Joel - University of Warwick, German Studies
Date attended Ashmole: 1997-2004
A Levels: German, Graphics, RE. French AS level
University: The University of Warwick
Course: German Studies
What are you doing now?
I’m now a primary school teacher and phase leader for Key Stage 1. After graduating from University, I took some time out to decide what I wanted to do and in that time did various jobs. Eventually I decided to go into teaching and first got a job as a teaching assistant.
What did/do you get involved with at university?
The University of Warwick has a very large student union so there were lots of options. I tried various clubs but eventually stuck to the Brass Band and German Societies. The brass society involved weekly rehearsals and lots of socials! After a year of going to events at the German Society I became joint president and organised a trip to Germany as well as other events.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Ashmole Academy? What skills did it help you to develop?
The teachers that taught me really cared about my achievements. They were passionate about their subjects and that came across in their lessons. This encouraged me. They always had an open door policy. I was elected as Deputy Head Boy, which gave me great experience in working with others and organising events.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career to yours?
Studying a language was great as it allowed me to live abroad in Germany for a year, learn about another country and meet people from all over Europe through the programme I went on. I was also lucky enough to spend some time attending a language course in Spain. Having gained a 2:1, this then allowed me to retrain for a year and go into teaching. If you are thinking about going into teaching, I would recommend getting experience in a school first. I worked as a teaching assistant for a year, which gave me invaluable experience. It, like many other jobs comes with a high workload but is also very rewarding, and if you are not afraid of hard work, you are passionate and you want to make a difference then it could be the right career path for you. Unless you are 100 percent sure at this point that you would like to go into teaching, I would suggest getting a degree which could be linked or simply in another area that you are interested in, which you can then use to complete a teacher training programme. Then you will also have something else to fall back on if you ever change career paths. Although I was offered a place at University for a PGCE, I decided to opt for ‘The Graduate Teacher Programme’ (on the job training).
How did Ashmole help you reach your goals?
The teachers were always at hand to discuss various options regarding my future. They worked hard to ensure I achieved my full potential.
Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.
As well as teaching, I have recently set up my own business, ‘Fun With Phonics’, teaching children phonics through art and multisensory activities. It has been great to grow my own business and tutoring service, learning new skills along the way. In addition to this, I have continued to develop my interest in music and not only play the cornet but also enjoy singing.
Please write a quote that sums up your experience at Ashmole.
“A welcoming and supportive school, striving to get the best out of every individual, offering a broad curriculum to meet the needs of all learners”.