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Former student returns to class - as teacher

Starting at a new school is never easy, but starting as a teacher at the place you were once a student is in a whole other league.

It was the inspiration of her teachers that led Katherine Borley to follow her heart and train to become a secondary school teacher. She hasn’t looked back, and now features on the staff list at the Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech.

Miss Borley was born literally across the road from the academy, went to Elm Road Primary and has great memories of her time there before she headed Hertfordshire University to qualify.

“I decided in secondary school what I wanted to do for a career, through the influence of my teachers. My form tutor, who still works at the school, taught me that there is kindness within the school setting and that I can strive to do what I was. It was Janice Trenoweth who guided me through some very rough years at school, and a family death. I will never forget her compassion and humility,” she said.

She had an interesting first week as an English teacher as she tested positive for Covid the day school started, so she was behind and found it tricky to get into the swing of things but her mentor Mrs Howes, and the entire English department were exceptional at helping her to adjust.

“I was originally supposed to be teaching in South Korea for a year and had flown home due to some unforeseen circumstances. I met with Principal Mr Scott through the ‘step into teaching’ initiative,  and we had a productive chat about the area and my personal development.

“Mr Scott has been fundamental in making me the teacher I am today, and has supported my growth,” said Miss Borley, pictured above holding her school photo.

Support from both the academy and the Brooke Weston Trust it is part of, has not stopped as now she’s returned to the classroom as a student as well. Kat is studying for an MA in Education which is being partially funded through the school, and is being provided by the University of Leicester.

“Mr Scott and the academy were on board with me developing my skills further to aid the academy in the future and to make me the best version of myself. For that, I am very grateful,” she said.

Returning to her old school meant getting to know her former teachers as colleagues as many of them are still at the academy.

“One of my form tutors, Mrs Salmon, was shocked to see how much I had changed. It was lovely to see her and it’s safe to say she hasn’t changed at all.”

“I can understand the culture of the students in this environment, as I was once one of them,” said Kat.

“I believe it is important to allow students to become whatever they desire, I do not influence them to be teachers, but to be the best version of themselves. Whatever they choose.”


Teacher Feature In brief:

Miss Borely

Primary School: Elm Road, in Wisbech

Pets: three Labradors and one cat - Cooper, Parker, Lottie and Logan

Sport team: Nothing in particular, but my household fights between Manchester City, Norwich City and Arsenal.

Hobbies: Gym and shopping.

Super power: “While I’m writing this, someone is purposefully annoying me, so the ability to make people lose their voices would be lovely!”