NEWLY qualified teachers celebrated after embarking on a vocation that will open and shape the minds of countless young people across the region.
Almost 120 trainees were awarded Qualified Teaching Status at a ceremony at Carmel College, Darlington.
They will now help shape and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes of students across the North-East and North Yorkshire.
Trainees spent the academic year studying with Carmel Teacher Training Partnership and in schools across the North helping meet a growing need for expertise in education.
CTTP draws primary and secondary school graduates from across the region including Newcastle, Darlington, Stockton, Barnard Castle, Richmond, Sunderland, Gateshead, Blaydon, Washington, Billingham, Newton Aycliffe, Durham, Northumberland, North Shields, South Shields, Redcar and Cleveland.
Teachers were joined at the celebration by family to mark completing the course and joining a profession dubbed the best career in the world.
CTTP director and principal of Carmel College Mike Shorten welcomed guest speaker John Hardy, the chair of Schools North East and the regional representative on the National Teaching School Council.
Also headteacher of St John Vianney School, Hartlepool, Mr Hardy had high praise for parents and families for supporting the teachers through the training.
He said: “You will continue to learn as teaching is a career that never stands still. You will now have the rest of your careers to master and refine your skills and continue to develop as outstanding practitioners.”
His most powerful piece of advice was to remind teachers that the time they actually spent working with children was crucial.
“It will be your enthusiasm, passion and love of learning which will give you your authority and authenticity,” he said. “These are the greatest gifts that we can give our young people and will make all the difference to their futures. Their futures are in your hands.”
Mr Shorten said: “We continue to feel delighted to work alongside so many great schools in the partnership and across the North East. We believe strongly that teaching is one of the greatest vocations in life. It is about opening minds, shaping futures and fulfilling dreams.”
CTTP has been training teachers for the past 16 years and is one of the largest and most successful providers in the region. Last year 100 per cent of its trainees secured jobs.
Mr Shorten said: “It was a privilege to work with such an enthusiastic, eager and passionate cohort of graduates who now have the solid foundations upon which to build rewarding futures in teaching.”