Sarah Cavell, BEd - What our students say - University of Derby

Sarah Cavell

"The best thing about the first year of the BEd was that by the end of my placement I was dying to do more, I felt I could teach whole class lessons, which is something I would have never expected just 9 weeks before at the start of placement. I achieved a 'good' for my teaching placement which was fantastic for my first year, this inspired me to push harder in my second year and I was graded as 'outstanding' by the end of my second year placement."


What route did Sarah take into teaching? BEd Case Study Picture

My route into teaching was very traditional and as such I had to push myself to gain experience around my formal school schedule. Through secondary school I started choreographing for school plays using my prior dance experience; this gave me my first taste of teaching which lead to a huge increase in my confidence. As my confidence grew, I found more and more opportunities to teach in different settings such as mentoring of younger students and volunteering to help with after school clubs at local primary schools. Each new opportunity to investigate the teaching world was as exciting to explore as the last. By the time I reached sixth form I was sure I wanted to be a primary school teacher and I choose A Level subjects which I felt would support me with the subject knowledge which I needed.

What difficulties/ challenges did Sarah face? 

‘A’ Levels were the first time which I truly struggled at school, I found the work more difficult than ever before and moving to a new sixth form left me without my friendship support group. Even though I struggled at this time I feel as though this was a profound moment in developing my resilience and self-efficacy which I have had to rely upon greatly since starting the BEd.

My time at university so far has been a blur of emotions with key highs and lows. I found my interview was a test of my self-confidence as I found myself surrounded by people who were all as passionate about teaching as I was, many of whom had more classroom experience than I had. 

What is Sarah doing now?

While these achievements have been fantastic it was by no means an easy challenge, there have been times through the last two years where I wanted to quit after late nights planning or a mind blank while writing an assignment. However I'm still here and fighting to be the best teacher that I can be, this year my placement will be in a special school and this gives me the opportunity to explore a whole new world of teaching .