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Tracey Bassett

Orangefield High School

www.orangefieldhigh.com

Subject: PE, Careers, LLW.

Your place of birth: Belfast.

Where You Live: Glengoland.

First Job: Waitress in The Barclay, Shaws Bridge.

What it taught me: To wear comfortable shoes and to deal effectively with ‘trying’ customers!

Family/status: Very happily married with two sons, Ben aged five and Aaron aged three.

Best advice anyone ever gave you: Obviously my mummy has always given me, and still gives me, the best advice in my life. Nevertheless, I have always come back to that great quote in a Rocky movie: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and it don’t care how tough you are.  It will beat you to your knees and leave you there permanently, if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: To someone thinking of a career in teaching, I would say that you must be the type of person that always acts with honesty and integrity and without hidden agendas. You should think of teaching as leading by example. You would need to be the type of person who has an openness in your communications with everyone, keeps your promises and meets your obligations. You would need to look out for other people’s interests as well as your own. You would also need to want to inspire young people, to see that light spark in their eyes when they realise that their dreams are achievable. Teaching can be a bumpy ride and a bit of a struggle at times, but meeting daily challenges head on can be very satisfying.

 

Tracey started her teaching career in inner-city Birmingham, simply because she  had a truly inspirational tutor at Loughborough University who said to her that she “should go to the inner city and really test my abilities at being a teacher.”

Never one to turn down a challenge, she headed for Birmingham.  “I think by Christmas time that tutor’s name was mentioned quite a few times,” she jokes.

“I have taught in a range of schools up to convent grammar level. However, over two thirds of my teaching has been in inner-city schools with pupils suffering much social deprivation, special needs and English as a second language. 15 years of my teaching career has been spent in East Belfast, where I have thoroughly enjoyed being inspirational in my work.”

Tracey’s most recent achievement has been bringing eight pupils to London to do Guard of Honour at The Olympics opening ceremony.  “At school we did our best to live by the Olympic and Paralympic principles of Excellence, Performance, Motivation, Determination, Courage, Respect and Friendship,” Tracey adds. “We cheered, shouted, clapped, shook hands and screamed as 14,000 athletes and their coaches paraded by us into the stadium. Oh, and we became a part of history!”