Rachel Mary, SEND Teacher

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; she’s never had an inclination to change her mind.

Teaching for over 12 years, Rachel originally trained as a primary teacher within mainstream schools and 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 SEN 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.”

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.”

Recent roles and experience. Rachel has been a supply teacher with TES for 2 years now, she explains her first impression from her initial meeting with the agency. “Barry at TES came highly recommended to me by a friend, so I arranged to register with them. When I registered with TES I got a good feeling from the team; all the consultants are friendly, approachable and personable. Compared with other agencies, I found TES to have a family feel, which when you aren’t part of a school team on a permanent basis feels important to have.” Rachel accepted a long-term assignment this year within a SEN school, continuing her drive and passion for the profession.

What Rachel says about TES.TES have always offered me work that was suitable to my experience. They have given me opportunities which have greatly developed my skills as a teacher and encouraged me to try different schools which has led to finding wonderful colleagues and friends.

“TES communication is 24/7, clear and very responsive regarding any queries you may have. It’s easy to pick up the phone and chat with Payroll or the consultants but just as easily you can always text or email them if you are stuck for time. “

What Rachel says about the benefits of working with TES:

  • “I have found that all the consultants make the effort to get to know you and listen to how you feel about your experience in a school; they take this on board and tailor the work to fit you as an individual.
  • Unlike other agencies, TES have in house payroll. This made my life so much easier when gathering information for my mortgage application.
  • I like that I can email or text whenever I have a question; communication is responsive and helpful.

Rachel’s Recommendation. “I cannot recommend TES highly enough to people. Being a supply teacher can be stressful, but TES do everything they can to relieve that stress by ensuring I always have full time work but more importantly its work that is enjoyable and keeps my love of teaching alive! “

What’s next for Rachel? Rachel continues to work with TES and is currently in a long-term position. We hope to follow Rachel next year to share her thoughts and guidance on how to sustain one’s passion in a challenging environment.