Personal coaching for career-change teachers

Now Teach work in partnership with Trish Dooley, a qualified Co-Active Coach, to provide our Network of 500+ career changers with personal coaching. Trish helps them to explore challenges and identify ways to manage, improve and maintain their wellbeing throughout.

3 mins

2/17/2023 2:08:44 PM
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Teachers spend much of their time focusing on the 30-or-so students in their classroom - the job requires thinking about others a lot. It can be hard for career-changing trainees to prioritise themselves. Previously, we’ve shared some habits teachers can adopt to help maintain and improve wellbeing. 

This is something we prepare and support our career-changers with – working in partnership with Trish Dooley, a qualified Co-Active Coach trained by the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), to provide our Network with personal and career coaching. 

Trish also has a background as a senior leader in schools, so has hands-on experience that relates to our Now Teachers, who have found our coaching offer to be very useful: 

“Speaking to Trish was a welcome dose of compassion and common sense at a time when I found myself adrift and unsure of where I was going.  

Trish helped me take a step back and look at the situation objectively. She pinpointed my perfectionist tendencies, suggested strategies for dealing with behaviour, and encouraged me to be more aware of enjoyment levels.”  
- Trainee, Cohort 2019 

As part of the Now Teach Network, you can access a coaching session. These are designed for you to have a space for exploration and the opportunity to discuss your wellbeing or personal issues with a qualified coach. 

Trish is not a counsellor and will not offer solutions. However, she will be able to help you explore your values, skills, and priorities for development, whilst helping you set appropriate goals to achieve these. Most importantly, she can guide you on establishing ways in which you might better support yourself in training and teaching. 

As a career-changer, you may often reflect on how your previous career and experiences might be best utilised by schools, and Trish’s background in education makes her well placed to help you explore your thoughts around this. 

We asked Trish to share themes that come up in these sessions with our Network, their top challenges and some advice on how to prepare for these. 

Here’s what she had to say... 


In my coaching sessions, I support career-changers in various ways. It really depends on what the coachee brings to the conversation. Listening without judgement is key. 

We often concentrate on workload and how to create work/life boundaries. I share strategies around focused spells of work, giving yourself permission to stop and how to ask for support if relevant.  

We also work on how to get the best out of your mentor, how to decide what kind of school best suits you, and how to network beyond the school. 

“Ultimately, reassuring the career-changers they are in the midst of the hardest part of becoming a teacher and it won’t be long before they look back and believe things have indeed got easier and it was all worth it!” 
- Trish Dooley, Co-Active Coach 

Since working with career-changers, I’ve noticed some key challenges they often face – of which we work together to establish ways they can manage and overcome them: 

  1. Workload: I don’t think one fully understands this until you’re in it. And as your timetable is very reduced compared to fully qualified teachers, all you can see in the future is it getting so much worse. It doesn’t. You get more efficient in everything you do and you learn to say, that’s enough, it’s good enough! 
  2. Time management: How to be efficient with the time you have, how to take shortcuts, those which do not negatively impact the learning of your students but enable you to focus on what’s important. 
  3. Understanding the workings of a school: the policies, protocols, culture and how these will be different in your second placement. Some also find the hierarchy hard to navigate. 

There are even some things you can do to mentally prepare for professional change before you start training to teach. 

  1. Accept it’s going to be hard work: there will be highs and lows but the highs become more frequent over time. 
  2. Develop a great network: build relationships with colleagues from your training provider or fellow Now Teachers. Never feel you have to reinvent the wheel. If someone has something you need, ask for it and reciprocate. Sharing is key to help offset some of the workload. 
  3. Always know who you can talk to: sometimes it will feel too much, but you are not alone. 


Find out more about our Network and the support we offer at one of our upcoming events. You can meet us in London or join us for our webinar. A career-changer will be there to answer your questions, and you’ll get expert advice from our Career Change Specialists. 

Book now