"Be yourself and to try your hardest." Thomas Belger 2020
After leaving Archbishop Beck Catholic College I knew that in my “heart and soul” I wanted to support children with SEND in education. I pursued my goal by training to become a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant at Fazakerley High School where I gained employment after completing a Level 2 & 3 Diploma in specialist support for teaching and learning in schools.
I gained invaluable skills and experience during that time and I wanted to broaden my knowledge, skills and expertise around SEN so I decided to branch out and work in various special educational needs establishments run by local authority schools to get a taste of what working in special education was really like. I am so glad that I made that choice as I thoroughly enjoy it.
In the last 7 years after leaving the college community I have also supported young people with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition), ADHD, EBD and SEBD (Social Emotional Behaviour Difficulties), PMLD (Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties), SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties), SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties). I also have a keen interest in Autism, mental health and well-being.
Whilst in full time employment I studied for a BA (Hons) Degree focusing on Education, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Liverpool John Moore’s University. I was delighted with my achievement completing a degree. It was quite daunting at first as I was balancing a full time job working in a school whilst studying at the same time. After hard work and many late nights at the library it eventually paid off as in 2020 I achieved a 2:1 in my degree. Unfortunately, like many others no opportunity for an official ceremony or to wear my cap and gown
I am currently still working in education with the local authority in a Special Educational Needs school. I love my profession very much. Throughout the years of studying, placements and gaining the skills I have become a confident, empathic and skilled practitioner. I also do sessional work with the local authority under the Children and Young People’s Services (Liverpool City Council) working in residential/respite services supporting children with special needs.
In Sept 2021 I will be applying to do a PGDE with QTS (SEN specialism) with Schools Direct with my current employment and Liverpool John Moore’s University. I hope to gain Qualified Teaching Status in order to be a SEN Teacher.
I have so many dreams and goals for the next few years. After qualifying as a SEN teacher I would like to obtain the National Special Educational Needs co-ordination award to become a schools SENCO. This would be my ideal dream job.
One thing that Archbishop Beck Catholic College taught me way back in 2006-2013 was to be yourself and to try your hardest. There were many teachers at the college who had considerable time and patience with me and always had my best interests at heart. I will never forget that and still to this day the College Motto “only the best will do” is such a positive affirmation in my life and has really supported me down the years. In short, all that the college stands for has made me into the person I am today.
Post script: It has been a pleasure to catch up with you Thomas and learn of your fantastic achievements, you sum up the famous quote “follow your dreams” to the letter.
Very best wishes in the years ahead.
"Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. So follow your dreams, embrace change and live what you love". Aysel Gunar