Spotlight on Talent – Samantha Munday
Studied: Level 2 and Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship at Aldridge School
When Samantha Munday put together a video presentation about mental health for one of her apprenticeship modules, she didn’t expect it to be included in the assemblies at the school where she works. Walk a Mile in my Shoes proved so popular after it was shown to a year group at Aldridge School that it was soon rolled out to other students.
This is just one of the ways that Samantha has shown her passion for supporting students, particularly those with special education and disabilities (SEND).
“An apprenticeship has definitely opened doors for me,” said Samantha, who studied a photography degree before venturing into education. “I take pride in seeing the students I work with gain confidence in their abilities and achieve academically; especially when they make it through their GCSEs and go on to sixth form.”
As a university graduate, Samantha could have joined the education sector by studying a PGCE and taking up a teaching role. However, because she enjoyed her voluntary work with SEND students while at university (teaching photography and completing community-based projects such as creating an allotment), she decided this was where her future lay.
Samantha continued: “Every day I appreciate the many ways every child is different. That means adapting mine and the school’s learning approaches and techniques to suit their individual traits and triggers. It’s all fascinating to me. And something I want to keep exploring.”
During her 18-months at the school so far, Samantha has enjoyed supporting teaching colleagues in class, helping to manage student behaviour. She has also taken students out from lessons to participate in extraction classes for additional study support.
During lockdown, she successfully delivered blended learning sessions using Google Classrooms.
“I want to gain as much experience as possible about the learning approaches that SEND students respond to most of all,” Samantha added. “More SEND students are coming into mainstream education.
“I want to help shape what’s available to them and see the positive impact this has on their future lives.”