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Chloe McCormick

Chloe McCormick
Course studied:
Secondary Business
Year of graduation:

Photos to Teaching 

Chloe McCormick has had a career of two halves – first as a commercial photographer and second as a school teacher. She graduated from Staffordshire University with a degree in Business Management in 2008, taking up a full-time job with Photo Corporation in Northampton. When she decided it was time for a career change, she returned to the University in 2014 for a Business Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) before joining Walsall Academy.

“I had worked my way up in Photo Corporation over the six years I was there and I thought it was time for a change,” Chloe explained. “I thought of Staffordshire University and, as it was the only place doing a Business PGCE near to where I live, I went for it.”

Photo development

Before becoming a fully qualified secondary school teacher, Chloe had worked her way up to a managerial role at Photo Corporation, where she was responsible for a team of people, hiring new staff, training and hitting company targets. “I thought I was busy then,” she said, “But I had no idea what was coming when I became a teacher!”

Chloe first joined the studio photography firm when she was 18, employed to canvas for new business. From there she took up the camera and moved between departments over the years, at the same time studying for her Business Management degree. It wasn’t until she graduated that she was promoted to manager.

“I fell into the role initially,” Chloe explained. “I was 18 and saw the job advert – it was £7 an hour which was a lot of money to me back then. I worked throughout the whole of my degree and enjoyed doing it, so it was an obvious choice to stay there after I graduated and got promoted.”

New beginnings

In 2014, Chloe, 28, started her PGCE, commuting from Tamworth to the Stafford campus once a week and spending the other four days on placement. “It was immediately completely different from my last job,” she recalled.

“I had two placements during the course, one was at Walsall Academy, where they offered me a job. On Fridays we’d go to the Stafford campus, when I’d meet with the lecturers and other students and discuss our lesson plans and any problems we had during the week. It was really useful to learn from each other.

“I officially started at Walsall Academy in September 2015. I’m teaching Year 9 to Sixth Form students. It was a steep learning curve and I’m really busy but I’m really enjoying it. I’d like to stay in secondary education because the students are amazing. I love their inquisitiveness about the world and they are guaranteed to make me laugh every single day.”