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Teaching graduate sees the positive impact he can have on children’s lives

Alex Holloway believes his time studying at the University of Worcester has set him up for life as a teacher.

The 24-year-old who graduated in 2016 chose to come to Worcester as it stood out for him for primary teaching.

Now he is seeing the positive impact his skills as a teacher can have on young people’s lives.

“The teaching profession is filled with amazing people,” said Alex. “It is a difficult job and a tiring job, but the feeling you get from doing it makes it all worth it. With a class of 35 last year and 35 again this year, I am so pleased to know I have had a positive impact on 70 children's lives already and there's not a job I can think of that could give you more satisfaction than that!”

Alex had always enjoyed working with children, primarily through music due to his involvement with performing arts.

“It was always so rewarding and enjoyable and it was great to know I'd had a positive impact on the children I worked with,” said Alex.

Deciding he wanted to go into teaching, Alex from Dursley, Gloucestershire, chose Worcester’s Primary Initial Teacher Education (Later Years) course.

“They had a lot more to offer than other universities near me in terms of specialisation and opportunities outside of placements and lectures,” he said.

“My course was fantastic. The lecturers were brilliant and it did a great job of setting me up for life as a teacher.”

Alex got to work on a Student As Partners project with several tutors, allowing him to develop his skills in research and also support himself financially as it was paid.

He presented the findings of this research at the University’s Teaching and Learning conference and this inspired him to take a Masters in Education, which he hopes to do at Worcester.

Alex also took up a number of opportunities offered on the course, including talks by newly qualified teachers and becoming a STEM Ambassador, which involved delivering several activities, including a science day at a local school.

“I know these opportunities made me more employable and gave me lots to talk about at interview,” said Alex, who achieved a 2:1.

“The placement side of the course was also incredibly useful in showing me the day-to-day life of teaching (both the positive and negative aspects), which meant I felt ready for my first class when September rolled around.”

Alex now works as a year 3 teacher and Computing coordinator at a Gloucestershire Academy.

“So far I have loved being a teacher,” he said.

“It is enjoyable, relentless, tiring and incredibly rewarding. Now that I am Computing coordinator, I am looking at new ways of involving technology in the classroom through virtual reality, augmented reality, green screens and lots of other fantastic things which are available to teachers now. I am hoping to move computing on in my school by recruiting digital leaders and joining the code club initiative.”

Alex said one of the benefits of studying at Worcester is the continuing support the tutors provide and in July 2017, a tutor and year 3 students supported his school in delivering animation to Year 4 pupils.

“I know I can continue to draw on the University's support moving forwards but it is also a two-way relationship,” he said. “I am hoping to deliver a demonstration lesson on using augmented reality to the Computing tutors at the University to enable them to embed this cutting edge technology in their taught modules for Undergraduates and Postgraduate student teachers.”