Zainab prepares to return to work in schools

Zainab joined the GRoW project in Newham following a four week workshop focused on helping mums get back to work and presenting the many opportunities jobs in Schools can provide for working mums. Zainab has fully engaged with the GRoW Workshops and activities and is looking for volunteering opportunities in a school when her daughter starts Nursery in September.

Zainab said “I have a Batchelor of Commerce which I attained in my home country of India but when I moved to the UK in October 2015 I began a Level 2 Teaching Assistant course as I was keen to get a job in a school.  I had previously worked in a Nursery in India teaching children all aspects of the school curriculum and also did home tutoring to children of all ages and so I knew this was something I wanted to return to when the time was right for me.

In 2016 whilst studying for my Teaching Assistant course I was expecting my first child but I did manage to do some voluntary work in a school and then at an After School Club where I was teaching maths and different subjects to the children who attended. Within a year I was expecting my second child and so had two children under two which made it quite difficult for me to continue with my voluntary work and so I have been a stay at home mum for the past 5 years.

When I heard through my daughter’s Nursery that GRoW were running a 4-week workshop to help mums in Newham prepare to work in schools I was immediately attracted to it as my daughter is due to start school in September and I had been thinking about working again. Another mum from school went along with me to the first Workshop at Sheringham Childrens Centre and we both found it real informative and enjoyable. During one of the workshops Sonia from GRoW did a group CV session which made me realise that even though I already had quite a good CV from when I finished my T Level course that I could really benefit from updating it.  Ameisha from the GRoW Team did a one to one CV session with me to make it more attractive and it was just fantastic.

Being part of the Preparing to Work in Schools Programme was brilliant and it really helped me.  Just being around the other women who attended was a really good experience as I got to hear about all their different backgrounds, the type of work they had done previously and why they wanted to work in schools too.  Everyone had a different experience but we could all see the clear benefits of working in a school when you are bringing up children at the same time as it offers the flexibility that is important when you have a family.

One of the best things about the programme was that they gave us different ideas and tips. For example, they told us that how to present ourselves during an interview – how you should walk with your shoulders straight and to make eye contact.  Another really positive outcome from the Programme is that I was given the opportunity to do either a Food Hygiene or a Safeguarding Course for free.  I am going to opt for the Safeguarding course as I think this will benefit me more when working with children in a school.  I am aiming to do the course in August and am really looking forward to it.

I am really very happy and truly appreciative of the opportunities GRoW have offered me and I am going to be taking part in many of their Successful Summer activities that they have scheduled in July and August.  I am going to do as many as possible and then I will look to see whether there are any opportunities for volunteering work in a local school and keep my eye out for job vacancies at the same time!”

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