“I am originally from Syria, I come from a middle-class family. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Education & Teaching in 2007 and started working as a teacher in a primary school a year later until 2016, when we moved to the UK. If I had not moved I would have carried on my studies in Syria, as I had just got acceptance from the university to do a post-graduate diploma in Education. But the war changed my life completely and in ways I never would have expected.
The initial challenge I faced when arriving to the UK was absolutely the language barrier, and adapting to life without my family, especially my parents. It was so difficult and distressing. I struggled to get over homesickness, and started thinking of my career. Integration with UK society is not easy. I tried to make friends and integrate with English people but it is difficult, because they think of us first as refugees.
I came here with a decent level of English and straight away applied for an ESOL class at Cardiff and Vale College. I was accepted at Entry Level 3; the average level. While I was doing this I was also doing a voluntary job at Adamsdown Primary School, helping Arabic students with translation. But I struggled to convince the school to employ me. I persisted in coming to the school over 5 months, showing them my certificates that I had proved to be equivalent to the needed UK qualifications. Eventually, they gave in to my determination and accepted me. I now work at the same school, but training as a part of a Teaching Assistant course.
I am indebted to Chatterbox because they believed in me and trusted in my ability. They gave me this opportunity and it has been a pleasure and an honour to be a member. Chatterbox has shaped my skills and allowed me to improve my online experience of tutoring, which I was scared of at the beginning in 2017. I enjoy being part of the Chatterbox team, they are like my second family in the UK. Furthermore, I have maintained my teaching skills by working consistently as a teacher/tutor.
My ambition is to be a university lecturer after I have finished my Masters Degree in Education, and then perhaps a PHD… who knows?”