United Teaching Blog

Emma Hayward Paddington Academy United Teaching

"Teaching has surpassed my expectations."


We spoke to Emma Hayward, a trainee English teacher at Paddington Academy. With a couple of months' teacher training under her belt, how is she finding it so far?

Teaching has surpassed my expectations.

My top highlights of the past few weeks include reading to my students and watching as they become absolutely absorbed in the story; conducting a mock trial with my Year 7 English class around Roald Dahl’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’; watching four students stay behind after school to see if they could recite 40 quotes from ‘A Christmas Carol’. They could, and they made it look easy.

Previously, I worked at a university as a lecturer. I spent a lot of time by myself researching and writing with very little contact time with students. I also had to commute weekly from one end of the country to another. The combination of these two factors meant that I had very little opportunity to share my enthusiasm for literature and language. It became very isolating. For me, the best part of my job now is getting to discuss my subject all day with students and colleagues.

This next half term, I’m really looking forward to developing ‘Book Club’ with my Key Stage 3 classes and really focusing on encouraging reading for pleasure.

Going into this job, I was aware of the negative press surrounding the profession. Yes, the workload is challenging, the hours are long, and you certainly hit the ground running, but it’s a joy to spend all day, every day learning – about my subject, the students, and pedagogy.


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