Cherisse Jones, a primary school teacher at the Skegness Junior Academy, made a huge career change two years ago after working in the NHS.
Cherisse was inspired to go into teaching after doing voluntary work in her local primary school and coaching sports to under 12s in her spare time at university. She undertook her training year at the academy and has now nearly completed her first fully qualified year there.
Teaching is often a popular choice among career changers and 41 per cent of people in the East Midlands, who registered an interest in teaching last year were career changers. Here, Cherisse addresses some common questions for those thinking about getting into teaching:
l Do you enjoy a challenge? A teacher’s day doesn’t start and end with the school bell. Although teachers receive a generous holiday allowance, you will often find yourself arriving at school early to set up the classroom as well as planning and marking at home after school and at weekends.
l Are you cool under pressure? As a teacher, your patience will be tested on a regular basis, especially in the classroom. The best teachers always keep their cool. You will need to have a caring nature, a lot of patience, and be adept at answering questions and resolving challenges from students in a calm and collected manner.
l Will my work experience count for anything in the classroom? Some of the best teachers entered the profession after pursuing careers in other fields, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise to inspire the next generation. There are excellent teachers who’ve transitioned into teaching from many walks of life - the financial sector, research scientists, media and marketing, and IT. Many of the best teachers transfer valued skills they’ve developed in the workplace including leadership, relationship-building and communication skills.
l Could you inspire a classroom of young people? Teachers inspire the doctors, teachers and business leaders of tomorrow. It’s the one profession that starts every other. By encouraging students to question, criticise, and engage with your chosen subject you’ll inspire young people to fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions.
To find out more about what life as a teacher is like, visit the Get into Teaching website (www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching) or call the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.