Catharine Potter moved to the Isle of Man from London in 2020. Catharine is completing her first year of teaching training at QEII secondary school in Peel, after completing a Masters in History at the University of Roehampton.
In late 2020, my partner (who is Manx) and I, decided to leave London to move to the Isle of Man. We had become disenchanted with city life, and having been through several major lockdowns, wanted a more relaxed and rural lifestyle. I was studying remotely throughout the last year of my degree, so my partner and I took this opportunity to relocate to the Island.
I have always known I wanted to go into a career in teaching, and having studied History at university, knew this was the subject I was passionate about and wanted to specialise in once qualified.
After we had made the decision to relocate, I started my job search and soon realised that there were a range of secondary schools to choose from in the Isle of Man. However, I had my heart set on QEII in Peel as that was where my partner went to school and grew up. I was fortunate enough to be able to secure a two-year teaching training position at the school almost immediately.
The school have been incredibly welcoming and have provided me with many opportunities in a short space of time, including being given the chance to train as a Duke of Edinburgh supervisor. I asked the Head if I could start an extra-curricular history club for students – a suggestion that was welcomed with open arms. I now run this at lunchtimes twice a week.
I have a far wider and diverse set of responsibilities compared to friends that are teacher training in the UK. For example, I teach classes across years 7 to 11, and have also been given the opportunity to teach children with learning support needs, which is very rewarding.
The school are very keen to invest in you; I have regular one to ones with management and I am encouraged to complete regular online training courses centred around personal development. I’m frequently supervised in class-based scenarios, which provides invaluable feedback and allows me to constantly develop as I am training.
I’ve found my time at QEII incredibly rewarding. Being surrounded by spectacular nature and living only a 10-minute walk away from the sea has done wonders for my wellbeing and sense of work-life balance. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do on the Island – whether that’s going to a local event, stopping by one of the Manx National Heritage sites, or going for a few drinks with friends in my favourite place Castletown. Having not really known anyone before I moved, I have been incredibly welcomed by this close-knit community.