Many people have asked me about the career path that has taken me from a supervisory position on an international helpdesk to teaching mainstream secondary foreign languages to a varied and rewarding career at netlogx.
Admittedly, it may look a little random on paper—but I would argue that the majority of skills I acquired whilst on the Helpdesk helped me considerably during my teaching career. And these skills have proven even more useful in my Human Resource capacity at netlogx.
During my time on the Helpdesk, I was fortunate to take part in many soft-skills professional training courses, which I was able to put into practice within a business environment and gain invaluable experience.
Having always been intrigued by the notion of teaching and the opportunity of putting my love of languages into practice, I embarked on a career in teaching several years ago and became a fully qualified teacher of Secondary Spanish and French. In my Teacher Training application, I provided specific examples of how my experience in business could easily be transferred into the classroom.
This was indeed true, and looking back over six successful years of teaching, I can recall clear examples when my prior experience in business helped with my day-to-day teaching practices. Below are just some examples of the soft-skills courses I attended and how using them somewhat out-of-context proved invaluable to me while teaching:
INTERPERSONAL SKILLS COURSE:
- On a daily basis dealing with challenging students
- Motivating classes, building a positive rapport & effective learning environment
- Dealing with difficult parents on Parents’ Evenings
- Managing relationships within Departments & the Staffroom
COACHING AND MENTORING COURSE:
- Guiding Gifted & Talented pupils
- Guiding pupils with Special Educational Needs
- Guiding under-achieving pupils
TIME MANAGEMENT COURSE:
- Adhering to deadlines for admin requests, sticking to lesson plans and activity timings
- Completing individual student reports, marking exams, essays, homework, and class work in a timely manner
- Completing speaking examinations within a set time frame
PRESENTATION SKILLS COURSE:
- Presenting daily lessons to up to 33 teenage (too-cool-for-school) students
- Presenting to a full year group cohort of 100 students
- Presenting at a Newly Qualified Teaching conference with other NQTs and Senior Management
APPRAISAL SKILLS COURSE:
- 1-2-1 reviews with students to establish their progress and development
- Working collaboratively to help set learning goals and SMART goals, holding students accountable, providing regular feedback
- Delivering feedback to parents
PROJECT MANAGEMENT COURSE:
- Setting up a ‘holiday Spanish’ course for other teachers during the summer term
- Running extra-curricular Spanish courses before school
- Working from schemes of work, hitting key teaching deliverables within set timeframes, identifying risks, and communicating with key stakeholders
- Painstakingly planning each and every lesson, completing a lesson learned exercise at the end of each day to evaluate what had and had not worked well with the various classes
LEADERSHIP SKILLS COURSE:
- Providing regular feedback to an under-performing Trainee Teacher
- Providing improvement suggestions at Departmental Meetings
- Updating Schemes of Work
- Classroom Management
I feel I have come full circle working back in a business environment, and I am grateful I have been able to put all of my prior work experience into practice once again during my time at netlogx!