Geraldine Miller is the Head Teacher at St Paul’s Primary School Shettleson. St Paul’s Primary have been involved with MCR Pathways for more than two years, offering Talent Taster experiences for children development officers and primary teaching roles. We spoke to Geraldine about her experience of delivering Talent Tasters for MCR.
How did you get involved with MCR?
As a school, we wanted to get involved because of the kind of children MCR works with – we see these children as our children. We’ve got a lot of children that have had adverse experiences, so we know how that can impact a child’s development. Some of the young people who have come for Talent Tasters have been ex-pupils of ours.
Describe what the process of running a Talent Taster is like.
I want the young people to be inspired and see that there are people that love their job and want to come into work. Staff have been really positive about it. The young people came back absolutely buzzing. I’ve been a teacher for 24 years, so it’s about understanding young people and trying to match that up. It’s been a really positive experience for us.
What do you like best about running Talent Tasters?
The young people and giving something back. Some of the young people when they come in are very nervous, but then they come back joking and smiling, and they have lots of questions and talk about how great it is. Children are all gifts, and I look at them as a gift, and it’s so nice to see that you’re opening another door for them.
How has running Talent Tasters affected you?
We see it as added value for the teachers. Some of the teachers were quite surprised when they meet young people who they previously taught – they didn’t know that was going on at home for them. I think we have grown as a staff. Now we see that emotional relationships are key to learning and teaching. We’ve put more focus on the mental health of young people.
What would you say to someone who was interested in getting involved with MCR?
In terms of your own staff development, I think it’s very good for people to see a different side of things. We have to nurture the next generation. I would say 100%, everyone should be considering this. Doesn’t matter what service you do or what business you provide.