Mark

MarkCourse: BA Sociology
Year of Graduation 2006

What does your current career involve?

I am a teacher of Sociology, Social Studies, and Citizenship.

How did you obtain this role?

I chose to make a move from teaching in Further Education to Secondary level as I’d reached Head of Department status by second year in Further Education and thus would have to begin to lose teaching hours if I were to progress any further. Secondary teaching presents a new challenge, particularly given that I am currently building the A-Level Sociology provision at my current school.

What other roles have you held since graduating from the University of Leicester?

I have been a lecturer in, and Deputy Head of, the Sociology Department at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. I was also a lecturer in, and Head of, Film Studies Department at the same College. I have been a lecturer and Head of Sociology Department at Wakefield College. I volunteered at The National Blood Service and Macmillan Cancer Support in Leeds and have also taught modules/units on A-Level programmes including Media Studies, Psychology, and Citizenship as well modules on Foundation Degree programmes in Childhood, Parenting, and Families.

What were your motivations for enrolling on the BA Sociology course at the University of Leicester?

The fantastic reputation of the University as well as the staff in the Sociology Department and the academic ethos balanced with the provision of social/pastoral support for students.

How did your Sociology course aid your personal and professional development?

Career-wise it has allowed me to develop a career in teaching – I’m now 28 and am proud to say that I am in my seventh year of teaching. I have been able to pursue my love for sociology further by way of a Masters degree. On a personal level, it has allowed me to understand all manner of things in a more comprehensive and critical way (current affairs, world history, people, societies – endless really). It has made me want to know more about, well, everything. Reading became less of a chore and more of a passion whilst studying for my degree. Simply put, without my degree I would not be enjoying the career that I love.

What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?

I would like to continue to work within the education system. Gain further experience in school teaching which combined with my Further Education experience and MA degree could help me realise my dream of working (lecturing) in the Higher Education environment and completing a PhD. I hope I can continue to make long lasting personal and professional relationships with people. Inspiring others to involve themselves in Sociology and helping my students realise their potential and aspirations.

Do you have any advice for anyone reading this who would like to enter a similar work role to you?

It seems like a long haul with so much training involved but it soon comes round and is worth it every step of the way. Expect to have bad days and when they are bad they most definitely feel bad. When the days are good they are superb – just seeing that moment when a student realises they can do something they thought they couldn’t is amazing. Expect to be told that something has gone wrong but not when things go right – you know and your students know when things are have gone well. Know your subject well – you have to be passionate about the subject and continue your learning or you won’t get very far. Have a sense of humour – this is vital. Finally, always be prepared for students to throw a question at you that you have no answer for. This will happen and it’s ok not to know, just admit you don’t have a clue.