As A Career Changer, How Do You Plan To Bring Your Previous Work Experience Into The Classroom? 

Before going into teaching, I was self-employed as a maths tutor and a freelance outdoors instructor – taking people walking, climbing and on expeditions abroad. 

Working as a maths tutor was most directly applicable. It helped me in terms of my subject knowledge, knowledge of the curriculum and exam syllabus. It also gave me an understanding of common misconceptions and how students learn. Also, working with a wide range of students helped me to develop my explanations and ability to adapt my teaching for different learners. 

Although working as a 1-1 (or 1-2) is very different to teaching a large mixed ability class, I would still recommend it to get a good experience of teaching maths: to see if it’s something you are interested in and feel called to do.  

My work as an outdoors instructor was also very helpful for when I began my teaching journey. Although the content and outside environment were very different, the skills and techniques of working with groups of children were more directly applicable. In particular, managing behaviour and actively engaging with young people. 

Planning sessions, writing risk assessment, and considering how best to instruct something was very useful when it came to lesson planning as you need to think about the best approach and how you can adapt to the needs of all learners. Being willing to try different things in the classroom has been helpful. 

I also hope to actively bring my hard skills in with supporting the DofE programme at my school. There are a huge number of enrichment/extra-curricular clubs so whatever your past career it is likely you can contribute something there or set up your own club. 

Before starting the teacher training course, going in to observe lessons in a school was also very useful to see the school environment, how teaching has changed and the variety of schools. During the training year you will normally get a chance to observe a lot of lessons and this is a great opportunity to pick up different teaching styles and techniques, see your students in other subjects and watch how the school policies are best implemented. 

More generally, having a good working knowledge of basic IT is very useful for the modern teacher. For my school, I found that office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive and PowerPoint were the most useful but there are also a host of specialist programmes for managing your classes. 


By Adam
Maths Scholar 2022/23



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