We were delighted here, at Cardiff Met, to hear some marvellous news from PGCE Primary alumna, Shelley Hopkins, who, just one year into her teaching career, won Pontypridd High School’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ award.
After spending almost 10 years with the crown prosecution service as an associate prosecutor, Shelley, at the age of 34, quit in order to pursue a career in teaching. She trained at Cardiff Met as a primary teacher specialising in Key Stage 2, and, shortly before graduating, secured a post at Pontypridd High School teaching science at Key Stage 3.
Shelley told us: “During my training I preferred teaching Year 6 to all other years. I found it easier to engage with older pupils and to facilitate their learning. As such, the prospect of teaching in a secondary school didn’t faze me at all. I was excited to start my new role and I have found that the primary teaching methods, behaviour strategies and pedagogical approaches are easily applicable in secondary education. My grasp and application of the Literacy and Numeracy Framework and the Digital Competency Framework from primary training have benefitted my secondary practice immensely. The progress made by my pupils is clear and measurable, and my (numerous) lesson observations have always been positive. I am pleased to say that my hard work and achievement at this school was recognised when I secured a permanent position at the school at the end of my NQT year. And now, this year, I am teaching right through to Key Stage 5, something I never thought I would achieve.
I was so shocked and honoured to receive ‘Teacher of the Year’. This has solidified in my mind that I made the right decision in retraining as a teacher. I love my job! I have experienced such a high degree of job satisfaction and am grateful every day that I made the decision to retrain.”
We are sure the pupils at Pontypridd High, who voted for Shelley to receive this award, are happy that Shelley chose to become a teacher, too! Congratulations, Shelley. We are all delighted to see such success in such an early career.