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Making the transition into teaching;
Sophie Leonic

What did you do before becoming a teacher?

I was a technical manager in the insurance industry. I worked in various areas including personal injury, property claims and fraud investigation. My most significant role was as a loss assessor, working on behalf of the policyholder when they suffered a catastrophic loss such as a house fire or flood. My job involved helping people through a really difficult time and ensuring that they received what they were entitled to. I travelled all over the country and oversaw the rebuild of properties and the settlement of claims. 

What inspired you to get into teaching?

I really missed being in education and I have a passion for learning. While I was helping people in my previous role, I wanted a career where I could make a real difference. I think that education is the most important thing in a young person's life and to be a part of that journey is so fulfilling. In my previous career, I had a very heavy workload with lots of demands on my time, as well as supporting people through difficult times. This helped me to develop a number of skills that I can use to support students in the classroom; project management, excellent organisation, care and empathy. 

How has Transition to Teach supported you so far? 

Transition to Teach made me feel like I wasn't alone. I was very conscious that I was a little older than many other students on my course, but my life experience was valued and I was put in touch with people who were making the same type of career change. It was really useful to have someone available to share any concerns with and help with job applications. 

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

I really want to focus on perfecting my teaching. I hope in five years' time I am working at a school that I love and have made a difference to at least one child's life - although more would be great! 

Finally, sum up your experience for us!

It has gone incredibly fast and it is a steep learning curve. I definitely made the right choice with my course provider as they have been excellent, especially given the Covid-19 crisis. Even though it has been hard work and extremely challenging at times, I haven't regretted the decision to make the career change into teaching.