Teaching isn’t for everyone. It is a hard job, but one which brings rewards not to be found in the office. Our trainee teachers will be people who have already succeeded in one career and who are ready for a new, quite different, challenge. You may be a banker, an accountant, a lawyer, a manager, a civil servant – or something else altogether. Alternatively, you may have given up a career many years ago to care for children and now wish to start again.
You must believe that every child deserves a great education regardless of their background. You must want to do something that matters, and be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy doing it. You should have a subject that you love which you want to re-immerse yourself in and teach children to like it as much as you do.
You must like the thought of working with colleagues who may be twenty or thirty years younger than you, and be able to take instruction from them. Above all, you need to be filled with excitement at the thought of starting all over again at something new at a time when less energetic people are winding down.
The transition from the office to the classroom is not going to be easy. You must be prepared to fail at first – to dust yourself down and go on trying until you work out how to do it. If you master the new skills that we can teach you, this may be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.
It’s a big step. We are here to help talk to you about whether it is right for you.
No, you almost certainly are not. There is no age limit to teaching, and the older you are, the more knowledge of life you bring to the classroom.
Many people think that the behaviour in schools is far worse than it is. The picture painted by the media is not one most teachers would recognise. Our training gives you hands-on practical experience on the best techniques to help you manage a class. You will be taught specifics, like how to stand and how to speak – tricks that will give you instant authority.
At first, the training will be hard work. In addition to the four days a week in schools, you will spend time at home preparing lessons and reflecting on what you’ve learnt. While term time will be tough, the school holidays provide time in which to recoup. As you get better at teaching, you will become more efficient, and your previous experience of managing your time will help you.
We expect many qualified Now Teach-ers will want to teach part-time, and we are working with schools to make this a possibility.
The Now Teach programme will be school-based from the start. You will have two weeks of training in London before you begin, and an afternoon a week during your first year, but other than that all your training happens in school. You will have the opportunity to gain a PGCE and points towards a Masters during your training years, but these too would not require a return to university.
You can’t expect to transform your school on day one. However, once you have understood your school and have mastered some skills, your broader experience will be warmly welcomed. Good headteachers are aware of the danger of being too insular and will welcome what you bring.
You don’t need a degree in a subject in order to teach it. An A-Level is all that is required along with a degree in a related subject. If you want more guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch. In some subjects – maths, science and languages – you may need to do an additional course known as an SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement) before you apply. We can help you with the details. For many teachers – young and old – concern about subject knowledge is their greatest anxiety about starting to teach. Afterwards, almost all acknowledge the fears were misplaced. In some ways it can be a bonus to feel a little rusty – it can help to remember what it felt like to be learning.
Depending on what you’ve been doing you will, most likely, take a pay cut, at least while you are training. However, you may under-estimate how much you are likely to earn once qualified. The website Get Into Teaching has more information about teacher salaries. It is important to plan carefully and we will help you make the best choices in terms of student loans, bursaries and so on.
This year, if you trained to be a physics teacher, you’d get a bursary of ￡30,000.
Subject heads in London schools can earn up to ￡60,000.
In the pilot year, 2017-18, Now Teach will be working only in secondary schools in London. However, in 2018-19 we hope to expand beyond the capital so please do contact us if you would like to be kept up to date on where and when. Our expansion plans will be influenced by where potential participants want to teach.