We caught up with BA (Hons) Education and Professional Development student Jason Gray to learn more about how his Teaching career and degree is reinstating a sense of purpose in his life.

Why did you decide to go into teaching?

After serving in the British Army for over 20 years, I struggled to settle into a “normal“ way of life and employment, as I no longer felt I had a purpose. Entering the world of teaching has given me that opportunity to pass on my experiences and knowledge to students, and make a difference in their lives, which has given me that sense of purpose again.

What do you love most about teaching?

The part of teaching I love the most is getting to know my students, as well as helping throughout the year to achieve the grades they need in order to progress further in education or employment. I like to use my own life experiences and knowledge to inspire students to do well for their own future.

What are your ambitions and how is this course helping you get there?

I have been in teaching for approximately seven years now and although I feel I have a positive influence on my students, I think I could be even more of an influence if I had more chance to voice my ideas. To do this, I am keen to progress in to a managerial role within an FE college, either in maths, Uniformed Public Services, Engineering or Quality.

This course has helped me as I have been given the opportunity to develop my own research skills, and to look deeper into educational issues/topics such as policies, leadership and issues regarding students’ pass rates in GCSE maths and English. The results from my findings have helped me to understand the students more and to look for new ways in which to help them in their studies.

How do you feel when students achieve their grades etc. how does it feel to make an impact in their education?

I take great satisfaction from seeing my students achieve their grades and be able to progress further in education or employment, as I have always felt the need to have a sense of purpose in my life.

What are your favourite things about the course?

Despite some of the modules being a little challenging at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course. In particular, the Leadership and Management module was very interesting as this is one of many topics I am passionate about. It has given me a better insight into the different management and leadership styles and made me think about my own ways of management.

What support have you received throughout your studies?

Shona Dunn has been a great support to me throughout the whole course. She has given me regular feedback on my work and constructive guidance to making improvements.

What/who inspires you to succeed?

My inspiration to succeed is the “need” to make a difference to others’ lives, especially students. There are teachers who I have worked with (at Newcastle College) who inspired me to succeed, and I have used my experiences with educational managers throughout my time in education to “model” the way in which I lead and manage.

What would you say to someone thinking about a career in teaching?

If anyone asked me about teaching I would be totally open and honest with them and say that, although the job can be sometimes challenging in many ways, the rewards outweigh everything else.


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