A TRAINEE teacher took a step back in time when he returned to his old classroom.
Jonathan Greener’s school days at Broadway Juniors inspired him to become a teacher himself and he is now in his second year of a primary education degree at City of Sunderland University.
As part of his course he is back at the Springwell Road school where he spent four years, but this time he’s allowed to sit on “the big chairs”.
The New Herrington student’s return to Broadway reunited him with his former teacher, Claire Johnson, who was also a graduate from the Wearside university and followed her dreams into primary teaching 13 years ago.
Claire, 33, said: “I started the school as a teacher the same day Jonathan started the school as a pupil. I had his year group for the whole four years, so they were very special to me.
“We were all so proud when we heard he was going to university to do teacher training and it is great to have him back at the school on placement.”
Jonathan, 20, said: “It was fantastic to come back to the school, but it feels strange as well.
“I still think of myself as a pupil here and it is impossible to call some of the teachers by their first names.”
After leaving Broadway Juniors, Jonathan went on to secondary education at Sandhill View School and then St Aidan’s Sixth Form, before enrolling at the university.
He said: “I knew for a long time that I wanted to be a teacher. I just thought I would be better at primary teaching than secondary. The best memories I have of education were when I was at primary.
“It is a time when you are learning so much and growing up and it’s nice to have someone there to help you along, so I’m hoping I will be able to do that for other children.”
Both Claire and Jonathan are behind the Echo and Sunderland University’s Degrees of Success campaign.
The Degrees of Success campaign aims to help increase the number of graduates on Wearside, giving people with talent, regardless of background, the opportunity to fulfil their career ambitions, increase their earnings and potential.
Sunderland is below the national average, with 22 per cent of young people going to university, compared to a national average of 36 per cent.