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I started at IES October of 2017 as an Associate Teacher and progressed into the role of ASDAN Lead this Spring term. This is my first job working within an educational setting but has always been a lifetime goal of mine. I studied at university qualifying with a BA Honours degree in Theology for Education. My intention was to always teach, I guess I was one of the lucky ones really that always knew what career I would end up in or at least strive for. Yes, I was that child playing pretend schools in my room, making up registers, teaching lessons to cuddly toys and even discipling them at times! My path took a slight decoy however after I graduated, and I ended up spending a few years working in administration, customer service and sales. I felt at the time that I needed to gain some experiences in the world of work before I pursued a career in teaching, although nothing can prepare you for the rollercoaster ride that is teaching and especially within SEN provisions.

My previous employment was within a pub company as an account manager selling alcohol into pubs, a definite contrast to my new provision, but it was the best move that I ever made. It was purely by chance and having the right connections that the role became known to me and within the matter of a couple of visits I secured the position. Leanne and Shaun were very upfront from the first introductions of what the role would entail and the kinds of students that they taught at IES. The role would be demanding as each young person has their own personal needs and requirements, one size shoe does not fit all, this I learned quickly. I was soon thrusted into the deep end and it is definitely fair to say that here at IES you either sink or swim. Luckily enough I’m still staying afloat!

Even given my short time here at IES I feel that I have grown substantially as a teacher and a person. The role has been hard at times but also truly rewarding. Each day brings something new for sure, as the saying goes ‘lightning never strikes twice’. With many changes to the timetable being made at times daily, flexibility has become the school’s moto. The skills I have attained so far during my time at IES have grew exponentially! The leadership team are there to motivate and support where necessary and especially with your own personal development and career progression.

With my own performance management plan I have undertaken various other roles and projects in order to develop my personal goals and that of the schools. Myself and Dawn both produce the content for the school’s gazette on a monthly basis. To begin with this was a challenge and something extremely new to me, but after some guidance and support I soon got to grips with it. I am also in charge of Cross Streets Incentive scheme for the students. This is where the students earn money based on personal targets, once achieved each lesson the money is spent at the end of each term on an activity of their choosing. I have successfully organised Spring terms incentive and I am in the process of doing the same for Summer. Distributing the money in the morning is another one of my duties as well as further developing the ASDAN course that is run at IES. ASDAN was a new subject to me and one that I was not too familiar with, after attending a few courses on how the course is run and the kinds of modules the students can undergo, I see how beneficial this subject is for the students.

In summary, ASDAN is a life skills subject, one that prepares young people for provisions after they leave school and enter the world of work or adulthood.  There are courses for every interest, whether that be physical education, construction, hair and beauty or general modules that teach sex and relationships, personal care and road safety. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the curriculum and leading the course. My goal is to further attain accreditations for our young people so that when the time comes to leave IES they are fully equipped with the qualifications, experiences and skills they need to flourish.

There are few educational provisions that truly provide a tailored education for its young people and I honestly love working for IES. The students are one of kind and they are the sole reason that makes this job so enjoyable!

Daniel RobertsTori Marshall
Cross Street
Associate Teacher (ASDAN Lead)