Deciding to change your career is scary. You may feel comfortable in your current role in an industry you are familiar with, and entering a whole new one would feel like going back to square one.
However, there are great advantages to finding yourself in teaching later in life. Find out how you could succeed if you were to retrain as a teacher.
You can bring your life experience and the skills that come with it into your teaching
Think about the person you were when you were just entering your first job compared to the person you are now. Chances are that today you have more skills, understanding of others’ perspectives and life experience.
All that you know now can be built into your teaching to elevate it to a level you might not have achieved before. You can provide real-world guidance to your students on things like their careers and their personal struggles, and you are able to understand a lot of subject topics from the view of someone who has seen their real-life implications.
You are not alone in turning to teaching as a career change
Transitioning into teaching is certainly not uncommon. It is likely that when you are completing your teacher training, you will be learning alongside people your own age and from similar professional backgrounds.
Do not be put off by the idea of being around trainees who are choosing teaching as their first career. In terms of teaching abilities and expertise, everyone is starting off at the same place – with no experience yet!
Skilled teachers are in demand
One concern when changing careers is that you are moving away from a place of job security and into the unknown. Be reassured that when you transition into the teaching realm, you will probably be just fine.
Skilled teachers are always in demand, and as long as you work hard during your teacher training and are open to working in education settings you might not have considered when you are starting out, you will find an initial teaching post.
You can specialise in something you love doing
In secondary schools and further education colleges, teachers will work within specific subjects. This is great if you have a particular skill or passion! If you have a science background, you can become a biology, chemistry or physics teacher (or lead lessons in all three). Those who enjoy being creative can enter a fulfilling career as a teacher of drama, art or music.
Of course, there will always be a need for teachers at your school to run extracurricular activities. Even if the subject you end up teaching is not your life’s passion, you can introduce it to students through an afterschool club.
You can choose from a great variety of career paths
Although you will certainly have to take on board a lot of new skills when you retrain as a teacher, you might find old ones come in useful every day.
Schools have roles equivalent to those found in businesses, from administration to team leadership to strategic management. If you enjoyed taking on such responsibilities in your previous career, you can find yourself climbing the ranks at your school just like you would at any other workplace.
You may also discover specific roles that are unique to teaching. Building curriculums, aiding students’ pastoral care and being a head of year, for example, can all both boost your career and give you the fulfilment of seeing your students thrive.
Fantastic annual leave can bring you greater joy in life
Famously one of the great benefits of being a teacher is the holidays! You might not get the greatest freedom as to when exactly you take your annual leave, but you certainly will find yourself getting a lot of time off in a row.
Your holidays will generally line up with the school holidays. With these long stretches of time off (usually around 13 weeks’ paid time off a year in total), you can make grander, more exciting and further-afield plans to spend this time! If you have children in your life, you can enjoy spending continuous time with them that you would not get to have in most other full-time careers.
Want to find the path in teaching that is right for you? Explore our teacher training programmes and enter a new professional journey.