After working as a professional actor for 6 years, I was eager for a new challenge but wanted my future career to be something special. I knew it would be difficult to find something that would offer the mental challenge I was looking for with the variety and stimulation that being an actor entails. I also had a yearning to do something indisputably important and that reflected my values.
Eventually, I came back to the choice I nearly made before going to drama school – train to be a teacher. I genuinely believe that teaching, at its finest, is one of the most important jobs in any society.
I was eager to get as much experience in the classroom as quickly as possible, so choosing the School Direct route was very important to me. My aim was to become an outstanding teacher and to do this you also need to look deeply into the pedagogy of great teaching practice. School Direct perfectly balances both the theory and practical sides of the training so that you’re able to progress at the optimum rate.
There were lots of transferable skills from my previous career as an actor. Being able to adopt a persona is very important, especially for making sure behaviour is focused and the students are engaged. Being able to project confidence when I first started was definitely useful!
Perhaps my most useful ‘skill’, or rather quality, that I acquired as an actor was resilience. Teaching requires resilience on many different fronts; you must give your best every day and that’s helped me to grow, both professionally and personally.
If you’re considering a career in teaching, I’d definitely recommend getting experience in school to make sure that teaching is right for you.
You also need to love your subject and love children. It might sounds obvious, but it’s essential. The students deserve to be inspired every day and much of that will come from your own passion.
Don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Teaching is an immensely complicated craft and there will be times you get it stupendously wrong, having the humility to laugh at yourself from time to time will make everything much easier.
Don’t underestimate how complicated teaching is! Great teaching must be one of the most complex disciplines to master, but to have a career in which after thirty years you are still learning is a gift. When I began my training, accepting that I was a long way from the standard I wanted to be was perhaps my biggest challenge. However, training with Ark made me feel so supported, so encouraged and nurtured that I knew I would make progress. By the end of my training year, I was teaching confidently enough that when Ofsted came to visit I didn’t feel phased by it at all – that is testament to the level of training and preparation you get with Ark Teacher Training.
Every day is a highlight. I love being a teacher and I feel immensely proud when people ask me what I do for a living. The children inspire me, challenge me, make me laugh and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time.
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