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  • Natalie

Who do YOU Want to be?

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

It’s National Careers Week!! Whether you’re in school or virtual learning, it is important to discuss career goals with your students. I believe that encouraging students to speak about their future can keep them motivated. The national careers week website have plenty of resources filled with advice for young people.

During this pandemic, it is hard for students to get work experience, however, this can now be done virtually. Companies are now offering work experience to students in many sectors, such as cyber security, law and the veterinary sciences. This is a new initiative and so the opportunities may be limited, however, it might be helpful for some students. Here is a link of companies offering virtual work placements for young people aged 11 to 18 years old:

Although national careers week is often a time for students to reflect on their future careers, you can also use this as an opportunity to reflect on your career path.

My first career choice was to become a pharmacist. After studying chemistry at university, I became a chemist working in a laboratory. A year later, I decided to pursue my passion for teaching. When I first started, I didn’t have a clear vision of the direction that I wanted my career to take. Along the journey, even when opportunities came my way, I thought I was too young and lacked experience to become a head of year or a part of the SLT team.

When I moved into my current school, I realised how much of a role model l was for some of the students that I teach. Thanks to a supportive headteacher and colleagues, I was encouraged to apply for a temporary head of year role – a role that pushed me out of my comfort zone and in turn helped to boost my confidence.

Following this role, I decided to take a step back and consider my career as a whole. These were the main questions that helped me to plan ahead:

Where do you aim to be in the next three years?

What are you doing to achieve this?

Upon reflection of my own goals, I applied for the Aspiring Heads course for black teachers. This course highlighted the importance of networking, the power of vulnerability and how to lead change. Throughout the course, I developed a better understanding of how important role is as black teachers and members of staff.

Never forget that:

· YOU are an AMAZING role model for young black students.

· YOU are MORE than capable of achieving the goals that you set for your future.

· YOU have many resources and a network of people, who are willing to support you (e.g. YBTN).

· YOU have the ability to make a change – don’t shy away from opportunities that will showcase your talent and passion to teach young children.

As the great Nelson Mandela, once said:

“There is no passion to be found in playing small — in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.”

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