Changing jobs is frightening enough. Changing an entire career is even more terrifying. But if the urge to teach just won’t go away it’s a good sign you should give it a try. These people did and they haven’t looked back.
From scriptwriter to English teacher
Dreaming up dramatic storylines may sound like a dream job but Lucian gets even more satisfaction from seeing the kids in his classroom succeed.
From footballer to maths teacher
Nathan played for Manchester City reserves before moving to Rochdale AFC. But, he told the Manchester Evening News, he soon realised helping disadvantaged kids was his real goal.
“A lot of people say to me do you not miss football? I got to play in a League 2 play-off final with Rochdale at Wembley against Stockport County and it was amazing. But moments in teaching can be just as amazing. When you see kids pick up their GCSE results with a smile on their faces and you know you’ve helped them, you can’t better that feeling.
“It’s definitely a baptism of fire when you first start. You have to adapt quickly to what you’ve got to do and build positive relationships with the kids. But I quickly settled in. Once kids had heard my back story they tend to be really interested. That’s the good thing about being a career changer. You have something else to offer the kids other than what you’ve learnt at university.
That’s the good thing about being a career changer. You have something else to offer the kids other than what you’ve learnt at university.
From businesswoman to science teacher
After 22 years in the corporate world Katie wanted a change and Teach First fitted the bill. Does she have any regrets? Not one.
From teaching English as a foreign language to teaching Year 5 in north east England
Andrew wanted to see the world and funded his travels by teaching in Taiwan, Slovakia and Italy but a yearning to make a difference at home brought him back.
“Doing geography as my degree I thought one way of combining teaching with my love of travel was to teach abroad. I had great fun but I felt compelled to come back and make a lasting difference to children here, and Teach First’s desire to put top grads into areas of social economic disadvantage really attracted me.
“I’m based in Thornaby-on-Tees, which is close to Middlesbrough and a region suffering economic decline. Self-esteem is a big issue with lots of the kids here, they often don’t have the resilience and confidence to complete a task, which isn’t something I’d experienced before.
“But the school is full of transformative people willing to try new ways of teaching and work collaboratively to give each student what they need. It’s also a really innovative school, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect in this kind of area. For example each child has their own Chromebook they can use in lessons and take home. Making that real palpable change is why I love being a teacher. A lot of jobs make a difference but with teaching it’s never monotonous. You experience life in all its positives and negatives.
Making that real palpable change is why I love being a teacher. A lot of jobs make a difference but with teaching it’s never monotonous. You experience life in all its positives and negatives.
From BT to teaching business studies
As the telecom giant’s senior learning and development manager Kim picked up plenty of skills that are very handy in the classroom.
“It’s surprising just how many you’ll find are transferable when you begin the Leadership Development Programme. At BT I was used to presenting to groups of people and senior managers, so standing up in front of 30 kids didn’t phase me in the same way it might have done if I hadn’t had that experience.
At BT I was used to presenting to groups of people and senior managers, so standing up in front of 30 kids didn’t phase me in the same way it might have done if I hadn’t had that experience.
I didn’t ever suffer from stage fright, I just told myself ‘it’s only 30 people’.
“At BT my job was entirely desk-based and my working life was more or less based around spreadsheets. Spreadsheet and data analysis skills aren’t taught during teacher training, so my strength in these areas has actually put me at an advantage. I’ve been able to take on additional responsibilities to help analyse data and, for example, identify gaps so we can work out how the school might be able to address them.”