Clíodhna joined Childnet in September 2014 as an Education Officer and is soon to leave on maternity leave. As we recruit for an Education Officer, Maternity Cover, Clíodhna reflects on her time in her role and outlines a typical week in the Education team.
The role of an Education Officer is very varied and fulfilling. The Education team consists of a small team of 7, with 3 Education Officers active in schools. As Education Officers, the majority of our time is spent in schools (up to 3 days a week), delivering online safety sessions to students of all ages, staff and parents. The Education team travel to wherever we are asked: some schools are local to the office, whereas others are as far away as Scotland or the north of England. As we speak to a wide range of people – from 3 to 18 year olds, as well as adults, communication skills are vital.
As an ex-secondary school teacher, my role as an Education Officer is perfect for me as I still get to interact with young people, however I don’t need to do the same amount of marking or admin that I had to do as a teacher. I also love getting to visit all types of schools (independent and state) and it is nice to go to primary schools and see how enthusiastic students are about what they do online. Of course, it is also very interesting to visit groups of secondary school students where I can have a more mature debate about issues that affect young people online. It is always so interesting hearing what young people have to say.
As an Education team, when we’re not in schools, we’re in the office arranging visits and contributing to resources. As Education Officers, we’re responsible for keeping our presentations up-to-date and engaging so we often do research, or I talk to the team to see how we can improve our presentations. I also evaluate and monitor our impact, which is important as we learn what young people like/don’t like about our presentations. We also help out with different projects, like writing new and engaging resources such as the Safer Internet Day education packs, or resources like our new critical thinking toolkit Trust Me.
Training is important in this role and we attend conferences, often in different countries, to keep up the latest trends in internet safety and we collaborate with key stakeholders globally. Childnet forms a part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, and we are in the unrivalled position of being able to sit on different advisory boards where we can feed in what young people think about different services.
Overall, every day at Childnet is different. If you have a passion for listening to and engaging with young people about issues that affect them online, this role is for you. As we believe that education is vital to tackle the risks faced by young people online, we are especially looking for a trained teacher that has classroom experience, or a youth worker that has worked with young people in an informal setting. Childnet is a small, passionate and committed organisation and is very collaborative and balanced in its approach to internet safety.
Find out more about joining our team.