Miss English the English teacher explains why she’s excited to be training for a career in teaching

17th November 2023

Teaching English is what Tiegan has wanted to do since starting her A levels, and seeing as her name is Tiegan English, we’d go as far as to say that’s fate!


Yes, with a name like Miss English, it was perhaps inevitable that the 21-year-old from Sunderland would choose this particular career path.


Teaching maths or science would have been great too, but it doesn’t have quite the same pizazz as Miss English the English teacher. If the shoe fits…


The trainee’s love of books led to her graduating with a degree in English literature and creative writing at Northumbria University in the summer.


And now she’s embarking on her SCITT course!


Tiegan started her SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) course with Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, which is a Teach First training partner, in September, and said she was “super excited” to start.


This really is delightful to hear, as we all know that some areas of the teaching profession haven't been cast in the strongest light in recent years. 


Fortunately, Tiegan is settling in well on her teaching placement at Sunderland’s St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, which is part of BCCET.


She said: “My lead mentor, Charlotte King, is superb and has helped me settle in extremely well; she is a credit to the academy, Trust and the course.


“Likewise, all the staff have been accommodating and welcoming and have really made me feel comfortable in such a short space of time. I’m excited to see how the year will progress.


“I’m so thankful for this opportunity to watch expert teachers in the field, such as Sarah-Jayne Atkinson. Her lessons, as well as all the lessons I have watched from other members of staff, have all been so informative and essential to my learning on the course.”


Tiegan knew she was destined for this career since she started her A levels.


“My teachers really brought English to life for me and I wanted to ignite that passion in other young people,” she added.


“In fact, one of the teachers, Kate Wallis, that I am observing now is the very same teacher that ignited the passion for my desire to teach at A level.”


Chris Zarraga, Director of Schools North East, said: “We’re really pleased to hear of Tiegan’s journey so far. It’s a massive understatement to say that the sector is in desperate need of support with recruitment and retention, so to hear that our region has a trainee teacher with so much energy, passion, and potential, really is brilliant.


“We wish Tiegan every success on her journey and cannot wait to hear about all the amazing things she achieves, both as a trainee teacher and as a qualified one.”


Gaining valuable experience while helping young people


Tiegan is no stranger to supporting young people in their efforts to succeed.


At just 17 years old, she started volunteering every Friday at Box Youth and Community Project in Sunderland working with children and young people.


As well as gaining valuable experience, she also volunteered to start a poetry group after noticing that some young people were really worried about their GCSE English exams and were struggling with that particular form of literature.


“I had just started doing my A levels, so I knew the GCSE English literature curriculum really well,” she said.


“They were really passionate about it but they were struggling. They came back to show me their scores and they had gone from Grades 4 to 7. I was so happy for them. That was the key moment that I knew this was what I should do.”


When a Teach First representative visited her college during her A levels, she knew that was the career path she wanted to take – and how grateful we are, as a sector, that she made this decision!


Now she has started her teaching placement, she could not be happier, and that really is music to our ears.


On a mission to strengthen recruitment and retention


Applications for September 2024’s one-year SCITT programme gives people hands-on experience in the classroom while they train.


Trainee teachers interact every day with pupils and work as a member of teaching staff in a school local to them. The intensive and weekly training was developed in partnership with curriculum design experts at Teach First to ensure a quality research-led programme.


Their approach includes online and face-to-face training; subject and phase specific training combined with effective teaching methods; support from skilled and knowledgeable mentors; Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) on graduation.


Suzanne Robbins, BCCET’s director of teacher development, said: “We are determined to be a highly aspirational organisation with the highest quality professional development opportunities at the heart of our work.


“Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust wants to ensure that all teachers are provided with opportunities to be the best version of themselves right from the start of their career. We want to strengthen recruitment and retention to make us the employer of choice."


Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust is a Schools North East Partner Trust . If you’d like to find out more about our Partner School membership, click here.


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