Last month, our Network of career changers met for the first time, in person, since Covid-19.
Now Teachers from 2017 to the incoming 2022 trainees joined us for our annual conference in London. They heard from some of education’s most influential people, discussed the direction of Now Teach, participated in workshops, and mingled over food and drink in the sunny courtyard.
Introducing like-minded people on such a large scale is truly something special, and with this being one of the first Now Teach events for many of our newer trainees, we wanted to make sure it really had an impact on their confidence and helped to prepare them for their training.
Relationship building, teacher wellbeing, workload, and preparing for ECT were amongst the topics our Now Teachers absorbed and our ‘Ask Me Anything’ session saw experienced Now Teachers answer the burning questions of our 2022 trainees.
“With most of my family and friends thinking I’m quite mad, it was so reassuring to meet so many accomplished people embarking on the same journey while hearing from inspirational teachers who have gone before us.”
- Rachael Windsor, Science and Pharmaceuticals now Maths, Cohort 2022
“A superbly organised, insightful, and educational conference. The passion and enthusiasm of the speakers and participants was clear to see.”
- Peter Dillinger, Financial Services now Business Studies, Cohort 2022
Words of wisdom: our guest speakers
Career changer and headteacher, Mouhssin Ismail, spoke of having high expectations for students and encouraged our career changers to be a part of a culture where everyone inspires all students to aim high. He was also quizzed by generations of Now Teachers on elitism and banning private schools – which encouraged more conversation amongst our Network into the small hours.
Doug Lemov joined us virtually from the US and led a practical, interactive session full of teaching techniques that Now Teachers could take away and use immediately in their own classrooms.
A huge thank you to all our speakers and education specialists who made the day so memorable: Laura McInerney, Dr Emma Kell, Kat Howard, Dwain Brandy, Haili Hughes, Terri Slatter, Cat Scutt MBE, Chris Wilson, and Oli de Botton.
Introducing long-term and new career changers
Our co-founder, Katie Waldegrave, was most energised from witnessing new relationships develop:
“After every conversation, I felt further humbled by the brilliance of the Now Teachers I spoke to. From our long-timers who are now leading on careers education in their schools; to the academics, scientists, and engineers who are new to the Network. A myriad of fascinating conversations in every corner, listening to career changers swap advice and share stories, all while reassuring one another.”
“Starting teaching as a second career can be daunting. If you’re successful in what you do it becomes comfortable. Teaching is so different from my old career that I have found some moments quite challenging. The conference gave me the opportunity to put in some encouraging words for the new training year. Of course, I know they are going to make amazing teachers, but they don’t know that yet.”
- Vincent Neate, former Chartered Accountant now Maths Teacher, Cohort 2019
It was also a joyful chance for our older cohorts to reconnect...
“It was invigorating meeting up with so many teachers from so many different backgrounds and schools to share advice, ideas, problems, and of course gossip. Meeting in person made a huge difference, allowing for much more informal conversation and collaboration. I hadn’t realised just how big the Now Teach community has become and it’s an exciting thing to be part of.”
- Matthew Booker, former BBC Current Affairs Producer now History Teacher, Cohort 2019
“The conference is a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect with colleagues from across the country. Being able to meet face to face really brought home how supportive the network is. The day was full of joyful learning, discovery, and laughter.”
- Jo Young, former Egyptologist now English Teacher, Cohort 2020
Here‘s to the future
Katie also reflected on launching Now Teach with Lucy Kellaway in 2016, stating that it is now more than what they could have ever dreamed of.
“I’m struck anew by the potential of this unique network of people, and the wealth of experience and diversity of relationships they bring to schools. They have perspectives, former colleagues, and skills, which no other teacher – however brilliant – can.
And I am most excited to watch the Now Teach Network thrive in the next five years – especially when education has such a critical role to play.”
- Katie Waldegrave, Now Teach Co-Founder, 2022
Considering changing career to teaching? Want to do it with other people like you? Register and speak to one of our Career Change Specialists.