Trainee perspective

A career changer’s journey

I reflect back on my journey to become a teacher. A key defining moment came at the age of 17 at school and making choices about university courses; to train to be a physiotherapist or a teacher? I chose the former and there followed a very successful NHS career as a clinician, manager, and leader. Fast-forward 26 years, I found myself as a busy working mum of 3 young children with a wealth of experience in both the world of work and of life, wondering about the career path I had not chosen. I had often thought about retraining to be a teacher, but it seemed like a distant dream. Surely it would be too difficult (even for me J) to contemplate giving up a successful part-time NHS job to undertake a full-time teacher training course whilst also juggling a busy home life. However, my epiphany moment came. I realised that having spent 20 years or so following my first career, that I could, if I jumped now, potentially do the same in a second career. I jumped, and I have never looked back!!!

I spent considerable time researching the different paths to become a teacher. I opted for a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course and was delighted to secure a place with the Bournemouth, Poole, and Dorset Teacher Training Partnership. My training year was daunting, challenging, inspirational, and full of achievement – with the added extra of learning to be a teacher during a national pandemic. I am just about to start my second year as a secondary teacher of mathematics. Thinking back on my SCITT, I can now see just how well it prepared me for all aspects of teaching. Whilst I know I still have much to learn, I had a very successful first year as a teacher and feel motivated and ready for more. My SCITT was a very well-balanced blend of learning incorporating professional teacher training, academic university study, and practical classroom experience. The support from my placement mentors, specialist subject mentors, and the course leaders was incredible; steadily guiding us through the course with the right mix of having high expectations of us all in a supportive and caring way.

I have absolutely no regrets about training to be a teacher. Yes, it was hard work changing career, however so many skills I had acquired throughout my first career, and throughout my life in general, have been directly transferable into teaching and into the classroom. I would absolutely recommend a second career in teaching to anyone who wants to make a real difference to our children and our future generations, to anyone who loves a challenge, and to anyone who wants to inspire others to be the very best they can be. I jumped and I am so glad I did. You can jump too!!

C Stalley

If you are a career changer and you would like further support you might like to visit NowTeach's website.