Introducing Ellie; a Cambridge graduate, former primary school teacher and senior leader, who in January 2021 joined e4education as the newest member of the Customer Relations Team.
Here she shares her experiences and her top 3 essential tools to support schools.
Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world
Education is such a challenging, rewarding, and enlightening sector to work in. The responsibility is motivating, if not overwhelming at times, and the importance of any role within education is the fact that altogether we are shaping and evolving the future of schools, which includes the teachers and children, as well as the parents.
Having worked for the last 5 years in primary schools as both a teacher and within the Senior Leadership Team, I know that the roller-coaster the teaching profession has taken me on (not always strapped in) has made me the person I am today; someone who shows compassion, resilience and a passion for education.
My education experience - teaching
After finishing my PGCE at The University of Cambridge, I started my career at a school renowned for their creativity, excellent provision and high standards. A perfect fit for me. Within a year of working there I was lucky (and brave) enough to be accepted onto a Masters’ programme, which I studied alongside a new professional challenge, joining the senior leadership team at my school.
I learnt so much from studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the world and it certainly broadened my mind into the different avenues of education.
Within a year of graduating, I had moved to another primary school and became the Literacy, Oracy and Language Lead which was followed by another 2 years as part of their Senior Leadership team. These years deepened my knowledge further, as well as the fact it strengthened my ‘ability to spin multiple plates at once’; a common saying in the world of teachers.
I was juggling teaching my wonderful children, handling the administration side of things, planning lessons, generating a new curriculum, supporting, and communicating with my parents, as well as managing a budget. Organisation became pivotal to spinning these plates, as well as the art of multi-tasking!
When Lockdown 1.0 hit, it changed my own, and the wider education community’s outlook on teaching and learning in many ways.
Remote learning was the first challenge; providing children with the tools to continue the learning provision we provided so incredibly well at the school, at home. The second was the fact that the academic achievements were not priority; well-being, safeguarding and mental health were. I can guarantee, that all headteachers and teachers wanted was for their pupils to be okay, to be happy and to not let the pandemic take their education, well-being, and if I am being honest, childhood, away from them.
I know we all learnt a lot from the first lockdown in terms of Remote Learning and online provision, and I hope that schools have found the subsequent lockdown(s) ‘easier’ - if I can even use that word!
My e4education experience - account management
One of the most important things I have learnt during my teaching and academic journey is that the education world is bigger than the classroom.
So, in December 2020 I left teaching on a high having worked with some incredible people. I know that the skills I have learnt and the experience I have had is invaluable – indeed I wouldn’t change a thing about the past five years - but teaching has made me realise that I want to make other teachers’ lives simpler by supporting staff and schools to do the best job that they can.
My role at e4education is to support our Northern customers as their dedicated Account Executive. I provide an extra layer of support for schools from all different sectors and with lots of different requirements; for no one school has the same vision and needs as another.
Having attended an Independent school, taught in different primary schools, and trained teachers across all sectors; I am aware of each sector’s varying requirements, not only from a website point of view, but also from an overarching and personal perspective.
I am currently contacting all my customers in the North, and I very much look forward to speaking to and supporting them in making the most out of their investment with e4education.
Based on my experiences in education, as well as the interactions I have had with customers over the last couple of months, I would like to share some of the solutions that I believe are valuable to a school bearing in mind the virtual world we are currently living in.
If parental engagement is something that your school is looking to improve, then look no further. Our communication modules are intuitive to your CMS and this suite of tools was something that stood out to me when I first began at e4education.
These tools mean your parents are always up to date with the school’s latest news and information, something which unfortunately in some schools, may not always be as accessible as it should be.
The testimonials we have had from our customers have been incredibly positive, and the feedback we are given enables our team to develop and evolve the tools further.
With the virtual world we are now finding ourselves in, I think we can all agree our IT skills have much improved over the last year. Having taught through the first lockdown I know remote learning is a challenge!
It is essentially a great way to organise remote learning videos, making it possible to push out ‘lesson palettes' through your Content Management System (CMS).
I recommend having a look if you have not done so already and the best bit is that access to the Greenshaw curriculum is free, forever! Our customers can also take advantage of the custom learning palettes for free until the end of this academic year.
The chances of open days and evenings, as well showing potential students, parents, and staff around your school this academic year is looking slim. I know before I started at e4education there was an influx of virtual tours at local schools, and I can see why.
We have created some fantastic virtual tours for our schools and their visitors over the past few months. I am a firm believer that schools should showcase themselves as much as possible- you should be loud and proud about your school, identity, and achievements!
Here are a few examples that look amazing:
A note to finish...
One of the things that stands out for me most as I go through my journey at e4education, is that as a company we are evolving and growing with our customers.
We make the changes to our software that benefit the education community and ensure that our schools’ websites are as easy as possible to manage.
It fills me with so much excitement that we are able to help the education world by helping schools to engage with their stakeholders and community.
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