Gemma Thomas

"We don’t make mistakes, they’re just learning curves."
About my career

I am one of five NQTs at a school in a socially deprived area, teaching year 3/4 children. I have so far undergone an Ofsted visit, an assessment week, a parents evening and visits from various other people involved with the school. I also worked as a supply teacher and a 1:1 tutor after finishing my dissertation. Year 3/4 children have many different needs in my school, it very important to consider these on a day-to-day basis.

Training to be a teacher and actually being in the job are two very different things; the pressures are much greater as a teacher. University prepared me in some aspects, but every school is different, so it is the ability to adapt, change and improvise that have been the most important skills to possess.

My top tip for students is…

I was terrified when I first started and thought I wouldn't be able to do the job, but I never showed that! Look at the places you’re applying for carefully and ask yourself ‘are they right for me?’ Get help in writing your personal statement and gain as much CPD as possible. Most importantly, be confident, if it doesn't work out the first time, keep trying, it clearly wasn't right for you. You can do it!

I’m inspired by…

My aspirations originated from how I looked to teachers for inspiration and my own primary school experiences. Visitors to the University and the tutors allowed me to continue to be inspired. In addition, the ability to visit different schools has helped me to see the impact of teaching for different children.

Why I love Manchester Met

One thing I loved about my time at MMU was the variety of schools I was able to visit and the diversity I experienced; I especially enjoyed my time on Erasmus.