Headteacher inspires others joining the education profession
A headteacher is leading by example as she helps educators starting their careers at her school.
Hot on the heels of achieving headteacher status last year, Steph Swift has been supporting other teachers and building a strong team of staff to inspire young minds at Nicol Mere Primary School in Ashton
She said: “I enjoy all aspects of my work, but I get huge satisfaction from helping new teachers looking for direction at the start of their careers.
“The last 18 months have presented many academic, social, financial and mental health challenges for my staff and students alike – and whilst providing the best learning experience for children has been my number one priority, it has been great to explore new, innovative ways to support and develop teachers of the future.”
Mrs Swift, who lives in St Helens, had to stop in-person work experience placements due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Instead, she provided virtual workshop opportunities for teachers in training at Edge Hill University.
It allowed them to get valuable experience planning lessons and interacting with the children, but also led to Steph recruiting two students taking part as newly qualified teachers.
More than 75 per cent of trained teaching staff at Nicol Mere attended Edge Hill, with Mrs Swift graduating in 2000.
She spent four years as deputy headteacher at Nicol Mere before taking the helm and previously taught for 16 years at a school in Leigh.
Mrs Swift said: “Because of my own history with Edge Hill and the good quality teachers the university continues to produce, it’s been great to give something back to the institution by working in partnership to offer support to new and upcoming teaching talent.”
She praised the course she attended at the university as being of “a really high standard” and said it gave her a “solid grounding” as she began her career.
Offering her top tip to anyone looking to get into teaching, she said: “Be open to learning – it never stops. Much like other jobs, the world of teaching is constantly evolving and there’s always new skills and knowledge to learn, so make sure you grab hold of every opportunity to develop yourself into the best education professional you can be.”