By Oliver Prinn, Volunteer turned Secondary School Biology Teacher
“I first applied to volunteer with Project: WILD C.I.C. back in 2017 when I was completing my second year of a BSc Genetics degree at the University of York. I had some experience of working with young people through my gap year and previous Summer work, however, volunteering with Nick and the rest of the team provided me with my first opportunity to experience what it is like to teach young people in schools.
Nick and I delivered a variety of environmental-based workshops both in schools and at holiday clubs to a wide variety of young people. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this and through the experience I gained I realised that school teaching would be the right career path for me.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I applied for a Science PGCE Teacher Training course, where I referred to my experienced gained through volunteering with Project: WILD C.I.C. as one of the biggest reasons as to why I should be accepted onto this postgraduate training course. Nick was happy to provide a reference for me, and I even used the leaf insect that we used to take into workshops as a live prop to be used in my application interview.”
“I am now 6 months into my PGCE year. I was elected as the Science PGCE course representative, and I am thoroughly enjoying teaching upwards of 15 Science lessons to all year groups of secondary students at a school in Yorkshire. The experience that I had gained by volunteering for Project: WILD C.I.C. was invaluable to me, I felt confident and quickly settled into my new teaching routine using the skills I had learned by working with Nick and the rest of the team.
I am in the fortunate position to say that last week I received a job offer to work as a secondary school Biology teacher at one of the most prestigious schools in the country. I am looking forward to settling into my new school, meeting my form class, and teaching hundreds of students about Biology every single day.
I have seized this opportunity to turn my hobbies, passions, and experiences into a beneficial and successful career, and this wouldn’t have been possible, were it not for my time at Project: WILD C.I.C.. I fondly remember writing my application for the position of Wildlife Workshop facilitator to Nick, and it is incredible to think how far that decision has taken me – the reference that Nick wrote to my new school was clearly motivational in their decision to hire me!
I strongly suggest to anyone looking to gain experience in biology, wildlife, the environment or working with young people to get involved with Project WILD C.I.C.. The years I had working with Nick were incredibly fun and memorable and have changed the course of the rest of my life for the better.”