Tamara Pierce

Advanced Practitioner, Middlesbrough

Sector: Education

After struggling with imposter syndrome, Tamara Pierce now works in Bede Sixth Form and finds seeing the success of her learners the most rewarding part of her job. 

Where do you call home? 

Middlesbrough. 

Tell us about your role?  

I work as an advanced practitioner at Bede Sixth Form College. This means I look after the humanities and creative industries team at the sixth form. I also teach history and religion, philosophy and ethics at A Level. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

After completing my degree in history, I took some time to work in different settings. I knew I wanted to work in education, but I wasn’t sure where. I took up roles in higher education, primary schools and museum education.  

When I completed my PGCE placement in a sixth form, I knew it was the right fit for me. I loved working with young people in subjects that they had picked and that would help them to achieve their goals. I’ve now worked at Bede for seven years and have taken on lots of different roles to help me gain a wider understanding of how the college works. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

I have definitely struggled with imposter syndrome, which I think is common for many people. I think the main thing that has helped me with this is having a support system of amazing colleagues. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

For me, it’s about seeing the success of my learners. I will never forget my first results day as a teacher and that amazing feeling of watching young people ring their parents to tell them they got into university or got on to an apprenticeship – what an amazing feeling to know you were making that happen. It’s exciting to think about what impact those students will have in the future.  

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It may seem like everyone else knows what they’re doing but everyone has been unsure of something at one point. If you’re going into education, remember that teachers are used to being asked questions so make good use of your colleagues and your mentors.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Don’t worry about what can go wrong, get excited about what might go right. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Knowledge is power.  

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