" I've received so many heartfelt notes about how I've impacted my students. It can be hard work balancing 30 teenagers in a room but I love my job. I get to do art every day and find out about my students lives and passions. It's really rewarding seeing how they develop."
Hannah undertook a degree in Fine Art from Winchester School of Art. From there she was invited to be an artist in residence for a week and run a workshop at a school in Basingstoke. It was at this point she realised teaching would be a good route for her. She undertook an immersive teaching course at Southampton Solent University and then applied for a PGCE at the University of Reading via one of the University's partner schools.
"I chose to study at the University of Reading as it has a good reputation, and I had heard the Institute of Education supports the trainees well. I trained as a School Direct trainee which meant that the University of Reading worked in partnership with my school so that I could get both the practical and theory needed to complete my teacher training."
Hannah found that the school placements and university time complimented each other well. The course leader would visit her at the school, the essays knitted together teaching and practice and it gave her the chance to observe in the classroom, then teach while also reflecting on what had been learnt during the university portion of the course.
When asked about the course leader Mel Jay, Hannah said: "Mel was fantastic during the course and really encouraged us as art and design trainees! She supported us when we needed it both during the course and after, to ensure we had a smooth transition into teaching. Mel encouraged us to find and develop our own teaching styles that suited us and maximised student learning in the classroom."
Although Hannah graduated in 2016, she returns to the University of Reading annually with her sixth form students so that they can participate in screen printing workshops led by the Institute of Education's artist in residence, Emily Gillmor.
"I have kept in touch with the university lecturers and now run a trip for my students to use the printing facilities, which the students really benefit from. It is inspirational for the students, as they can see what it might be like if they decided to go to university but also how they can specialise and take their studies further."
Hannah says that she could not have done these workshops without the connections she made at the University of Reading. She is soon to mentor a current PGCE student from the university and works at the school she trained in who took her on permanently after the programme.
With the guidance of Mel Jay she is very much looking forward to sharing what she has learnt with her new mentee and hopes to progress to a more senior position, such as head of department in the near future.