Over the next few weeks we’ll introduce a new member of our Picture News team. First up…our Education Consultant Jo!
I am so excited to be working for Picture News. I have been a teacher for 14 years and loved every second of it.
It became apparent to me very early in my career that the real buzz and excitement I got was from supporting children who struggled socially, emotionally or behaviourally; working closely with them to transform behaviours and develop happy children, who learned to control negative feelings whilst accepting it was okay to feel this way. I was lucky to work for a fabulous headteacher in Scarborough who gave me the opportunity to be part of a study which looked at using social and emotional aspects of learning to drive the academic curriculum rather than children sitting at desks practising tests. The year 6 class I was working with at the time were given opportunities where they had to work as a team developing respect and communication skills, they had to overcome emotions such as excitement, fear, anger and they developed confidence, resilience and independence. We then applied these skills to their academic work. The children flourished both emotionally and academically.
When I had my first child, I sadly left my school in Scarborough as the commute was too much but have since worked in two fabulous schools, where I have continued to value the social and emotional areas through integrating SMSC throughout the curriculum and my teaching.
I have always loved Picture News, because of the opportunities it gives the children to develop everything that I have valued as a teacher. It inspires them, motivates them and allows them to feel passionate about something that is real. It opens their eyes to the world around them and gives them so many opportunities to learn to respect, value diversity and understand they each have a voice and it matters.
It was a difficult decision for me to leave a job that has not really been a job; it has been my life. In the end, I decided I wanted to be part of something that supported wonderful teachers, who also value these things, by working with the Picture News team.
Every day at Picture News is different. I write resources, take part in webinars, attend Headteacher meetings, run workshops at staff meetings, run children’s workshops and attend teacher conferences. I also get to think about other resources and ways to help teachers with delivering SMSC and BV – something I didn’t always have time for when teaching myself!
I feel very lucky to have this opportunity. I will give it everything I have got as I did to my teaching. Thank you Picture News!