Billy Cripps is a newly qualified teacher (NQT) based at St Clere’s School in Thurrock.
We caught up with Billy to find out more about his experiences of teaching in the area and how he is finding his NQT year.
Why did you want to become a teacher?
When I was at school, I volunteered at a local outdoors centre teaching archery. One of the children I taught struggled with their learning and I enjoyed working with them until they overcame this. My sister, who also worked at the centre, saw me help the child and suggested teaching would be a great fit for me.
I spoke to my teacher at school and when I found out I would have longer holidays, it sealed the deal! But in all seriousness, it was the ability to help young people that inspired me to pursue teaching.
Can you describe your journey so far and how you came to be an NQT?
Once I knew I wanted to teach, I decided to study Sports Science at the University of Greenwich. I considered becoming a PE teacher but when I spoke to the Deputy Head at St Clere’s School, they advised me to explore training to become a science teacher instead, as they were in high demand.
I then did a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course from the TES Institute alongside my initial teacher training course to become a science teacher. Once I qualified, I managed to secure a job at St Clere’s as a science teacher which I am really enjoying.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I love teaching as no two days are the same! Teaching science gives me variety as I am regularly swapping between teaching chemistry, physics and biology. The students are also different from day to day – sometimes they are keen to learn and we can move through the content quickly, other days they are more tired and it is my job to motivate them.
Being there for that ‘light-bulb’ moment is also very rewarding. It is great to see my students grow and progress throughout their five years at the school. To be a part of their journey and have the opportunity to inspire them is a privilege.
Why should people consider becoming an NQT in Thurrock?
From my personal experience, everyone I have worked with in Thurrock is dedicated to supporting NQTs. St Clere’s is the flagship school for TES Institute and they provide so much support and encourage a range of continued professional development opportunities. For example, I recently attended a workshop about teaching practical experiments for Key Stage 4 physics, which has been really helpful.
Is there anything you wish you would have known before you started training?
Teaching is a rewarding career but it can be demanding at times. I have learnt to make sure I take time for myself, as well as ensuring I achieve all the work needed for school.
Have you got any advice for someone considering training to become a teacher?
I would say to absolutely do it! it is arguably one of the hardest jobs I have done, but it is definitely the most rewarding. You can have a direct impact on your students’ education and shape their futures.