Study Type: Higher Education
Study Location: The Roundhouse
Subject Studied: Childcare
Volunteering opens up teaching career for Derby College student Danielle
Volunteering at a primary school ten years ago, has opened up a whole new career for trainee teacher Danielle Constantinides.
Danielle, who recently finished her foundation degree in Children and Young People’s Service with Derby College Group, is soon to begin her top-up degree in Early Childhood Studies.
And in September 2022 she is taking the assessment only PGCE course to gain QTS, qualified teacher status, as quickly as possible.
Danielle loves being with her class of eight-to nine-year-olds at Lakeside Primary Academy in Alvaston, where she is both a teacher and a TA.
She said: I’m currently working in two part-time roles at Lakeside – spending two days a week as a teacher and three days as a TA. It’s good as I get to see teaching from both sides.
I like teaching Year 4 children as they’re old enough to have developed their personalities. You can share a joke with them in the way that you couldn’t with the younger age groups as they wouldn’t understand.”
Despite having to learn online due to the pandemic, Danielle enjoyed her foundation degree course and the support network it provided.
She added: “You know you can always go to the tutors for help. We’ve been studying online but that’s worked ok for me with working five days a week and being a mum.
I’m also in a WhatsApp group with other students on my course so we’re able to stay in touch and bounce ideas off each other.
“There’s some really useful practical information on the foundation course. For example, it’s interesting to learn how external agencies interact with schools and to get their viewpoint.”
Danielle, who has a 14-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, has held many different jobs since she left school, including working in a pub for 10 years.
She said: “Although I’d never considered teaching until I started volunteering, it’s a great job for someone like me. I like lots of variety in my work and love meeting new people. As a teacher, every day is different and, every school year there’s a new classroom cohort to get to know.”
You know you can always go to the tutors for help. We’ve been studying online but that’s worked ok for me with working five days a week and being a mum. I’m also in a WhatsApp group with other students on my course so we’re able to stay in touch and bounce ideas off each other.