Daniel Burley - History trainee
Year of study
What were you doing before SCITT?
I worked in a bar and restaurant and taught English online as a foreign language.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
To put it simply, I wanted to talk to people about history. I’ve always loved the subject and I enjoy talking about it with friends and colleagues. The idea of teaching history as a profession was both exciting and daunting. It was something that people were encouraging me to do for years. It was daunting because of the doubts you have in your mind about whether you can do it; but it was exciting because I could encourage students to give history a chance, to engage with the subject, read the stories and understand how the past shapes the future. It is a profession where you can have a real impact on people’s lives.
Why did you choose Shotton Hall SCITT?
The most valuable aspect that attracted me to the Shotton Hall SCITT was the personal touch provided by the SCITT team. You feel part of a tightly knit group from the moment you go to the interview. The Research School aspect of the school was also very important, the SCITT is able to implement the newest techniques in educational research – it was an easy decision to make.
What would you say to anyone thinking of teaching?
Take the plunge, it’s worth it. You will have your dark days, but we get those in any profession. What sets teaching apart is the rewards. Seeing the light switch on in a student’s head when you’re teaching a subject you care about is an irreplaceable feeling.
What has been your favourite part of training so far?
Just being in the classroom - it’s an exhilarating experience. For all the lesson planning you do, the most important aspect of being in the classroom is thinking on your feet (TS5). You need to figure out how to engage a class that is losing interest, throw the plan out the window and improvise – I love that challenge.
How does teaching differ from your previous career?
Aside from the hours, it’s the passion I have for teaching. I get up and I’m excited about what the day will bring, what challenges I will face and how I will approach a particular topic.
Do you have any tips or advice for potential trainees?
Make friends, your fellow trainees will be an invaluable support network throughout the process, don’t neglect them.