Teacher Training for a Second Career: The Value of Experience

teacher training as second career

The current pandemic has spotlighted the integral role a teacher has in supporting continuity of student education during crisis. Over the last 12 months teachers have been the anchor and glue that’s kept our education systems running. They have been an example to all of the resilient nature of teaching and learning. Their role in shaping future generations and preparing our youth for the jobs of the future have never been more important.  Given the far reaching-implications to our students’ educational journey, the need for high quality teachers have never been more urgent and important.

Have you ever thought of teaching as career? Or second career in teaching? While some feel a vocational pull towards teaching from a young age, many others get the nudge after years on another career path.   If you have been thinking about undertaking teacher training to get qualified for a second career and have questions, we can help.   Heather May Statham was a nurse who swapped her scrubs for crayons to become a primary school teacher, and she kindly offered to answer some of our questions to find out more about her story.

Hi Heather, can you tell us what you do today? 

I am currently a Primary school teacher at GHAF Private school, teaching Upper Key Stage 2 to a mix of students from Years 5 and 6.

And what did you do before you were a teacher?

My first career was in nursing, I was a vascular nurse for a couple of years before starting my teaching journey. I have nursed in both the UK and the UAE.

What was it that made you want to switch careers? 

Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do. Even while nursing I would often take on student nurses or newly qualified nurses and train them up ready for the start of their careers. By getting my TELLAL teacher training certificate out in the UAE meant I was able to start a second career earlier than planned.

What have you found has been the most rewarding elements of teaching?

The most rewarding aspect has been working with children and watching their progress throughout the academic year. Another rewarding aspect is creating interactive lessons and receiving great feedback from the students. Knowing that they have enjoyed something I have created is very rewarding.

And any challenges particular to your experience?

For me the most challenging was the change in lifestyle; previously I had worked shifts (days and nights) and longer hours over fewer days. I had become used to an irregular pattern of working. I have never worked a job that was a normal 5 days a week with a set weekend.

What are the benefits to having had a previous career when it comes to teaching today?

I believe working within a multi-disciplinary team throughout my nursing career has benefitted me immensely and having dealt with people throughout my career has helped me when it comes to talking with parents. I also feel that my experience as a nurse has provided me with the skills to manage and deal very well with high pressure/stressful situations.

How have you found the last year in terms of your teaching journey?

I feel very fortunate to be working in the UAE during my first years of teaching as we have been lucky enough to remain in school with face-to-face students. I feel if I went straight onto distance learning it would have been very difficult as the pace and structure of lessons can be so diverse.

What would you say to others considering a second career in education?

I would absolutely recommend teaching as a second career. It has given me valuable life experiences working with students and other teachers. I never thought I would be teaching primary school aged students, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my teacher training and working in a school setting.


If you are interested in joining our next cohort of pre-service teachers, visit our Teacher Qualifications page and register for an information session. If you  would like to talk to one of the TELLAL team about teacher training or becoming qualified in the UAE, please get in touch via +971 (0)4 403 5146 or email jade.peterswain@tellalinstitute.com

Jyoti Cropley
Teacher Training Manager
Teacher Training for a Second Career: The Value of Experience
As Senior Teacher Training Manager at TELLAL, Jyoti is engaged with the development and qualification of pre-service teachers and leads the Diploma in Global Teaching Practice Programme.
Teacher Training for a Second Career: The Value of Experience
  • النسخة العربية من موقعنا الإلكتروني سوف تتوفر قريبًا