I’d always thought about becoming a teacher, but I didn’t do it straight away. I went into advertising and marketing, but realised I wanted a job built on human interaction rather than PowerPoint presentations, and one that would allow me to make a difference to other people’s lives.
There was an intellectual challenge and a certain glamour to advertising – all long lunches and fancy bars – but after a while I realised that there wasn’t much to love beneath the glitter. I began to find it very difficult to motivate myself and this was when I knew I had to do something different.
I believe all young people should get the chance to make their own choices and to pursue a life that they find fulfilling and meaningful. The role of a teacher is to prepare children for that, helping them to gain the qualifications and develop the habits that they will need if they are to dictate their own future.
Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, so many young people in this country never get this opportunity, and I find that devastating. The whole game is rigged against them.
My previous career was actually very good training for teaching: I had to do a lot of presentations, which helped me have the confidence to stand in front of a class. There was also a focus on clarity of communication, which is a vital skill for teachers. Generally speaking, though, the scale of the challenge eclipses anything I have done previously.
I was looking for the route into teaching that would give me the best training possible. Initially I wasn’t sure what the best route for me would be, but as I found out more about School Direct and Ark Teacher Training, I made up my mind. I’m very happy I did because now, I can’t imagine a better way to train.
As a career-changer, I was very conscious about spending too much time training out of the classroom. I wanted a route that would enable me to pick up the skills of teaching as quickly as possible. On the flip-side, I was also nervous about being dropped into a tough school with very little support.
However, as soon as I started I realised this route is the best of both worlds. I feel very lucky to have stumbled upon Ark Teacher Training. I can’t imagine a better balance of training and first-hand experience, and the relentless high standards are offset by an incredibly supportive environment. All in all, I’m constantly challenged, which makes me feel I’m progressing about as fast as I can manage.
The advice I’d give to anyone looking to change careers to teaching: do it. I gave up a ‘high-powered’ city job for stroppy teenagers, but I haven’t regretted it once. The workload is high and the pace frenetic, but every day brings at least one moment to cherish. And that’s not something I could say about any job I’ve had before.