Skip to the content

Making the transition into teaching;
Ben Adams

What did you do before training to teach?

I joined the British Army as an officer after university and served for 18 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I had served across the world, including in Germany, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands, and had completed operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

What inspired you to get into teaching?

I came to a place in my former career where I felt I wanted to embrace a new challenge where there was the potential for me to make a real change to people's lives. I would like to think that I have self-confidence, organisational ability and a strong sense of duty - all of which help enormously in the classroom. There are also more similarities between teaching and my former career than I had originally believed that there would be. Challenges will come up all the time and it is you as 'the adult in the room' who needs to resolve them. This can be pressured but, just like in the army, there is a support network behind you to help.   

How has Transition to Teach supported you so far?

The opportunity to have someone experienced and knowledgeable to bounce ideas off and ask for advice has been invaluable. The honest feedback provided by Transition to Teach has been amazing. Additionally, the exclusive online forum for programme participants has provided a great vehicle for sharing ideas, hints and tips. 

Where do you see your career in five years' time?

I would hope to be well established in my practice, still learning and developing but confident with where I am and where I'm going. 

Finally, please sum up your experience for us!

The support provided by Transition to Teach so far has been superb, a real help, particularly for a career changer who restarted a vocation from the bottom rung of the ladder all over again! I would advise having a long, hard, honest think about your values and motivations. Although work/life balance, job satisfaction and salary are not mutually exclusive, very few jobs can deliver them all. Decide what is important and accept that trade-offs will have to be made in other areas. Involve your family in the discussions and decision-making, and ensure that you all understand the sacrifices that will have to be made. Recognise that you will have ups and downs but have the confidence to weather the storms. Finally, go for it! Teaching is frustrating, exhausting, but incredibly rewarding.