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Power of a Great Teacher - Jeffrey

28 February 2024

Teachers can be life changing role models for students and we want to celebrate their journey's and successes to demonstrate that teaching is such a rewarding career!

Jeffrey Teacher

 

Jeffrey is a teacher at our Avon Park School.

 

What/who inspired you to become a teacher?

When I was 16 I started my own drum school which was the first taste of being a teacher. I then went off travelling, playing in bands and moved from Australia to London. When I was 26/27 I moved back to Australia and worked as a youth worker. I then progressed to becoming a case worker and then worked in foster care recruitment. I really, really enjoyed it.

I continued working in that industry for 6 years, until my wife and I moved back to London and I got a role in HR which I didn’t end up enjoying. It happened that a neighbour of ours at the time was a functional skills tutor at an agricultural college and they were hiring learning mentors which sounded great. The college were also going to pay for my tutor training while working as a mentor so I started working there. Whilst I was working as a learning mentor, I was recording an album and the engineer mentioned that a school in Rugby was looking for a part time drum teacher, which I said I would be able to fit in around my other job.

That job was here at Avon Park School where I work now. I started here on half a day in 2018 and then built up to 5 days including working at Dovetree School. It was a music therapy sort of role and I worked peripatetically. Covid then hit and I was offered the opportunity to do my teacher training through WG which was great as I was searching to become a teacher within the SEN sector.

It’s been a great journey, but tough at times. I have two kids and my daughter was born whilst I was doing my degree, but I loved it. It’s been amazing mixing music and working with kids with SEN.

 

How was your first day as a teacher?

When I started peripatetic work, I was really used to working 1:1 with students and I had never taught a class before so it was a bit terrifying, but it progressively got a lot easier. I was thrown right in the deep end. When I started full time as a teacher, it was difficult because I had to set up the music department from scratch and design the curriculum, but everyone was really helpful and it was a great experience.

 

What made you choose to focus on teaching at a SEN school rather than a mainstream?

I love working in SEN. I did my 6 week placement at a mainstream school which was great, but after being a youth worker and case worker in Australia, I knew working in SEN was what I wanted to do. Being able to use music as therapy was great too.

 

From your teaching experience so far, what advice would you give to someone thinking of also becoming a teacher?

Every day is a school day! You learn from whatever happens every day. Also within SEN it’s important to use your colleagues and ask questions, you can’t know everything and everyone is willing to help you. So, just ask for help and enjoy it!

 

What is one Huge Small Victory you’ve had during your time at Avon Park School?

I’ve had a lot of kids who often don’t speak, but I’ve managed to get them on stage. It’s been great seeing their confidence grow and getting them on stage every year as well as seeing the positive effect it has on their parents and carers who come to watch too.

 

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