Have you ever thought about changing career and getting into teaching? Here at Billericay SCITT we find it’s an increasingly popular choice, so we decided to contact some recent career changers to discover why they made the move and how it’s worked out for them.
Our first conversation was with Emily, who gave up a high-flying career in dispute resolution with an international law firm to enter teacher training and is now Head of German in a South Essex secondary school. She tells us she hasn’t regretted the move for a minute: ‘I’m genuinely so much happier teaching. Although I enjoyed my previous work, I love using my language skills every day now and I find the interaction with students in the classroom incredibly rewarding’. Jon is another teacher who really prizes the opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives. Now Head of Maths at a large secondary school in Essex, he tells us his previous job as a media and technology analyst in a multi-national company was interesting and financially rewarding, but it lacked the one thing teaching gives you – the satisfaction of feeling that you’ve made real tangible difference. Supporting young people as they learn and helping them to develop the skills they need for life is, he says, ‘the most fun I’ve ever had working’.
Another who gave up a well-established career, this time in journalism and public relations, and has found teaching far more satisfying, is History teacher Pat. He tells us: ‘I have truly loved every minute of my teaching career so far. I can’t think of a job that challenges and frustrates more or has the capacity to leave you utterly exhausted, but I also can’t tell you of any job that will make you laugh harder or longer, allow you to build strong relationships or give you more satisfaction. Whatever job you have been doing cannot compare to teaching, my strongest advice is that you try it, you won’t regret it’. (You can read more about Pat’s personal journey into teaching in our post Why Did I Leave Journalism to Become a Teacher?).
More recent entrants to the teaching profession also told us why they had chosen teacher training. Experienced solicitor Yi trained with Billericay SCITT last year and is now working as a Newly Qualified Teacher in a South Essex school. Her 14 years of experience working with the police mean she is unflappable in the classroom, and have given her many invaluable transferable skills, but having seen too many examples of young people taking the wrong path, she felt it was time to do a job where she could make a positive impact on young lives every day.
Current trainee Clare agrees. After a series of busy jobs in Higher Education she wanted a challenging career where she could develop her interests and her skills and give something back. Having started teacher training with Billericay SCITT in September, she tells us: ‘the past 6 months has been both terrifying and exhilarating. Learning the educational theory to support and challenge my classroom observations has enabled me to begin to master the skills needed to provide an inclusive environment for every learner. Changing career can be demanding, but being part of a welcoming school team has been a huge support. Before you realise it, you are half way to qualified, teaching like a pro, and sharing a laugh in the Faculty office about something you couldn’t have imagined before. It is worth taking that first step, there truly is no other world like that of the teacher!’
We’d love to hear your own stories about career changing into teaching, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have if you’re considering entering teacher training. Contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the conversation