at the time I was living near Coventry, I was offered a £15,000 salary to teach A level economics to both years 12 and 13 at Lakeview sixth form Centre as well as Advanced GNVQ business studies to years 12 and 13 and to teach key stage III maths two years eight and nine at George Spencer School, which was a full teaching timetable. At the same time as attending training sessions and coaching and mentoring sessions to complete a PGCE portfolio, the year was topped off by having my own personal OFSTED inspection observing all of my lessons for two days. With my two hours a day of commuting from Coventry during the term time, I was clocking up in the region of 80 to 100 hours per week. Not the easiest way to start a teaching career, but the kids were great. I also organised two trips for my sixth form students that year, the first just a day trip for 29 students to the Bank of England where both their fear of the London Underground amazed me, as did the look on their faces as they handled a gold bar at the Bank of England. The second trip I organised was a four-day trip to Disneyland Paris, thinly disguised as a business and economics trip. It was truly exhausting, yet great fun.
Becoming a secondary school teacher and training in the first year of the graduate teacher training programme was one of the most challenging, exhausting and rewarding years of my work life to date, my training provider was George Spencer school in Nottingham
I learnt so much in that year both about myself and the joy of inspiring and motivating young people. I think the ultimate accolade was when one young lad told me as my training came to an end, that he had decided he wanted to be a teacher because of me.
After completing my training. I secured my second job at Ninestiles school in Birmingham, only a 20 minute drive from my home in Coventry. This was a difficult and challenging school with many of the students from deprived backgrounds in one of the poorest areas of Birmingham. Unfortunately, due to the shortage of maths teachers. I ended up spending 50% of my timetable teaching key stage III maths to bottom sets of students that wanted to be in a maths lesson about as much as I wanted to be delivering it, I discovered that the rough end of teaching is all about behavioural management and very little of it about imparting knowledge. I left the second school after just one year somewhat disillusioned with teaching and by the time I had completed just one more term at my next school, the impact of the stress on my body led to a keto acidosis attack and my spending a week in a coma, then three months of sick and with the advice of my consultant, I left full-time teaching