Renfrewshire Council

Probationary teachers at their induction day in Johnstone Town Hall.

Why I chose to work as a teacher in Renfrewshire

New teachers starting their probation year in Renfrewshire told us why they wanted to work for us.

As almost 100 new probationary primary and secondary teachers gathered in Johnstone Hall just days before the new school year, we spoke with some about their route into the profession, and their hopes for the year ahead.

Fraser McKechnie, 22, who is teaching at St Peter's Primary in Paisley and is from Erskine said: "I'm from this area so it's excellent to be able to stay here and work, with friends and family here. There's lots of opportunities here in Renfrewshire.

"I would recommend teaching to anyone if you want to work with children and make a difference to their lives and to the wider community, then it's for you."

Former musical actress, 25-year-old Gemma McLennan, who swapped the stage for the classroom, said: "I'm excited to be going into my probationary year at Langcraigs Primary in Paisley. I have come into Renfrewshire Council this year for my probationary year not knowing a huge amount about it, but from what I've seen so far everybody is very keen to help and just very generous with their time and answering any questions.

"I've been an actor so this is a different route for me although I've also known I wanted to be a teacher and this is me finally doing that now. I have always liked anything to do with children and even when I was working as an actor I was also working a nanny on the side.

"I've met the head teacher and children at my school which was really nice and I can't wait to start.

"I'll be teaching primary two which I'm delighted about."

Jonathan Cook, 25, will be teaching History and Modern Studies at St Benedict's High School in Linwood and said: "I'm really looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council after being placed in Johnstone High School which I thoroughly enjoyed.

"In fairness, I didn't know too much about Renfrewshire Council initially - but after 12 weeks, which I absolutely loved of working in Johnstone, with a really good ethos and  good community, as well as experiencing things like in-service days and the wider community, I found Renfrewshire Council to be very open and supportive and that's why I made it my first choice."

Katya Hay, 24, who will be teaching Art and Design at Paisley Grammar, decided to go into teaching after working in another profession for a year.

The textiles design graduate from Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, said: "I'd always had that thought of going into teaching. After my degree, I went to Strathclyde University and everything kind of fell into place really nicely. It's just been a nice sort of progression.

"I've been chosen for Paisley Grammar School and am going into the depths of the unknown. I'm not from here so this will be a new experience for me but so far everyone from the Renfrewshire Council group has been so helpful and everyone's been very welcoming so I'm really looking forward to it."

Published 13 August 2018.

Pictured: Probationary teachers on their induction day at Johnstone Town Hall.