over any other providers?

“I was thoroughly impressed at the Open Day and meeting Helen Duffy. The passion, enthusiasm, and support she gave to me from there on out made me feel like it was right Teaching School for me.”

Q. What did you most enjoy about your time on the course?

“My Year 10 class. I adored teaching GCSE texts to them and watching the time and effort I’d put into them pay off as they began to warm to me as their teacher.”

Q. What would you say to someone thinking of training with the STSA?

“It is tough but you are never without a friendly face or people who go well out of their way to make you feel reassured and supported.”

Q. Can you tell us why you wanted to become a teacher initially, and has it lived up to your expectations?

“To make a difference to our most vulnerable children in our society. It is everything I thought it would be and more.”

Q. Take us back to the first class you took by yourself as a trainee teacher, can you remember how you felt?

“Baptism by fire but I have learned so much since.”

Q. Where are you in your teaching career now?

“Having spent one of my placements there, I am now employed full time as a Teacher of English at Meadowhead School in Sheffield.”

Q. What are your plans for the future of your career? Where do you have your sights set?

“My goal at the moment is either to become Head of Year or go down the Pastoral career path in education.”

Q. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

“The working relationships I have built with students and watching them progress and develop academically and pastorally.”

Q. What would you say to anyone who is thinking of getting into teaching?

“Do you believe that any child, no matter what their circumstance, demographic or academic ability, can succeed if given an outstanding education? Do you believe that you can be a positive role model who has the ability to not only teach but nurture any and all students in your classroom, no matter their background? If yes, prepare for the most exhilarating, fulfilling, and worthwhile career of all time. It is truly a blast every single day.”

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to say about the STSA?

“Thank you for all the help and support I was given. I would not be the teacher I am today without you.”

We really enjoyed reminiscing with Helen and are so pleased with how far she has come. We have no doubt she’ll reach and exceed her future goals in education. Thank you, Helen!

If, like Helen, you want to make a real difference in children’s lives then a career in teaching might be the best decision you make! Read more about getting into teaching here.