Former Cheadle Hulme High School student, Georgina Lunt, returned to her alma mater in September 2016, as a fully qualified mathematics teacher, having completed her teacher training at Altius.
Georgina chose the School Centred Initial Teaching Training (SCITT) route offered by Altius, rather than take the traditional university-based PGCE. She tells us about what influenced her decision to leave accountancy and take up teaching as her lifetime career.
“I left school after my A-Levels and chose to study a degree in accountancy because I’d really enjoyed the subject. However, after three years at university studying the subject in depth, and working in the sector I realised an office-based job just wasn’t for me.
I needed more – something nourishing and dynamic with the opportunity to give back and something that enabled me to leave work every day with a real sense of achievement. I looked at the various career options and teaching seemed the obvious choice. However, I didn’t want to go back to university as I’d got into the mentality of coming to work every day.
Having been a student at CHHS, I had prior knowledge of Altius along with the student teachers that trained at the school, as I’d experienced them as a pupil in the classroom and so I investigated the possibility of doing a SCITT course, rather than a PGCE. I still had contacts at CHHS and spoke to someone who had just completed the course. This was all I needed; it reaffirmed what I already understood through my research.
The ability to work ‘on the job’ from day one really appealed to me. Personally I believe the SCITT course gives you the best opportunity to get to know the pupils, to experience how to build relationships, and to discover first-hand how children work and learn. The Altius course gave me all this and more.
Within the first five weeks I was fully teaching lessons – great for getting over the initial fear of presenting to children. It gave me the opportunity to break down barriers and spend time talking to them and show that I had a genuine interest in them as individuals. I discovered what they did outside my classroom and ensured that I congratulated them for their achievements in other activities, whether school-based or in their leisure time – it made a real difference.
I certainly changed more as person than I thought I would. I believed I was organised, but teaching is a juggling act – it’s about deciding what is a priority and what can wait; you certainly have to be at the very top of your game in terms of time management. We had tremendous help from both our subject specific and our coach mentors. As a result my prioritising skills have greatly improved, which really helps you to deal with day-to-day stress positively.
I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to come back and teach at CHHS; the school is such an exciting place right now as there is so much happening. Head, Linda Magrath’s forward driving approach “better is possible” suits me well. I can’t wait to get started and contribute in the long-term by taking on more roles and responsibilities.”
“I left school after my A-Levels and chose to study a degree in accountancy because I’d really enjoyed the subject. However, after three years at university studying the subject in depth, and working in the sector I realised an office-based job just wasn’t for me.”