Reflections on the psychological change cycle
Late-stage career changers have previously described their experience of moving from expert to novice in a new profession as akin to experiencing the host of emotions outlined in the change curve. Throughout the year trainees may move from shock and denial through a whole host of emotions before reaching acceptance and problem-solving. This journey was our Teach Meet topic at our last face-to-face Teach Meet in Cambridge last term. The topic was born from conversations between trainees who were reflecting on their experience so far during their daily car-share commute! Cohort 2019 members who attended the session shared the following reflections:
“There is great value in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles, whatever shape they may take. I am the elder citizen on my SCITT and whilst I have established good relationships with the other trainees many do not face the same issues that I do as a mature career changer. The Now Teach cohort brings that perspective: the understanding of what it is like to start all over again…at the bottom, and the frustrations and fears that that entails. The meeting last week brought a welcome sense of relief and companionship.”
“Training to teach is a challenge, training to teach as a ‘mature student’ with a body of (sometimes) differing professional experience behind you brings interesting dimensions to those challenges. For example, we’re older, mature but also complete novices to the teaching practice; people sometimes forget we are total beginners and presume we possess a greater proficiency than we actually possess – which can be stressful. Developing insights into the unique set of dynamics that come into play as a mature, career changer taking up teaching is so very important to our individual success, I think. As always, I found the NowTeach teach-meet held in Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge an excellent opportunity to come together, listen to professional insights into how we can work effectively with these challenges and share our experiences, thoughts and perspectives. The value of the mutual support offered at these TeachMeets cannot be underestimated.”
“The first term there was so much to get my head round, but this term I’m finding my feet. Having fellow Now-Teachers to have a grown up conversation with really helps.”
At Now Teach, we strive to provide opportunities for all cohort members to network and develop strong connections to one-another, with the aim of ensuring you have a support network that retains you in the profession, buoys you up when you’re in the deepest, darkest depths of challenges and provides opportunities to reflect on shared experiences.