Leaping to head of department

A photograph of Jon Simmons

Jon Simmons,
Head of department

After 6 years of working in the world of recruitment consultancy, I felt it was time for a new career.

I had 2 degrees: Master’s merit in management and a degree in geography, so I was thinking of teaching either business or geography.

However, after some hard thinking, my real passion lay in teaching geography. In addition, it was clear to me that geography is becoming a subject that will rise in importance and be in far more demand over the next decade.

Now 4 years into my teaching career, I haven't looked back – I was head of year 18 months after qualifying as a teacher, and a year later promoted to head of department.

I was working away a lot and spending less and less time with my family. This was another reason I decided to investigate a career in teaching.

I had some initial reservations about starting a new career, particularly the financial implications. It was a huge consideration – but offset by having access to a bursary. Without a bursary, I would still be in my old career. I simply wouldn’t have been able to maintain my rent and loans, and pay university fees without it.

With yearly performance reviews, you have the opportunity to highlight your skills and the positive impact you’ve had on your school. In this review, I double jumped up the pay range and with extra responsibilities you can achieve additional increases to your salary.

It’s a privilege to play a big part in a young person’s life. A good teacher is crucial to a young person’s development. Let’s face it; we all have at least one story of our favourite teacher going above and beyond to help us when we were at school.

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