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Blackboard Awards 2023

Alicia Gillespie, Hazelwood Integrated College


Subject or Primary school year: Secondary School

Your place of birth: Belfast

Studied at: Currently Open University

First job: Hospitality

What it taught me: This job taught me to treat people equally, no matter their situation. I learned to be humble, patient and this job taught me the ability to adapt to any situation that may arise. I met people from all walks of life and I am thankful for this experience.

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: As a classroom assistant, I feel patience is a huge factor to doing this job. Take your time getting to know the pupils, and always strive to explain any work to a child in a way that they may understand.

My name is Alicia, I've just turned 30 and I am currently studying a part-time open degree with the Open University; whilst studying I also work in Hazelwood Integrated College as a classroom assistant. I feel very passionate about my job, I believe in education and the potential it holds for young people. I feel particularly proud to work in an integrated school, encouraging young people to work together whom come from all walks of life. Rather than being called Miss.Gillespie, I am known by the pupils I support as simply 'Gillespie' as a term of endearment, which I feel is a huge testament to my work. I feel very privileged to be nominated as an acknowledgement of my commitment to the pupils, especially as I am a past pupil of Hazelwood Integrated College.

Blackboard Awards 2023