Jade Simmonds graduated from UEA in 2011 and is now an English teacher.

Jade Simmonds graduated from UEA in 2011 and is now an English teacher.

Jade Simmonds

English Teacher

BA American Literature and Creative Writing (2011)

YA Institution: SUNY Binghamton

I spent four years as a student at UEA, the third of which was spent at SUNY Binghamton in beautiful upstate New York. After graduating, I worked for a period of time as a Marine Recruitment Assistant at Viking Recruitment starting in October 2010 to August 2011. We recruited high-calibre Deck, Engine and Hospitality personnel for the luxury cruise and super-yacht sector. I knew absolutely nothing about this industry. However, at interview, I found that this employer was particularly interested in learning what my degree could contribute to the company and they were impressed by my existing knowledge of U.S. embassies and visa application processes, as the role entailed assisting recruits from all over the world in receiving this documentation prior to their joining dates.  This knowledge had been gained directly as a result of my Year Abroad.

Due to the advanced written communication skills that I developed through my AMS degree, I found myself swiftly performing Marine Consultant duties such as writing detailed candidate reports following interviews to advise and persuade cruise companies and yacht charters to take on our recruits. If I had not have left Viking Recruitment when I did my success at this would have opened opportunities for promotion as the company was expanding.

What’s more, this role entailed speaking with an international clientele on a daily basis and sourcing a large percentage of recruits from North America. My broad knowledge of American Geography as was extended as a result of my travels to 32 U.S. states during my year abroad, meant that I could maintain a high level of service to these people, both in terms of the ability to advise candidates on the closest centres to apply for international visas and seafarers’ medicals and to provide a highly personable service to a vast array of individuals.

After ten months of working for Viking Recruitment, I was taken on by Dover Grammar School for Girls in order to train as an English Teacher. I am undertaking this through a Graduate Teacher Programme associated with Canterbury Christchurch University.  I will receive Qualified Teacher Status in July 2013.

Over these past months of training, I have really seen my degree and Year Abroad experience become two great advantages in my attempt to become an inspirational English Teacher. I have found that I have been able to bring my knowledge of American Literature to a great number of lessons and enjoy teaching American texts the most. I have also found that my students love to hear personal anecdotes from my time spent in the States, whether it is the memory of hearing a whippoorwill for the first time or the description of the time I slipped in some ice on my way to class on the day of a mid-term exam, arrived late and felt compelled to apologise and explain by announcing that I had ripped my trousers in the fall and had to get changed. This somewhat disrupted the silence of the examination as the American students found my use of the word ‘trousers’ to be hilarious. This helped my students’ understanding of the language and environment of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by bringing the novel to life. I feel able to teach many American texts with a significant level of confidence and enthusiasm which I get a great deal of pleasure from seeing reignited in the students.

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