A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

Leaving Birmingham, I worked for a teaching agency for a few years before settling for four years at a school in Luton. I've recently moved schools to challenge myself further.

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

My M.A. has been particularly useful in helping A level students with their independent research and study skills. My PGCE was an essential requirement for my job, but Birmingham made sure we were as prepared as we could be for the challenges of the classroom.

Main work activities in your current role

Managing a class of 30 pupils with individual needs and learning styles, planning lessons to engage every single one of them, marking and recording their efforts, being a pastoral tutor to a form group, liaising consistently with parents/carers as well as year leaders or other professionals where appropriate.

A typical day in your job

No such thing as a typical day, but an outline: In school for 7.30, meeting at 8.25, from at 8.40 to 8.55. Then two lessons of an hour each, twenty minute break, another two lessons, lunch for an hour, then your final lesson of the day. Pupils leave at 3.20, which is when you mark books/assessments, plan lessons, deal with behaviour issues from the day (detentions), extra-curricular activity, tutorials or 'boosters' for targeted pupils, staff meetings and CPD. Leave school between 5 or 6.

Main challenges in your role

Whenni first started, I found the work load to be tremendous, on top of the day to day stress I struggled to be effective. Now, in a new school, I'd say establishing myself again, with pupils and staff.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

First, a love of my subject. I love History. I love the stories, I love the sense of understanding, I love telling someone something from the past and getting excited about it. Then I started teaching and saw the difference a single person could make in a lesson. The impact we can have is incredible.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

Get to know your PGCE classmates. Struggling, succeeding and lesson planning are all better with friends. And doughnuts.