Career changer - Primary Teacher
Teaching is the best job in the world, and it comes with huge responsibilities. The challenge is to be the best teacher you can possibly be, to give the children you are responsible for the best chances of succeeding. I feel very lucky that my training year was through Sutton SCITT.
To succeed you need a strong, supportive environment where it’s safe to make mistakes. This personifies Sutton SCITT, the partner schools and mentors in the programme.
The science of how children learn underpins everything you do as a teacher. The team at Sutton SCITT foregrounded this knowledge, while also providing a thorough understanding of subject specific pedagogy. This approach gave my cohort a significant advantage over those from other providers, as it’s this knowledge headteachers are looking for, when interviewing for training positions.
For me, the SCITT route into teaching was undoubtedly the best option. Being based in a school from day one, and being treated as part of the team was critical to my development. Being able to apply learning and try new approaches immediately after learning them was a considerable advantage.
Don’t be under any illusions. Teaching is a tough job. Your training year is going to be tough. It’s vital to have the best possible start and support team around you. This is what Sutton SCITT offer. It’s going to be a tough year for you - welcome to the best and most rewarding career on Earth!
Career changer – Maths Teacher
“Teaching in a state school after three decades in the corporate world has given me a fresh purpose and reignited my passion in mathematics. When I wake up in the morning it's no longer a long trudge in the crowded London trains to a dreary grey office that I shared with other equally serious "senior" executives, but a 10-minute drive to a buzzing secondary school where I can inspire young minds to love the most terrifying of subjects - mathematics!
I had retired to the thought of a daily morning and evening walk in the local park, watching sunsets and birds chirping, after a gruelling career where I travelled and lived in luxury across the world. And then one day I felt that simple accretion of wealth lacked meaning and purpose. I was inspired by Now Teach, an organisation that helps (ex) senior executives to consider teaching, connecting you back to those innocent school years when you learnt new things every day from teachers you never forget. Guided by an impressive DfE professional, I walked blindly into a class of thirty youngsters on an open day in a school; 13 somethings eyed me with suspicion as I tried to hide my grey hair while over playing my ability to be seen energised and young. And while I couldn't believe what I experienced that first day, my decades of cynicism made me walk into another 3 schools before I applied to Sutton SCITT, an (2021 Ofsted rated) outstanding provider of teacher training.
Even as the oldest trainee, I was given one of the finest training experiences, as they unbundled my superiority complex from past life, and made me relearn a trade which is much underrated. Led by a fine group of highly experienced teacher trainers, in a few months, as schools opened their doors to new trainees, I was the first to get a job offer in my current school. There isn't a day when I don't have a new story to tell my wife and two working sons: how we uncovered some mathematical truth today; how someone walked up and showed me with pride they won a chocolate egg; or a parent saying, ‘she can’t stop talking about your maths class’! I sleep well and when I wake up, I am ready to take on another day of the sweet secondary school experiences.”
Career changer - History
I was spurred into teaching by the impact of the covid-related school closures, but it was something I had been thinking about for a long time. I was conscious of the debt I owed my own teachers for encouraging me to aim high and I wanted to do something similar – to help children to develop the confidence, skills and understanding they need to flourish. I was also looking for a new challenge – and I have certainly found it! Previously I worked as a civil servant in the Department of the Environment and Transport and the Cabinet Office; more recently in a small team setting up and running an environmental charity, Young Climate Warriors, which works with primary schools across the UK.
I am now a secondary history teacher, and it was definitely the right decision. As a career changer, it was reassuring to discover that I was not alone. My fellow trainees were incredibly diverse, and a wonderful, supportive group. The training itself is well structured to assist you as you move quickly from observing teachers in your school to teaching your own lessons. Study days and subject specialist hub days, as well as my school mentor, provide really practical ideas and advice on everything from lesson planning to behaviour management. I had the opportunity to train in two different schools which has been a good reminder to keep an open mind about what works and a great opportunity to experience different settings and different approaches. Every school is different! It is hard work, but I love the challenge and, above all, getting to know the students and seeing how their confidence and sense of purpose grows with their learning.