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‘I always felt there was something missing’ – View from NQT Kiran

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Kiran Dhesi joined Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury, part of the ATT family of academies, as an NQT teaching information technology and business in September 2016. Kiran lives in Harborne with her parents and four siblings. She enjoys spending time with her family, shopping and fitness. She also competes in the Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race every year. In this first installment, we hear about Kiran’s path to becoming a teacher and her aspirations for her pupils.

My career journey began in September 2009 when I did a business management degree at the University of Birmingham. To help me afford my fees, I used my university loan to set up a spa business in the Jewellery Quarter. I ran this business for three and a half years whilst studying and it gave me really strong practical business experience whilst I was completing my course.

After this, I spent two and a half years in quite a few leadership and regional management roles and worked in London for 18 months but I didn’t feel like it was truly the right job for me. No matter what job I was in, I always felt there was something missing and I didn’t feel my roles were challenging enough. My brother, who was head of department at Holly Lodge High School at the time, asked me to do a two-week placement at the school. I absolutely loved it! I taught a year seven IT class and my brother said I was pretty good at it – he gave me the push I needed.

I enjoyed my placement so much and felt such a sense of satisfaction that soon after I successfully applied for my PGCE at Staffordshire University. I studied for my PGCE in September 2015 and also did a 43-week placement.

During my placement I met some pupils who felt they couldn’t have a great career simply because of their background. I grew up in Smethwick for the first 10 years of my life and it wasn’t easy. My parents had emigrated here from Punjab, my mum had two jobs and my dad was earning 50p an hour at the time. Even during hardships, my parents were so determined to ensure that we all had opportunities and they constantly pushed us to reach for our dreams and be ambitious. I wanted to teach kids that you can have a rewarding career no matter where you’re from.

This pushed me to apply for a position at Bristnall Hall Academy because I felt I could really connect with the pupils – their challenges and aspirations.

I found my first day scary but I remembered what my mentor, told me that ‘preparation is key’, and this really helped me to get through the day.

Now I have settled in, I feel focused and positive about the future. My aim is to put a stamp on the academy and really make a difference. I want to transfer my energy to my pupils and be their support mechanism and coach. I want to show them that anything is possible, no matter how many obstacles you have to overcome to achieve your goals. It is the best career decision I have made in a long time.

Look out for future blogs from Kiran as we follow her journey through the NQT year.

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