The German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich painted his Wanderer above the Sea of Fog in 1818. A young man stares out over a vast landscape shrouded in fog as his back is turned towards the viewer. The past stands behind him and his future is uncertain as the waves of the future crash against the rocks of the present. It is impossible to try and make sense of the world that ‘crashes’ around us, unless one understands history. History is everything – the most interesting, complex and problematic moments in our existence. History is Martin Luther King delivering his I Have A Dream speech, The Beatles playing Shea Stadium, a child being the first person in their family to go to university. I became a history teacher because I want to spark pupils’ interest in the past; the way we make sense of our present is through navigating the past. The past is an infinite reservoir of stories, warnings, lessons, jokes and feelings. It shows us that resilience and courage can be contagious.
After graduating with a first-class honours degree in history from The University of Lancaster, I decided to furnish my curiosity with the past further and study for a masters degree in history. After achieving a distinction, I decided to join the prestigious Teach First Leadership Development Programme, completing a post graduate diploma in education. My main motivation for joining the programme was to be part of a vision which aims to tackle educational inequality and instil young people with confidence, aspiration and determination to be the very best they can be, regardless of academic ability or social circumstance. I want pupils to learn from the past, furnishing their intellectual curiosity, recognising that history challenges and transforms human experiences. This message can be found in the school’s acronym ‘aspire’ and aligns with my vision as a history teacher. I want to take the ‘aspire’ vision and embed it into my lessons, using the past as an avenue to discuss these values. I feel privileged to be part of a value-led trust and movement, which puts the interests of the pupils above everything else.
In my spare time I enjoy exploring galleries and museums, travelling, and reading twentieth century American fiction.