Kim Onions gives her unique perspective on life at Aldenham School as a Graduate Assistant.
I applied for a Graduate Resident Position at Aldenham School this time last year; I had just returned to UK after completing voluntary work in Africa and a temporary job in Dubai. I was a little bit lost at to what to do next. Teaching had always been at the back of my mind, but I had some reservations, I decided I needed to gain more experience to make up my mind.
I am now half way through my placement at Aldenham School and can confidently say ‘I do want to teach’! Throughout my time here I have had constant support from all members of staff, whether it’s been to help me settle into the ‘Aldenham way’ when I first started, a friendly face in the staff room, or assistance with my UCAS Teacher Training application; everyone has been fantastic.
Most of my time is spent working within the PE department, and I have found that by working alongside qualified PE teachers I am gaining valuable experience and feedback, which is beneficial for my class delivery. Within this role I am constantly looking at ways to develop professionally, by observing teaching techniques and by applying them I have seen an improvement in my interpersonal and communications skills with children. This has also allowed me to see how pupils respond differently to different methods of teaching, and how I can alter my approach to achieve the correct results. Whilst here professional development has been key, which has allowed me to begin my Level 2 Netball Coaching Qualification and Hockey Umpiring Award.
The mentoring system provided by the school has been vital in supporting my development, they have provided sound advice, and always there to help. Being immersed in the schools boarding setting I am able to get involved in all aspects of the routine providing an experience that doesn’t finish when the last period is over. It is probably this bit that I enjoy the most, being a part of Aldenham School life; it’s like a community within a school.
I strongly believe that I have the commitment and determination to teach, and I am looking forward to the challenges that this career may bring me.