From journalism to Now Teach trainee
Cohort: September 2018 – June 2019
Where: Oasis Shirley Park
I studied Chinese at university and after graduation became a journalist, working first for the BBC and then for The Times as a foreign correspondent in Beijing. I married another journalist, and when we had children, I gave up journalism and started to write fiction including several crime novels which were published in the UK.
The last of my children is leaving home soon, and I urge all of them to be bold and adventurous. It would be dishonest not to do the same.
I started running writing clubs in schools, and really enjoyed the engagement with the children. I was constantly in awe of their imaginations. There are adult writers who would kill for one or two of the comic voices I found in seven- and eight-year olds. But I felt marginal as someone who appeared once a week for an hour and then disappeared.
It was at this point that I toyed with the idea of teacher training. I can usually dig out whatever information I need from the internet but trying to get to the bottom of how to get into teaching defeated me. I spoke to a woman my age who had retrained as a teacher and wasn’t enthusiastic and read a newspaper interview with a man who had retrained as a teacher in his fifties and couldn’t find a job. So that was that.
All said it was never boring; all said it felt worthwhile.
At 57 years old, I hope I have a good decade of working life ahead of me, and I don’t want to waste it. I’m looking forward to working with students on creative writing – perhaps I can be useful. The last of my children is leaving home soon, and I urge all of them to be bold and adventurous. It would be dishonest not to do the same.
I can’t now imagine the process of going into teaching without Now Teach and I’m enjoying getting to know my fellow Now Teach trainees. I’m also really pleased that my training provider is Ark. I’ve just spent two weeks on an Ark summer training course, and it has been immensely useful as a preparation for walking into the classroom in September.