Teaching apprentice fulfils her dream of becoming a qualified teacher
Teaching and learning apprentice, Melanie Hixon had for many years dreamed of becoming a teacher before stumbling across an apprenticeship opportunity that offered her the chance to train and learn.
“For many years I had set my sights on becoming a qualified teacher. I always felt that not having a teaching qualification prevented me from progressing professionally, hindered my career aspirations and stopped me from being recognised as a valuable and committed educational practitioner.”
Melanie, who is currently completing a Level 5 apprenticeship in teaching and learning, started out as a higher level teaching assistant. She also had responsibility as a class lead in a newly formed specialist academy for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).
“Part of my role consists of working with Key Stage 4 learners, aged 14-16 who have educational, health and care plans (EHCPs), as well as leading and supporting a small team of staff and pupils in a pastoral, educational, behavioural and emotional capacity to ensure departmental outcomes are achieved.
“I work closely with parents and families to facilitate a unified approach to pupil development which involves regular communication, leading and attending meetings and signposting support from other agencies.”
Working with a supportive team
Speaking about her own learning experience during the pandemic, Melanie said she struggled with her confidence as well as her ability to study effectively.
“I struggled to complete essays confidently during my apprenticeship but the close network built amongst the learning group and the support of the lead tutor helped me overcome this. I soon developed my confidence and ability to write structured essays, accessing and using information correctly to validate arguments and form balanced conclusions.”
On teaching, Melanie said the experience has been rewarding and a major highlight in her career so far.
“Being able to work with students and other like-minded professionals throughout my apprenticeship has enabled me to build confidence, as well as network and share good practice and knowledge of other educational provisions in the city.”
On her apprenticeship and encouraging others to consider one, Melanie said apprenticeships are a great way of earning while learning.
“Whilst there is a blend of formal and informal tasks, these are evenly spread throughout the year and are fully supported by tutors which makes the course more enjoyable.
“I am glad I chose an apprenticeship as it has enabled me to achieve my goals in a realistic timeframe whilst still working four days a week. Each phase of my apprenticeship, both the practical and theoretical side, helped me progress and become an effective teacher as I was able to apply new knowledge and adapt my practices.”
Click here or more details on pursuing an apprenticeship through Leeds City College/Luminate Teacher Training.