More than just a teacher


Photo by Gabriel Barletta

Photo by Gabriel Barletta

Name: Kay

Job title: Subject Leader for Drama

What exactly is that?

I am in charge of the drama curriculum and any extra curricular drama activities at the school I work at.

How did you get there?

Becoming a teacher was not my first choice in career. I always knew I wanted to do something to do with drama and the media industry which is why I studied Performing Arts and Media studies at A’Level, then went on to do a degree in Drama, Theatre and Television Studies.

When I completed my degree I went to work for a production company and was well on my way to becoming a video/film editor when I went through a major lifestyle change and decided to move to be closer to my family.

This meant that I had to restart my career and I just couldn’t face another 3 years of scrambling to the point I had already got myself to. I decided I needed a complete break and I went to work as an IT Support Analyst for a major retail company.

I did this for 4 years and during this time I was involved in voluntary work where I was carrying out various drama projects for a teen organisation. I loved it and discovered that I had a talent for developing performance talents in young people.

Around this time I discovered that my best friend was about to embark on a PGCE in English and it was like I was hit by a bolt of lightning. I could teach, I could help young people realise their dreams and the bonus would be that I could get paid for it. So I quit my job and worked for a year as a teaching assistant just to make sure that I was making the right choice and I haven’t looked back.

Describe a typical day in your life for us

Wake up at 6.05am, get up at 6.30am (that snooze button is very useful), get ready and leave the house by 7am (sometimes 7.10am depending on how many times I’ve hit the snooze button), drive to work and arrive between 7.15 and 7.25am.

Log on to the school system, make myself a cup of fruit tea (don’t do caffeine unless it’s a production week), might do some hopping whilst waiting to logon. Open up the various programs needed for the day, check that all my resources are in place. Photocopy something if needed. Go check on colleagues in various places. Attend meeting at 8.15 (but only on a Mon or Weds). Go to my classroom ready to receive students for registration.

There five lessons in the day, sometimes I teach all five, sometimes four and very rarely only three. Breaktime was at 11.10am, this is an opportunity for a comfort break, also to run an errand, might have a chocolate bar, depending on which class I’ve just had.

Lunch was at 1.30pm this year and so would grab a salad (preferably home made), then one more lesson and then after school there’s either meetings or rehearsals of drama club. Then catch up on emails or paperwork, try to prepare for the following day. Leave work between 5.30pm and 6pm.

Get home by 6.15pm, make dinner (something that normally involves chicken), eat by 7.30, clear up and then veg out in front of the TV, bedtime is between 11pm and 11.30pm.

What’s the best thing about what you do?

Seeing students develop over the years and become role models for the younger year groups.

What’s the one thing you would change if you could?

Less paper work!

What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?

I wanted to work as a film camera person or an actor

Tell us about one thing you were insecure about when you were at school

When people look at me they struggle to tell what my ethnicity is. When I was at school, a certain person used to bully me because of this. I struggled to belong to any particular group and I floated from friendship group to friendship group.

It took me a while but I eventually realised that this person was jealous of me. It was difficult to believe but that was the truth, it wasn’t my insecurities that were the problem but theirs.

Eventually I had to beat them down and show them that I was no longer a victim of their issues. I made long lasting friendships after this and am actually quite pleased when the way I look confuses people. It can be a fun game.

What advice would you give your 18 year old self?

Don’t believe everything a boy tells you!

What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

Eat, dance, learn British Sign Language

What’s the title of the last book you read?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Please share one beauty tip you have learned

Palmers coco butter is excellent for moisturising.

Share with us one money tip

Do not get a store card, the interest rates are crazy high!

Share with us one life lesson you have learned

This one is courtesy of my mother: Have many friends and treat them well, but never to them your secrets tell, for when that friend becomes your foe, around the world your secrets go!

Tell us about your favourite recent purchase for £25 or under

Food because I was hungry


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