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Alison Whiteside

 Wheatfield Primary and Nursery School
School website:
Subject: Nursery.
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: Stranmillis University College.
First job: Primary 1 classroom assistant.
What it taught me: It taught me that teaching is not a job that can be done alone. Everyone needs guidance and support so don't be afraid to ask for help.
Family/status: Married to Tim with five children: Louise (34), Kim (32), Beth (19), Callum (16) and Dylan (12).
Best advice anyone ever gave you: Always be proud of yourself. When things go wrong, don't dwell on it, pick yourself up and keep going, tomorrow is a new day.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Teaching is one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs you will ever have. Involve yourself in all aspects of school life, build good relationships with your colleagues and support each other daily. You will have good days and bad with lots of challenges to overcome but when you see the difference you make to each child in your class it is worth it.
I was a Primary 1 classroom assistant for seven years and a nursery assistant for two years. It was during these years that I gained a valuable insight into teaching and what it entailed. With the support and encouragement of my husband Tim I applied to Stranmillis University College where I was accepted on to the BEd course in 2003. This was a challenge for me as I was returning to full-time education as a mature student with three children, the youngest just one. 
 With good family support I graduated in 2007 with not only my teaching degree but also with baby number four! Since graduating I have been fortunate to have worked as a Primary 4 and Primary 1 teacher before finally securing my current role as Nursery teacher in Wheatfield Primary and Nursery School where I have been teaching for 11 years. My current roles within the school at present include being on the Senior Leadership Team, Designated Teacher for Safeguarding and Child Protection and Newcomer Teacher. I work with amazing colleagues who are always there to support me. I am very fortunate to be part of the Wheatfield family!

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