For some years now, Hays (the Education recruitment specialists) have worked with us on careers events. This has included organising headteachers to be part of mock interviews with feedback to ensure you’re prepared to apply for jobs towards the end of your teacher training course. Hays have also held careers events in schools and offered awards for pupils. This year they have extended this programme to institutions who train teachers, like us! So we were delighted to be approached and offered some awards to our current trainees in Secondary Education.
We met with Mansur Zubeidi who had just completed his PGCE in Secondary Computing and IT to talk about why he chose to teach as well as his award. Mansur won in Group Five (which covered the Humanities, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Modern Foreign Languages and PE) for contribution to the wider life of the School.
“Prior to my teacher training, I had two years’ experience as a teacher abroad and also worked for 12 years as a technician in a secondary school here in Birmingham. When my Head of Department retired he told me I’d make a good teacher and encouraged me to take the next step by completing my teacher training. I also have a lot of life experience outside of working in education, in the area of computer-aided design and some time working in the private sector. It was always my dream to be a teacher when I was a child. All these things together encouraged me to train to become a teacher.
"When I was a technician, I was supporting Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form students in the Design and Technology department to make working robots using computer science. That made me choose Computer Science as the subject for my teacher training.
“Receiving the award for my second placement was a surprise to me. Considering the reasons I’ve received it, I think it was clear I enjoyed being there and put myself forward for extra activities like volunteering to go on trips with the students, supervising lunchtime and after-school activities, such as a project to support Year 7 students with the 3D printer (as there is some crossover between computer science and design and technology). I developed my relationship with the students. I prepared my lessons well. I was always willing to help fellow staff with anything I could, from learning a mark scheme to helping them with marking to ensuring my classroom was tidy! My mentor told me, “I’m not a trainee, I’m a teacher”; this gave me a sense of responsibility for the impact I could make on the pupils.
“My final project was to support pupils who have English as an Additional Language (EAL). This applied to six of the pupils in my tutor group who were from different backgrounds. They didn’t speak English very well. As I speak Arabic, I could help make the subject accessible to them. I liaised with parents and had them and students in for meetings after school to help them understand what they needed to do in order to achieve. One boy in particular exhibited very poor behaviour and wouldn’t follow instructions so I phoned his home to speak with his father. I got the pupil’s father to come to the school to speak with me. It seemed that perhaps this pupil had quite a strict upbringing so being given detentions to stay after school was no punishment to him as he preferred to be at school than at home. I tried to work with the father to treat his son more like a friend and support him. Following this meeting, the student’s behaviour began to change; this encouraged me to work more closely with EAL students and focus on it for my research project. It also made me really happy and encouraged me to work hard and ensure my lessons were planned to include EAL pupils.”
We spoke to Mansur’s placement school who confirmed the impact he has made during his time there:
“Mansur has approached his placement as a highly-organised and efficient trainee. However, his greatest strengths are in his absolute belief in equality of access for all and a willingness to give of his own time to help others. Mansur has had a positive impact on his students and is also well-liked by staff at his placement school. His ability to speak Arabic as well as English has enabled Syrian refugee pupils to feel at ease in his lessons and, through his Professional Enquiry project, he has investigate ways of assisting EAL pupils. Mansur embodies all of the skills of a BCU teacher; additionally his core values as a person will serve him well to inspire the pupils that he teaches.”
We’re sure Mansur has a bright future ahead of him as the qualified computer science teacher in his classroom - rather than the technician - and wish him the very best.
Did you know?
Did you know there is also an undergraduate course allowing you to train as a Secondary Computing teacher?