How the Lockdown Ignited My Passion for Teaching
Cohort: September 2020 – June 2021
Region: South East England
Sameera had a successful career in the fashion industry before deciding to take some time out to focus on her family. She decided to become a chemistry teacher after helping her children with their schoolwork during lockdown.
I started thinking about changing career when the UK first went into lockdown, and I had to take on the bulk of the home-schooling. I enjoyed it so much that I started looking into teaching but was nervous about the prospect of starting again. However, my experience during my training year has shown me that ambition does not change with age. So many people change career later in life, especially now as we are all living longer. I would advise anyone else considering a career move to not be afraid to challenge yourself and do something new.
Now Teach helped me navigate changing career during Covid by giving me lots of advice and always being available to book in a call.
Changing career during the lockdown
My decision to change career happened during the lockdown when I was home-schooling my three children, but particularly my son. I was worried he would fall behind in his science subjects without being face-to-face with his teachers, so I spent a lot of time finding new ways for him to learn the material. After discussing the experience with one of my friends who is a teacher, I decided to look into the various teacher training options.
Since last September, I have been doing the School Direct route and training four days a week with Ark Isaac Newton Academy. I chose to teach chemistry, but I am teaching physics as well. Doing the School Direct route can be a bit overwhelming initially as you are thrown in the deep end very quickly. Fortunately, I was able to ask for advice from my colleagues and my SLT on how best to manage things like behaviour to ensure that what I was doing in the classroom was in line with the school policy.
Overcoming hurdles in the beginning
I had a very strange training year as I have had to teach my students online and face-to-face. I still remember the very first class I taught in a classroom: I had prepared my lesson and practised it over and over again, but things just didn’t go my way on the day. My whiteboard didn’t work, so I couldn’t get the PowerPoint I had prepared up on the screen. I managed to hold my nerve and regain control of the class, but I certainly learned a lot about the unreliability of technology that day!
The classes that I taught online when everyone was expected to stay at home went much more smoothly. I noticed that the students who were usually very quiet in class found their voice during the online lessons. They felt confident contributing, and they are still communicating with me on Teams now, even though we have gone back to face-to-face teaching. Everyone thinks that online education is not ideal, but I think it is beneficial for the quieter students to still be able to communicate online when necessary.
Support from Now Teach
I have had incredible support during my training year from both my colleagues and Now Teach. Now Teach helped me navigate changing career during Covid by giving me lots of advice and always being available to book in a call. Also, their webinars with education experts have been very insightful and they are recorded so I can access them any time.
Being a part of the Now Teach Network has been amazing and shown me that that there are so many other people out there like me taking the brave decision to start again. I only met up with my cohort once during my training year, but we are in touch every day on the WhatsApp groups giving each other advice and guidance. It is great to have such a strong sense of community in my cohort and get tips from the other Now Teachers that have done it all before us.
Sameera was inspired to become a teacher after home-schooling her children during the COVID-19 pandemic. We advise everyone to spend time observing in schools or tutoring young people before teaching in a classroom. Check out our school experience page to discover what it’s really like working as a secondary school teacher.