United Teaching Blog

Teaching History at Northampton Academy


Hi, I’m Tom, and I’m a United Teaching trainee at Northampton Academy.

I’m originally from near Derby, and I went to the University of Birmingham, where I studied international relations for four years, including a year abroad in Alabama. I’ve now switched to teaching history, which fits quite nicely with my degree and my love of history, and so far, it’s going great!

When I graduated from university, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I ended up back working in hospitality for a year whilst I thought about the career I wanted to pursue. When I saw an opening for a trainee history teacher at Northampton Academy, I had a moment of inspiration. While not knowing what I wanted to do after university, I’ve always known that I wanted to go into a job where I felt I would have a sense of purpose and help people somehow. Teaching seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. So, with this newfound desire to teach, coupled with my passion for history, I started to do some more research into the United Teaching programme.

The more I found out about it, the better the fit seemed for me. I’m the sort of person who prefers to be thrown straight into work and learns better on the job, and that’s the way it works with United Teaching. From the outset, you get your own classes, and you begin teaching straight away. I enjoyed the prospect of this responsibility as I knew it would push me to learn how to become a great teacher quickly, making it easier for me to develop the right skills. Alongside this, United Teaching has a robust programme of support for its trainees, a good training route, and the opportunity to gain QTS and PGCE qualifications, so I felt like it was an easy choice for me to make when applying for the role.

The decision to take the position was even easier when I got the chance to visit Northampton Academy, which I found to be an incredibly welcoming school and one that seems very driven. So far, I can say it has lived up to this first impression with all the staff and students being very welcoming and everyone offering as much support as I need. I started at the academy in the final term before summer. I was allowed to observe other teachers and just settle into the school, which I found to be incredibly beneficial come September when I began teaching for real.

Based on these first few weeks, I can undoubtedly say that I made the right decision to train with United Teaching and to join Northampton Academy, and I’m looking forward to letting you know how the rest of my first year goes.

What next?

If you’re still interested in changing your career to teaching, get in touch for more advice.

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