In Which Wolfenden Wears a Blazer: Interviews and Internships
Recently, I came across an internship aimed at penultimate-year undergraduates considering teaching secondary maths or physics post-graduation. I’ve enjoyed working with young people through the Warwick Welcome Service and Widening Participation schemes at uni, and so I think that teaching might be something I’d enjoy, too. The internship runs from mid-June to mid-July, and is in a school setting, giving real classroom experience – I thought this would be helpful to me, because I feel that having hands-on experience will enable me to decide whether teaching is for me or not. Needless to say, I applied, in the hopes of giving it a go. For anyone who’s interested in doing the same, the application form is here, and at the time of writing is still open.
The interviews rolled around during the week, so I dressed myself up – a feat that involved a last-minute dash to Primark to buy a blazer, as I haven’t worn anything smarter than a jumper and a scruffy pair of jeans since about August – and hopped on a train to Birmingham. It’s a pretty easy journey from Coventry to Birmingham – the return ticket was under £4 with a railcard, and some trains take as little as 20 minutes to get directly to New Street and spit you out in the centre of the city. I think if I end up interning in a Birmingham school, I’ll try to find somewhere closer to live, though – adding in buses and walking on each end would make it quite the commute!
I wasn’t the only one being interviewed that day – there were nine others, including two other Warwick students, who both recognised me (I’m slightly ashamed to say I didn’t recognise either of them… whoops). We were given an introductory talk about the programme, and then did an activity where we had to note down examples of good teaching practices based on a video of a model lesson, which we discussed in our interviews later. The interview itself was quite enjoyable – there were about ten questions or so, which I felt fairly confident talking about based on my experiences as both a learner and having worked with young people in summer schools and the like.
Afterwards, as I was in Birmingham, I met up with a couple of my friends from when I was in sixth form – Robert and Ryan. We went to Wetherspoons for dinner and chatted for hours in Robert’s flat. One of the things that I really like is that, even though I went to a different university to all of my friends from “back home” and I miss them a lot, when we meet up, we’re still just the same with each other, and it feels like no time has passed at all. It isn’t always practical for the whole group to meet up (of my close friends from sixth form, we’re spread from Southampton to York for uni), but I still consider them to be some of my best friends. And besides – they’re all only a Facebook message away.