SEND Teacher’s Career Journey

Here we look at a SEND Teacher’s Career Journey for one woman, Rachel.

Rachel’s Background

Rachel Mary’s vision to become a teacher started as young as she can remember. Despite the challenges of teaching, it’s a passion that has never diminished but grown stronger year by year. Above all, she’s never had an inclination to change her mind.

Rachel’s Experience

Teaching for over 12 years, Rachel originally trained as a primary teacher within mainstream schools. During which she thrived within the environment; attaining all the career satisfaction she’d expected.  Rachel then moved into SEN and SEMH schools, which is now her preferred teaching role. Rachel described the immense job satisfaction she draws from working within this sector and said “When you work in a SEND school you have the job satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference each day. You work with the most vulnerable students and form strong bonds with the students in your care. It isn’t just about p-levels it’s about helping the students to gain independence which will have an impact on the rest of their lives.”

Rachel drew on her experience and decided to accept a unique opportunity teaching in an English immersion school in South Korea, she explained the benefits of exploring different teaching cultures and said “South Korea was the best experience of my life. In South Korea I was given the opportunity to work with students of all ages ranging from Key Stage One right the way to University level. I observed a different way of teaching and built different but stronger relationships with parents.”

Rachel’s Advice

For some, the passion for teaching is being eroded by bureaucratic policy and stress, but there are ways to navigate through the challenges and pressures within the classroom.  Rachel offers some insightful advice for those considering a teaching career, which has undoubtedly placed her in a position of balance that’s protected her teaching commitment:

  • “Early on in your career find a way of working efficiently and accept that you will never complete your to do list. Just prioritise what absolutely has to be done and what can wait for another time.
  • Take the time to train your TA (if you are lucky to have one); this relationship can be key to the success of your students.
  • Try and find work / life balance; look for a school that encourages this and set yourself boundaries.
  • Save all your resources, you never know when you will need them in the future.”

What’s next for Rachel? Rachel continues to work as SEND supply teacher and is currently in a long-term position. We hope to follow Rachel next year  on how to sustain one’s passion in a challenging environment.

To read more on how to become a SEND teacher, why not visit the government website by clicking here