After graduating with a BSc in Sport and Human Movement Studies, and achieving master’s degrees in Sports Biomechanics and Exercise Nutrition Science, Victoria Barton is moving on from a career as a police officer to train as a primary teacher with a physical education (PE) specialism at The Dean Trust, Ashton on Mersey Teaching School.
She took some time out from her training to answer some questions about this new course.
Why did you decide to become a teacher? What inspired you?
I have always loved learning and after finishing my undergraduate degree I completed several study courses that were either work-related or for personal reasons. As a qualified coach I enjoy the overwhelming satisfaction when a child I’ve been coaching has mastered a skill.
What are you most passionate about in teaching?
I really want to help promote the importance of PE both in the primary school and in everyday life. I think the only way to achieve the latter is to foster a love of physical activity from a young age. Away from sport I want children to see the importance of mathematics and not to be afraid of the subject.
What are you most passionate about in teaching PE?
Getting children who have no interest in PE engaged and enjoying physical activity as well as seeing children develop other aspects related to PE – such as social skills, thinking skills, team working skills and physical skills.
What have you brought into teaching from previous work?
My previous careers include working as a property inspector and as a police officer, so communication skills. From working as a police officer I have the understanding that some children do not have the ideal home life.
Why did you decide the PE Primary Specialist programme was the right route into teaching for you?
Until I started the course I didn’t know if this was the right route into teaching. But having completed the summer school and seeing the support provided and timetable of study I thought the course was ideal for me.
What are your thoughts on the PE Primary Specialist programme?
The structure of the course is excellent. The summer school provided the cohort with the opportunity to get to know everyone in a more relaxed/informal environment, and I feel that this has helped us develop a unique support group for each other.
The structure of the course for the first term has been excellent. Having three days in school and two taught days has provided a great opportunity to share experiences or concerns with peers and the course leaders. It has also meant that subjects that have been taught have often proved more poignant and pertinent as they can be transferred directly into school – rather than having to wait a few weeks before the information can be used.
What would you say to someone thinking about undertaking the PE Primary Specialist programme?
If you want to teach in a primary school and are passionate about the holistic benefits that physical education can provide to children –apply!
What would you say to other people interested in exploring a career in teaching?
It’s not easy. A lot of work is required and being organised is essential. If you want a 9-to-5 job then teaching is not the career for you. Colleagues and friends who teach all spend a lot of their ‘free time’ doing work-related activities, including planning and marking. Despite the course and workload being demanding there is nothing I would rather do!