Where are they now? Ellen Skinner a Teacher

Ellen Skinner who studied Psychology at university.

After thinking for years that I would pursue a career in Law I did a complete U turn after thoroughly enjoying Psychology A level at sixth form college. I loved college and felt it was the perfect step between school and university.

After studying Psychology for a year, I knew that this was the subject I wanted to study at degree level. I still didn’t have any idea of a career path but I knew that I wanted to go to university and that I needed to choose something that I would enjoy.

Birmingham was my first choice of university along with my best friend and my boyfriend. Being quite nervous about moving away from home for the first time, I was happy to know that I would have people around me that I knew.

A level results day came round and I didn’t get the 2 As and a B that I needed so I hadn’t got my place at my dream university. I was devastated and couldn’t imagine that anywhere would live up to my expectations, particularly as my boyfriend and best friend did get into Birmingham. After months of planning a life in Birmingham with the two of them and frantic calls to see if I could get in through clearing, it dawned on me that I was now going to have to go to my second choice, Liverpool in a few weeks and completely on my own. It seemed like the end of the world.

However, it took approximately two hours of moving into halls and meeting my (now) best friends to realise that I was going to have the time of my life in Liverpool and after three wonderful years in an amazing city it made me realise that sometimes things happen for a reason. Birmingham would not have given me the same experience that Liverpool and the people I met there did.

After getting a 2.1 in Psychology in 2012 I still had no idea of a career path. I knew I didn’t want to follow the psychologist route as I did not want to do a post grad. I also knew that I enjoyed working with children. I applied for jobs towards the end of my degree and managed to land a full time job as a sales assistant at John Lewis. I worked there for a year whilst getting experience in primary schools on my days off which led me to make the decision to apply for a teacher training course at Nottingham Trent University.

After the hardest, busiest, most stressful but rewarding year of my life I became a qualified teacher in 2014 and was so excited to start a career in a job that I loved. After one unsuccessful interview and one job offer that I turned down I landed my dream job in the junior school that I attended as a child and where I had made many happy memories.

Teaching is by no means an easy job, it involves working numerous extra hours for no extra money, barely having time to eat (or even go to the toilet sometimes!) and late evenings marking and planning lessons. Nevertheless there isn’t a day goes by where I watch the clock waiting for the day to end or dread going in the next day. Every day, even every hour is completely different and unpredictable which is the part of the job I love the most, as well as building strong relationships with the amazing teachers I work with and the children that are in my class.

I certainly was not the sort of person who knew from a young age what I wanted to do with my life but after years of unexpected paths, knockbacks and difficult decisions, I am now in my 3rd year doing a job that I adore and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else!

Ellen Skinner, a Teacher