Lawyer to assistant headteacher

A photograph of Helen Winter

Helen Winter,
Director of teaching school and assistant headteacher

I started out as a lawyer, but after re-evaluating my career and with the support of my sister, who is a teacher, I made the jump from lawyer to teacher.

I was instantly hooked after gaining school experience. The inspirational teachers I saw motivated me; not only did they have the ability to deliver a subject with real zeal and passion but also to develop curiosity in their pupils.

There is no better feeling than watching a child succeed, especially if they have had to overcome obstacles or are lacking in self-belief.

100% job satisfaction

It is the only job where I can honestly say you get 100% job satisfaction. It is lovely to watch your pupils grow into young adults and when they receive their exam results, and realise it was all worthwhile, there is no greater pleasure. Being part of helping shape a young person’s future is very humbling as well as fulfilling.

Two years after I qualified as a teacher, I was head of a department and learning to learn coordinator. The following 2 years I continued to progress and now I’m the director of teaching school and assistant headteacher.

My progression has been rapid - I’ve been very fortunate to be promoted quickly. If you’re passionate and committed, the teaching world is very much your oyster. There are various opportunities to climb the ladder.

Deputy head next

My next step is to apply for deputy headteacher - after that, who knows. It is good to see women in senior positions and I hope to be one of those. However, you must remember that pupils are at the heart of everything we do and that positive thinking and determination can get you anything you desire.

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