From PR to Now Teach trainee
Cohort: September 2019 – June 2020
Where: Ernulf Academy, St Neots
My career for the last 30 years has been in journalism, PR and graphic design in both the charity and private sectors and has included running several of my own businesses. After working on magazines of many kinds I became Communications Director at the overseas development charities WaterAid and Survival International. More recently I have I run my own PR and communications agency, serving good causes and the education sector in Cambridge. The work was creative and exciting with quite a lot of risk.
After being self-employed for many years I am very drawn to being part of an organisation – of a ready-made community with structure.
Deciding to do something different
Over time I became increasingly frustrated that my job involved less and less contact with other people. Relationships by email took the place of talking on the phone or meeting face-to-face. I was becoming an extrovert trapped in an introvert’s job. This is rather ironic given that communications really requires the skills of an extrovert.
I started to seek out opportunities where I was in more direct contact with others: I learned Italian in an evening class, I did volunteer coaching in my rowing club, and taught PR skills to local charities. The hours on the river and in my Italian class soon became the highlights of my week.
I first looked into teaching either journalism or graphic design part-time in FE or HE but soon discovered that I would needs either a PGCE or an MA respectively for these roles. My decision to then actually give up my business wholesale and do a full time PGCE was recently facilitated by my children becoming financially independent. This freed me up to stand back and ask myself what I would really like to do. The fact that the course with Now Teach is a four-day week makes a big difference to me.
I think bringing into the classroom confident professionals who have successfully navigated the world is a fantastic concept
Preparing for challenge
After being self-employed for many years I am very drawn to being part of an organisation – of a ready-made community with structure. However simultaneously I realise this means I will have to do what I’m told and can no longer make my own schedule – working as and when I feel like it. I also realise I will need to take instruction from people probably half my age! I’m sure respect for their professionalism will make this tolerable. They will know so much I don’t.
Making an impact
My decision to change career and retrain as a teacher has been as much a pull as a push. I’m extremely motivated to do what I can to support young people at a crucial time in their lives. I see young teenagers equally as vulnerable as they are full of promise and potential. I feel many young teenagers from less advantaged backgrounds stand at a crossroads – they could go one way or another. I think bringing into the classroom confident professionals who have successfully navigated the world is a fantastic concept. I have noticed that Now Teach candidates do have a special energy – one that needs bottling! Bringing that sense of positivity and self-confidence to young people must have an impact.