Like anyone, Zoe had doubts about giving up the career she’d invested so much in. But it turned out her skills were surprisingly transferable. Once she realised how much she enjoyed the interaction and unpredictability of the classroom, there was no looking back.
“I’d spent such a long time saying I wanted to work in law. All of a sudden I was going “I’m going to give it all up”. I did have people kind of looking at me and going “Are you sure you want to do that?”.
I think it scared me before it started, that I’m not going to know what to do with them. But actually, once you’re in the classroom, there’s so much going on all the time, I don’t think I ever have that ‘oh, we’ve got nothing to do’.”
I wasn’t ready for managing another person, especially when this person’s been a Teaching Assistant for twenty years. But the managerial skills I’d got from previous roles really helped, and the communication skills and organisation too. There’s always so many different jobs you need to do in the classroom that you really need to prioritise and organise. Yeah, loads of skills really.”
All the training was interesting but it almost didn’t feel real. It wasn’t until I was actually in the classroom doing it day-to-day, hands-on, that I found just how much I enjoyed it. My worries of sitting there and not knowing what to say or how to answer a question were unfounded, I was fine.”
“Before, I was sat staring at a computer screen all day. Now every day is different. You never really know which direction the lesson might take. One question from one child might completely throw the lesson off in a different angle. There’s so much more interaction. I feel part of a team and enjoy every day in the classroom.”
This year we were looking at like Inspirational Women’s Week. This girl started off with “How can I change the world? I’m only one person”. I said “Well I’m going to change the world. I’m going to make teaching fun”. She came to me a week or two later, “You’ve done it Miss, you’re making learning fun. That lesson was great”. You think ‘yeah, OK, I’ve made the right decision here’.”
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