Martha Addis has graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary English.
“I feel extremely proud to have graduated amongst the most brilliant cohort of teachers,” said the 25-year-old. “The monumental effort and determination I put in has been completely worth it.”
Martha, from Allensmore, Hereford, said she had experienced a turbulent year during her studies. “In the first term, I suffered three bereavements, meaning I needed time away from university and teaching placements in order to attend funerals,” she said. “Then in March, as I was beginning to settle in and get into the swing of things, I woke up in the early hours of the morning to a smoky bedroom and lots of popping noises and soon discovered that my entire kitchen and living room were in flames.
“Fortunately, myself, my family and my pets were safe, but the damage to the entire house was immense and we needed to evacuate without any belongings. This meant that we were homeless for a night or so whilst we were sorting out accommodation at a relative’s house. We were fortunate enough to be able to live at this house locally, however, because my bedroom was directly above where the fire started, all of my belongings were ruined.
“A couple of days after the fire, I had been informed that I had an interview at my dream school to teach English. This meant I had to juggle replacing necessary belongings, planning and delivering lessons at my placement school and prepping for my interview. I had to attend the interview in my Nan’s clothes, having done little prep and not sleeping well. I was overjoyed to find out I had got the job.”
Martha praised the support she received to complete her studies.
“The support from the University was incredible throughout, and without this it would have been difficult to complete the year,” she said. “The mentors on my course were consistently there to help you, with any concern big or small, and made it so welcoming and safe for myself and everyone on the course.
“Additionally, the regular University sessions and mentor observations made it so that the staff had frequent opportunities to listen to you and offer advice in person. Furthermore, when I had a troublesome time during the year, the University immediately supported me in every way possible, offering laptop loans, funding and counselling. Due to these struggles, it made it so much more rewarding when I succeeded in my assignments and course.”
Martha now works as a secondary English teacher at Kingstone High School in Herefordshire.
“I am looking forward to developing in this role more, building my confidence and establishing myself in this profession,” she said.
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