Career Changer Profile: Sowmya Mony
Former software developer Sowmya Mony is being supported by the Department for Education-funded Transition to Teach (T2T) programme as she trains to teach computer science. Sowmya is receiving bespoke support from an experienced Guidance and Development adviser throughout her initial teacher training and newly qualified teacher years. Here, she discusses her experience of changing careers and how T2T has supported her throughout.
During my ten-year career as a software engineer, I noticed the lack of female engineers and computer scientists in the industry, despite STEM industries working hard to bridge the gender gap. I realised that not many girls were choosing to study STEM subjects at school, and I was motivated to train to teach because I wanted to show young people how rewarding a career in STEM can be and how they could use their career to really make a difference in the world.
Now that I’m training to teach, I continue to be constantly motivated by ‘light bulb moments’ when I’m teaching my students. My favourite moment so far was when one of my students told me that she had been using the internet for years without any interest in how it actually worked but, after my lesson, she was so excited to learn more about it and wished she could have computing lessons every day!
It’s not all been easy though, I didn’t have any previous school experience and my main challenge was classroom management. My school mentor helped me implement strategies like positive reinforcement, which have made me feel much more confident. It is a learning curve though, and I still learn something new every day.
My T2T Guidance and Development Adviser has been my tower of strength throughout my training. He has been there right from the beginning of my course through to helping me apply for jobs at the end of my training year. I could contact him about anything and be confident that he would direct me to the best solution. I had a tough situation in one of my placement schools, but he guided me so calmly and helped me deal with it. He has also patiently helped me with my job applications and interview preparation with a genuine interest in helping me do the best I can.
Although I have been able to adapt a lot of my skills, my former career is very different to teaching. I feel so fortunate to have been accepted onto the T2T programme and to have had access to support, guidance, workshops and training. The drop-in sessions have been useful too and have given me the chance to get to know other career changer trainees. I have always had someone to talk to and give me support throughout my training, and I would definitely recommend T2T for other career changers who are training to teach.