Progression, recognition and reflection: how I became a National Expert

As a teacher and middle leader with only two years’ experience in the profession, I was delighted to receive the highest level of recognition from STEM Educators – National Expert.

Having previously held the Effective and Leading STEM Teacher levels, it was a great honour to receive the National Expert recognition.

"As teachers, we very rarely stop and look at the work we’ve done, and the progress we’ve made as practitioners. The National Expert recognition gave me food for thought, and a chance to reflect upon my own achievements." 

In my career so far, as an associate leader of mathematics, computing and business, a constant hunger for continuous improvement and subject knowledge development has taken me on a journey through a number of schools in the region. Visiting other schools in this capacity really brings home the benefit of networking with other specialists. It provides an opportunity to challenge approaches and methodologies. It provides me with the chance to build a bank of resources, strategies and activities and bring them back to trial in my own school.

The benefits of this can be huge, especially for those centres with small faculties and sole specialists. Nonetheless, it is easy as a teacher, having considered the current pressures facing the profession, to decide that there is simply no time to get out there and share practice with others. It is vital that you make the time. I made the time, and back then it was hard to justify increasing my own workload.

STEM Learning taking the opportunity to value and recognise these commitments to my subject is what makes me really value my National Expert recognition, which was awarded to me as a result of my ongoing drive to the sharing and delivery of computer science CPD, not only within my school but with middle leaders from other schools across the region.

As teachers, we very rarely stop and look at the work we’ve done, and the progress we’ve made as practitioners. The National Expert recognition gave me food for thought, and a chance to reflect upon my own achievements, and it is this that I value most about the STEM Educators recognition scheme. 

Being a STEM Learning National Expert gives me open access to a superb community of similar practitioners, and this platform for discussion provides an excellent opportunity to enhance my offering within computer science. At the same time, being part of this community is a great way to instil confidence and provide me with ongoing professional challenge.

This undoubtedly enriches what I can offer to colleagues and students. Receiving this award has, without a doubt, benefitted me enormously and at the same time, I am absolutely confident that it has had a great impact on those around me. 

Share your STEM stories

As the academic year draws to a close, we want to celebrate all of the amazing things that have been achieved this year. If you have an inspiring STEM story that you want to share, contact us or join in the conversation on Twitter, @STEMLearningUK #STEMStories17.

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