Raisa came to GRoW at the beginning of 2023 after a GRoW advert sparked her interest in getting a job in a school. With no previous work experience Raisa was apprehensive about her prospects but is now confident about her future and on the way to achieving her goal.
Raisa said; “I have always wanted to work with children but I have not had a job before or had any work or voluntary experience and had no idea how to even start looking for a job. When I saw the GRoW leaflet explaining they had a programme to help mums get work in schools it was something I was really interested in doing. The fact that the leaflet was in my son’s school bag also made me feel more reassured that it was a programme that I could trust. If it hadn’t been for that link with the school I don’t think I would ever have signed up!
The GRoW Preparing to Work in Schools Programme took place at the Sheringham Childrens Centre in Newham and it consisted of 4 separate face-to-face sessions. I attended every session and found it so helpful. I learned so many new things such as what I needed to do to get work and which courses I should do. I have a Masters Degree in Computer Science that I gained in India but working in a company isn’t something I want to do and what I learned on the GRoW Programme is that if I want a job in a school then I need some relevant work experience, even if it is just on a voluntary basis.
I have looked at different types of school jobs and was at first thinking of pursuing a career as a Teaching Assistant but as I have two young boys I can’t work full-time yet and so have set my sights on SMSA roles for now. GRoW enrolled me onto an online Safeguarding course which I am doing at the moment and when I finish I am going to do a Food and Hygiene course which will be really useful if I ever want to get a job as an SMSA Supervisor.
As I had never even looked for a job before I went to the GRoW Job Searching Workshop where Sonia introduced me to all the different job websites I could go on. I also did a CV Workshop with Sheeja and have created my first ever CV which was an interesting process! I never realised that the work I do with my children such as helping with homework or teaching English and Maths in preparation for my older son’s 11+ is something I could include in a CV as transferrable skills. It made me realise all the different things I do and what skills I already possess.
The GRoW app has been a fantastic resource for me. We only did 4 in-person events on the Schools programme but the GRoW app keeps everyone connected so after the events we have been able to stay in touch through messaging on the app. There is so much on there, daily lessons, jobs bulletins and upcoming events. All of the information is really useful and you can look at it in your own time – I usually scroll through it in the evenings when my boys are in bed. I can see what is coming up the next day and it helps me prepare.
All the members of the GRoW team are so helpful, always supporting and encouraging me and I feel much more confident now in my abilities, Before coming to GRoW I didn’t know how to start, where to go to look, or what I needed to do. I have started looking regularly for jobs now and I think I have got a lot better at applications. I really feel that I am halfway there now to achieving my goals and it’s all thanks to GRoW.