Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into teaching?
At the age of 25, I did a Business and Management degree at Bournemouth University with the intention of starting my own business (a bookshop/cafe). Whilst studying, I was so inspired by my teachers on the course that I decided to become a teacher instead, with the intention of inspiring others.
After completing my degree and teacher training, I then went on to teach as a Business Lecturer at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College and Yeovil College with a specialism in Marketing and Management.
I’d always had personal aspirations of teaching adults so the role as Digital Business Skills Lecturer at RESTART was perfect. I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching on the programme and being a part of its development.
How did you develop the modules that you teach?
I initially developed the curriculum with employability at its core. The pandemic has had a massive impact on people’s jobs and there was a clear need for upskilling and reskilling in Bath and the South West. Therefore the RESTART curriculum started as a four week face-to-face course with a heavy emphasis on getting people back into the workplace.
Unfortunately with the national lockdowns, the face-to-face sessions could not go ahead so I decided to redesign the modules I run to be taught online. After participant feedback and research, it became clear that there was a big need for entrepreneurial and business start-up skills as well as employability skills, so the new curriculum was formed. I now teach the Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Customer Service Skills and Employability, Leadership and Management modules.
What’s your favourite RESTART module to teach and why?
Marketing is one of my favourites because it has always been a passion of mine and so my specialism. I also really enjoy the Entrepreneurship module as it inspires me to see such passionate entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds with such great ideas. I love being able to guide them on their business journey.
How have you found online teaching vs in person?
I thought teaching online would be a challenge as I love being in the classroom and interacting with students, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy teaching online. I have just as much pleasure teaching online as I do in person and I strive to ensure that my sessions are welcoming, informative and interactive so that all students (and myself) can go away with the knowledge that they have learned something new, all from the comfort of their own homes.
Any tips for someone looking to change career, progress or start their own business?
Never be afraid to try something new! I never had any intentions of becoming a teacher but now that I do it, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have a passion for learning, education and guiding others and it’s that passion that got me through my teacher training and to where I am today.
If you have a great business idea or a need to change your career – don’t ignore it – it could be that idea that succeeds and helps you find your passion. My top tip is to think big. If you find yourself struggling along the way or if things get hard; never give up, ask for help if you need it, think of your end goal and why you’re on the journey, but most of all – think of the joy it will bring you once you get there.