I’m Tom, I went to Franklin before moving to Sheffield Hallam University to study Journalism.
During my three years there I got a lot of practical experience. I wrote for a student magazine and had a placement at the BBC’s media city.
I had the dream of being a professional football player but when I realised I couldn’t do this I went to the next best thing. I started working for Scunthorpe United media Department. Based on this work experience I did my ‘applied project’ on the work of the media department at Scunthorpe United Football Club and based on this I was awarded the best project amongst my graduating class.
I graduated with First Class Honours which I’m really proud of.
I knew I wanted to come back to North East Lincolnshire Council and I was sure I could find work I wanted to do here and I really like the area.
My first job was at Franklin at a Progress Coach where I mentored students through everything from University Applications to pastoral care.
During this loads of kids came to me panicking about student debt. They thought bailiffs were going to come knocking on their door. It’s not like that. A student loan is made to be as manageable as possible.
I started my PGCE while I was there and got my first teaching job teaching Media Studies while still having six months left of my PGCE to do. It was a lot of work but I was able to do it successfully.
Being a younger teacher was interesting. In some ways it helped because I was not that much older than the students I was teaching so I could relate better with them.
You’re just finding your feet at first, but then you get more experience and become more confident.
Financially I didn’t have loads of money at Uni. My loan was small but it didn’t affect my Uni experience. I didn’t go out every night but I still had all the same student experiences as everyone else and more because I got to do some great work experience and graduated with First Class Honours degree.
While I was at Franklin I got the chance to host a show on Estuary TV. I heard about it through a friend, they were looking for a sports pundit for a show they were producing called On the Bench, and they ended up having me talk to presenters about recent sports events. After this I was able to write and host my own show called On the Bench Extra that focused on Grimsby Town and Hull City.
After about a year in this teaching post I changed to teaching Key Stage 3 (year 7-9) at Phoenix Park Academy, an Alternative Education Academy.
I love Grimsby and Cleethorpes. I know it often gets a bad rep, but I can see something different. It seems to be developing so much over the past few years. It is being regenerated in different areas; there are more festivals and an arts and music scene. Also, I didn’t appreciate living near the sea until I went inland. People there are always jealous saying, “You live by the sea?!”, it’s often taken for granted. I’m proud of where I come from.