You’re considering becoming a teacher and leaving the industry you’ve worked in for 20 or so years. But you’re now worried about being a student again.
Will I feel like the odd one out next to the younger trainees? How much support will I receive? Will it be too much? These are some very reasonable questions that many people ask.
Your teacher training provider and school mentor will teach you what you need to know about teaching. That's not our job.
Being a career change teacher is a unique experience that often requires unique input. That’s where Now Teach come in. By joining our programme, you get advice and input from your application to your training and beyond.
And the best part is being part of our Network – hundreds of career changers who are going through or have been on the same journey as you.
"It is essential to be part of a community that can relate to your perspective."
Alice Gartland, English teacher and former corporate lawyer
As humans, we naturally crave to belong to a community and be part of a group of people that understand our experience. The Now Teach Network provides that.
“The network of other new starters was key to success,” says Michael Crabtree, former picture editor at the Financial Times, now a chemistry teacher.
"It provided me with a huge amount of support and friendships. Knowing people are in the same boat," said Matt Smith, a former senior trader, now teaching maths. Charles Allen, Spanish teacher and ex-Head of Marketing echoes him: “It's great to have a like-minded support group.”
As Alice Gartland, English teacher and former corporate lawyer, says: “It is essential to be part of a separate community that can relate to your perspective, keep your ideas fresh, and provide people you can lean on for support.” Jo Young, English teacher and former operations manager, boils it down: “The Network feels like a safe, wise friend to rely on.”
Now Teach is the only network of career-changing teachers in England, so you won't find the same connections elsewhere. Bryn Evans, former IT manager and now Physics teacher, agrees: “It's so beneficial to be with people who are changing career later in life - you won't get that with your school or trainer provider.”
We could gush about the Network for hours, but instead, we thought we’d let you read more from Now Teachers themselves.
“The knowledge that others had already set off on this journey, helped pave the way for my first steps into a brand-new world of challenge and reward. Now, as an Early Career Teacher, I continue to benefit from the rich programme of Now Teach events, guest speakers and resources both subject specific and relating to teaching practice in general."
Daniel Kennedy, former in-house Tax Senior Director in the private equity sector, now Maths Teacher
“I was a little bit anxious at the beginning because I thought I’d be too old to go into teaching – I didn’t think they’d want an older guy like me who’d come from an entirely different career.
"But then I met someone from Now Teach and they told me how teaching later in life is actually a great thing to do. And even when I got to the school, I thought I’d be made fun of for being the old man but it wasn’t like that at all – everyone just assumed that I was a seasoned teacher.
"There were plenty of others on my teacher training course who were a similar age, including another Now Teacher, Carol, which gave me more confidence that I wasn’t the odd one out.
"We were able to encourage and laugh at each other’s failures (in a supportive way!), and Carol and I still regularly catch up. She was actually the first person I called for advice when I got offered a new role.
"As a new teacher, I wouldn’t have this big network to rely on without Now Teach.”
Chris Goode, physics teacher and former engineer
“I was in my mid-50s – I didn’t think I could go back into teaching. But Now Teach were so friendly and supportive, and welcomed me with open arms.
"My teacher training course also gave me a good set of friends who I still see from time to time. Including Now Teacher, Chris, who I met on the first day of training and we clicked as friends. It was nice to have someone to run ideas past or ask advice about career decisions from a friend who you know will be really honest with you.
"Being an older trainee comes with difficulties that many younger teachers may not always understand, so it’s great to have the Network of people going through the same thing.”
Carol Simpson, chemistry teacher and former Associate University Tutor