Ben Swales studied a PGCE in French and Spanish and graduated in 2015. He is now a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages at Henry Fanshawe School in Dronfield.
'I had studied languages at university with the intention of working as a translator but I worked as an English teacher in Madrid and I caught the ‘teaching bug’. I decided it was time to go into teaching and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a very challenging career, but I’ve loved every minute of it so far and only wish I’d made the decision earlier.
'Modern Foreign Languages is an interesting subject as it's not only about teaching the language but also about the culture of the countries whose language you are teaching, comparisons with our own culture, literacy, numeracy, geography, communication, social skills – it really is a varied and truly cross-curricular subject.
'I chose Hallam for its excellent reputation as a teacher training provider; The training I received was so comprehensive and varied that for every hurdle, challenge or problem I’ve come up against, I’ve always been prepared in some way by something that we did during the training course; from behaviour management forums and seminars to GCSE moderation workshops or sessions on how to teach phonics.
'There is no doubt that teaching is a challenging career – the hours spent planning, marking, entering and analysing data and completing admin tasks that come with the job can certainly seem like a daunting and sometimes demoralising challenge, but that is already getting easier with time as I get better at it, and the rewards that you get definitely outweigh the challenges.
'Those "lightbulb" moments when a student gets a concept or makes progress and the relationships that you develop them over the time that you spend with them are what makes the job so rewarding.'