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Making the transition into teaching;
Julia Pickering

What did you do before becoming a teacher?

My first degree is an MEng in Metallurgy. I was lucky enough to spend 7 years working worldwide for a small specialist independent company involved in molten metal quality for everything from aluminium cans to Formula 1 engines. I had the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and I eventually moved on to a larger research and testing-based company. I spent 6 years working within their European Research Projects department managing the delivery of a portfolio of secured projects.

What inspired you to get into teaching?

I always knew that I would like to get into teaching at some stage. I only had the opportunities and experiences I did due to a great education and I wanted to give something back. I have always felt that our young people should be given as much help and support as possible in achieving the very best that they can. I saw an advert for an event and went along for more information. Everyone at the event was very enthusiastic and helpful, and I was hooked. That was in May, and by September I had started my training!

Tell us about the training process…

I was assigned an advisor who gave me a lot of support as I got to grips with personal statements, UCAS applications, school experiences days and skills tests. He was sure to talk me through my options and the different routes available to me, ensuring I had chosen the best subject to train in. Given my background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), I decided to train in mathematics.

Making the leap and moving into education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was by no means an easy option and my training year was very hard work. Undertaking research, writing essays, learning how to teach and put together resources gave me a lot to do and meant quite a few late nights!

What are your plans for the future?

Less than 6 months after completing my NQT year, I applied for a role with Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR). During this time, I also mentored an NQT within my department and supported her in completing her induction year. In the last academic year, I have mentored two trainee teachers and successfully applied for the role of Acting Deputy Head of School. I now oversee the pastoral care of one-third of our students. I have also been appointed as Whole School Numeracy Lead from September 2018 and will be working across the school to champion numeracy throughout the curriculum.

Sum up your experience for us…

Just over 3 years after completing my training, teaching continues to push and challenge me every day. Teaching is hard work, but it is also a career where you can make a tangible difference and be recognised for doing so. There are many opportunities for progression, and to put the skills from a previous career to good use, both in the classroom and the wider school.



Express your interest

Interested in making a career change? Register your interest with the Transition to Teach programme, and we will be in contact with further information for you.