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Saturday, 22 December, 2001, 00:00 GMT
Thrilled to be teaching at last
Nick Brown
In the genes: Teaching runs in Nick Brown's family
Nick Brown, who is 24, took up his first post as a teacher in September.

He teaches French, Russian and Spanish at a specialist school - the Frederick Gough Language College, near Scunthorpe.

This is his personal account of his first few months in the classroom.

I don't think I'll ever forget being offered my first ever teaching post.

It was in many ways a petrifying experience, doing the usual interview things of teaching for 20 minutes or so with four or five "suits" in the back of the room, followed by a terrifying cross-examination.

At the time I felt like I was a candidate on The Weakest Link never mind for a job, but then they said, "Mr Brown, we'd like to offer you the position."

That was a fantastic feeling and I was over the moon! The school had given me the chance to do what I'd wanted to do for ages - teach.

My mum and dad have been in the industry of educating most of their lives and my twin brother and girlfriend secured their first jobs a year before me

It is something I really wanted to do. I even remember why. Simply because I'd once helped some students improve their English in some far-flung corner of Russia.

They actually learnt from what I had to say and that gave me a buzz and so I kept on teaching them. I got hooked on that satisfaction of seeing someone acquire this knowledge and me helping them do it.

That was when I became determined to teach. That is one of the main reasons I do what I do and will continue. Selfish I know, but at the end of the day I enjoy teaching.

Nick Brown
Nick Brown: "I've thoroughly enjoyed this first tiring term"
I certainly wasn't the first in the family to join the profession. To name but a few, my mum and dad have been in the industry of educating for most of their lives and my twin brother and girlfriend secured their first jobs a year before me.

Perhaps it's some sort of family destiny or tradition?

My mum did try hard to talk me out of doing post-graduate teacher training (PGCE).

She did her best to talk me into other career paths, if for no other reason than to have a different topic of conversation over Christmas dinner, but I was not to be swayed.


My love of languages combined with this decision that I wanted to educate in some way chose my career path for me really. It was just the logical thing to do.

I've now been teaching French, Russian and Spanish since September in a language college in north Lincolnshire that is a good school.

I consider myself very lucky. The status of the school means that we get extra funding to channel into languages so our facilities are state- of-the-art, such as interactive whiteboards throughout the department and a languages' computer suite.

We have such fantastic tools at our disposal but the job is hard work. At the same time it is also the most rewarding and satisfying thing I've ever done, and I've only been there five minutes.

Hard work

I was under no illusion that it was an easy ride after getting through an excellent PGCE course so the workload was expected but teaching really can be described as a vocation and as a challenge.

It really is exhausting. It can take over your life, there's always something to do! Yes I love teaching but there is so much more to the job, paper work, preparation and marking that all needs to be done with it.

I'm very involved in what I do, I still get that buzz and really am passionate about my work and so when things are going badly it can really get me down but when things click and go well, it's brilliant.

Paris trip

There have been some very memorable high points. I was in a privileged position only a few weeks ago to be in Paris with a great group of 15 and 16 year olds who were speaking French and thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Well, that is the point and the very reason why I come to work every day, put into action.

Some other students that I'd taught sat some oral Spanish exams last week and I can't describe how proud I felt when I watched them come out of the exam room.

They were happy. They'd achieved something.

One student with a high level of special needs was so pleased with himself.

Those moments make teaching the best job in the world.

My energy and enthusiasm still aren't waning and I've thoroughly enjoyed this first tiring term so I'll be in the profession for a while yet.

All I have to say is God help the students!

See also:

22 Oct 01 | Education
Shortages fears 'diminishing'
08 Dec 01 | Education
Funding boost for trainee teachers
01 Nov 01 | Education
More teachers are quitting
26 Sep 01 | Education
Language skills vital for economy
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