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Charley Hasim: RE with Citizenship trainee

Charley Hasim: RE with Citizenship trainee

Cohort 2018/19

21st March 2019

Leaving university with a Law and Politics degree, a passion to bring about social change and a partner with a teaching job secured in London, stepping in to a job in the Civil Service felt like the way to go. But, after six years, a 12 month career break in Cape Town and a lot of experience later, I have found myself training to teach. 

I always wanted to teach, but the time never felt right. I worried I lacked the patience and resilience to face students daily, in an environment when a bad day on my part could influence student behaviour. However, in October 2017, I took a chance and applied for a place on the Harris Schools Direct programme to teach Religious Studies with Citizenship. I was quickly interviewed and offered a salaried place on the course for the next academic year. The next 10 months was a whirlwind of being offered a contract at a school I loved (with the added bonus of it being one mile from my house- goodbye long, rush hour commutes!), taking skills tests and brushing up on my subject knowledge.  

As a Schools Direct trainee, I started in September and was assigned 11 classes, including both Year 9 and Year 10 GCSE citizenship classes. As a career changer, the ability to train on the job was important to me, and, on my second day of employment, I entered the classroom and attempted to put everything I had learned in the one week summer school in to practice. The autumn term was a blur, but I reached Christmas and felt elated and overwhelmed with the skills and experience I had developed.  

In January, I spent 3 weeks on a contrasting placement, and the most valuable lesson I took away from this placement was that the success of my lessons and the learning the students take away from them relies heavily on the relationships you build with them.

I have now been back at my main placement for eight weeks, and returning to my regular classes felt like a homecoming. I have become “that teacher” who my students think is kooky because I constantly tell them how amazing they are, but I truly believe it! My timetable has increased, and I have taken over teaching some  A-level classes, a new experience that I am excited to grow with. I feel supported within my school in my development and am looking forward to the rest of the training year.  

I am not sure I will ever learn everything I need to know, and the more time I spend in the classroom I realise how much I still have to learn, but that’s the exciting thing about a career in teaching: as the students learn, I also learn, about them, about society and about myself.