Students working in a classroom

Teacher Spotlight: Miss Upchurch’s Teaching Journey

This week we are bringing you some lockdown positivity, 2021 might not have started off great for everyone, but Miss Upchurch shares some of her 2021 wins with us..


I’m Miss Upchurch. I’m an NQT who works across 2 schools teaching KS1 and KS2 (it’s tough!).

When I was younger I never wanted to become a teacher, I wanted to be a vet or a nurse. It wasn’t until I left the sixth form with no real path to go down as I didn’t like blood – so being a vet or a nurse wasn’t looking great for me. I decided to take a gap year to earn extra money instead. I got a job in a local secondary school as an Art/Food Technician, which was great – I got to work in a school environment and get to see into the lives of day to day teaching. It sparked my passion and interest in becoming a teacher.

After working there for a year, I went to the University of Plymouth to study BEd Primary Education for 3 years. It was great! I loved being able to make a difference, to give something back, to teach the future generation. I love to see children learn and as cliché as it may sound, see those ‘lightbulb’ moments happen.

I am extremely passionate about learning through play and believe the richest experiences are created this way. Pie Corbett’s talk for writing approach is another way I love to teach children. I love to hook them in and spark their enthusiasm for a topic/book before looking into the book in more detail, re-telling the story, acting it out, changing it to make it their own and finally re-writing part of the story! I do this throughout the years that I teach, the enthusiasm is just as great in key stage 2. The children really show their love to learn if they are engaged in a book/topic.

Not only do I love teaching little ones, but I also love making friendships along the way and learning from so many inspirational practitioners. During my university course, I loved my placements – getting to see different teaching approaches. The creativity was excellent, each teacher had a unique way to spark children’s imagination and I couldn’t wait to develop my unique approach. I love that teaching allows you to do that.

The best part of 2021 for me so far (despite everything going on currently), is joining the teacher Instagram world. It has been excellent. The amount of support I have received is insane. It’s so refreshing to see Instagram being used as a positive platform for teachers to support others, no matter how many followers they have or how many years’ experience they have behind them. I have made friends for life on this platform and I have only been a part of it for 2 months. It’s definitely improved my well-being.

Overall, I honestly think teaching is one of the best jobs in the world. It’s also the hardest. I have broken down in tears many times, wanted to quit and never come back. But coming into school and teaching a class of children allows all of those worries to be forgotten about, which is lovely. It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers that I feel very lucky to be a part of’.

If you’d like to follow Beth’s journey you can do it at @miss.upchurch.nqt on Instagram, or if you’d like to feature on our teacher spotlight then we’d love to hear from you!

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