English graduate, Rachel Scales, releases her new book: How Do I Answer That?

English Alumni, Rachel Scales

We caught up with English graduate, Rachel Scales, who, this week, published her new book entitled: How Do I Answer That?

What attracted you to Kent?
The campus, Templeman library and how enthusiastic the teaching staff were during the open day all attracted me to the University. I remember being very excited at the prospect of studying romanticism in Year 1 of my English and American Literature course!

What have you been up to since graduating?
Since graduating from Kent in 2018, I’ve worked as an Education and Wellbeing specialist for the sexual health charity Brook. This role involved me traveling to many different schools and delivering RSE workshops and lessons to secondary school aged students. I then moved to working in one particular school as their Literacy and RSE Coordinator. In this role I delivered reading intervention programmes and RSE classes. Building on my background at Brook I planned and implemented a brand new RSE curriculum for the school, which included training teachers to feel confident and empowered when delivering RSE. Now I’m working as an English teacher in a secondary school and working towards gaining a formal teaching qualification.

How did Kent help you in your chosen career path?
Kent equipped me with all the skills and knowledge to be a successful English teacher! I was also given the opportunity to gain experience working with secondary school children at Kent through the creative writing programme School of English had in local secondary schools.

Congratulations on the publication of your book! Could you tell us a little bit more about the project, andhow it came about?
The idea for How do I answer that? came about when I was working as a Literacy and RSE Coordinator. When I was training staff to deliver RSE there were a lot of questions around how to answer difficult student questions openly but professionally. I thought that other secondary school teachers would have these questions also and so I wrote How do I answer that? as a resource to give teachers the confidence to answer RSE questions.

What’s next for you?
I’m in the early stages of writing some non – fiction books for children on specific mental health conditions like OCD and Hypochondria. I feel like there are books aimed at teenagers for these conditions but hardly any books aimed at middle grade children.

Finally, do you have any book/music/film/TV recommendations? What’s been getting you through lockdown?
I really enjoyed the Netflix series Bridgeton and I’m now binge reading all the books! I’d highly recommend it if you’re in to historical romance fiction! I’ve also been re-watching all five series of Line of Duty in anticipation for the new series.

Take a look at the new book on Critical Publishing.