Laura Hay
Teacher, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College

As a mum, Time to Teach allows me to see my daughter every day

Laura Hay trained as a solicitor before joining our Time to Teach programme. We spoke to her about changing careers and how teaching fits in with being a mum.

I went to university and studied law, purely because I was really passionate about it. When I was doing my work experience, I realised that, although I really enjoyed law, its morals didn’t really match with mine.

I soon went into a banking job working in mortgages. Then I went into staff engagement, looking after wellbeing and mindfulness for the company. I then kind of fell into learning and development, mentoring new members of staff and coaching, before going into training.

I had always wanted to be a teacher

I always thought I wanted to be a primary school teacher. But I had the chance to engage with older children for work experience, and with schools to help them become more financially aware, and it made me realise how much of a need there was - particularly with maths.

Because of the things I’ve seen and my experience dealing with mortgages, I've had the chance to speak with people and gain insight into their lives. The low understanding that people have of the financial world, and the low understanding that children in school have of how maths fits into the world, painted a really stark picture. There were a lot of basic life skills that people were missing.

Why Time to Teach was best for my daughter

I have a three-year-old daughter. The idea of spending five weeks away from her put me off the Training Programme. I also think it wouldn't have felt very natural for me, because I’ve been in employment for quite a while. I learn better by being in a situation and being hands-on.

I was attracted to [Time to Teach] because of the way it fits into my life. I’m a single mum – logistics are tricky. Your normal job is nine to five, you’ve got your commute. Time to Teach has enabled me to see my daughter every day and have a stable routine.

Maths is a difficult subject to teach, but every child is capable

I think there’s a stereotypical view about maths. I remember someone saying to me kids will challenge you on maths, like, “Why do I need to learn that?”. I don’t think it’s that kids don’t like maths. I think it’s more the insecurity in numeracy, and that’s not that child’s fault. That child just needs support or different ways of learning.

I think I am driven by the fact that I want every child to have an equal opportunity, regardless of their background. Every child is capable. A lot of the time they will not think so, and that’s the underlying issue. If you can tackle that and respond to it positively, you can get somewhere with them and will see that self-belief growing in them, which is really lovely. 

Train to teach in Bradford, Greater Manchester or South Yorkshire on our pilot programme. With a salary from day one, it’s ideal for those who aren't fresh out of university.

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