Getting back into the classroom

A photograph of Jill

Jill,
Returning teacher

After almost a decade of teaching science, I Ieft the job in 2001 when my husband and I started a family. During my time out of the classroom, I did quite a lot of work for an exam board and lots of private tuition. This kept me occupied for many years.

I didn’t think that it would be difficult to return to the classroom because of the demand for teachers, but in practice this proved quite a challenge. I was from the age of chalk and paper and I had no recent school experience or experience using data to evaluate performance, nor did I have any referees still in the profession.

The academy provided opportunities to observe lessons, and I was able to spend time in the behavioural inclusion unit. This is where I became interested in working outside mainstream education. Around this time, I registered with a supply agency and took a temporary post working with pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

I continued to access professional development from DfE in behaviour management, and took a free teacher subject specialism training in maths, which was a unit from a master’s course. I also volunteered two days per week for two terms, working with pupils with similar special educational needs, which allowed me to gain further experience.

I was given the opportunity to teach maths to year nine pupils and the school very kindly provided me with a reference in addition to the one from the supply agency.

My return to teaching adviser then arranged for me to attend Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) teacher engagement programme. Here, I accessed further DfE funded training in computing in the classroom, job application writing, interview tips, and much more.

I was fortunate enough to land a job before the course even finished – and I would have been unlikely to be successful were it not for the training I had received as a result of my contact with the Return to Teaching Adviser service. MMU also worked to place other candidates in partner schools for work experience with the potential for a job offer.

Throughout the academic year, there was always Laura, my return to teaching adviser, at the end of the phone offering advice and support. Laura would review my applications and lesson plans and discuss interview feedback with me. It can be discouraging to attend interview after interview with what feels like no success - but Laura would always be positive and identify key learning points.

I’m now in my second year of teaching maths GCSE at an 11 to 16 alternative provision school and I am really enjoying it. I am very pleased to have been able to resume my career and very grateful to all concerned with the Return to Teaching Adviser service.

Read further guidance if you're returning to teaching

Explore Get Into Teaching

Find a Teacher Training Event
A photograph of staff chatting in a school setting

Find an event to speak to real teachers and get your questions answered by our expert advisers. You can also find out what it is like to train and be in the classroom.

Gavin's story
A photograph of a teacher

No two days are the same

Get the answers you need
A photograph of a child with their hand raised

If you have questions about getting into teaching, we can help you get the answers

Talk to us

Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm

Live chat

Chat onlineChat closed

Call us

0800 389 2500

Get a teacher training adviser

An experienced teaching professional can help if you're ready to get into teaching or if you're returning to teaching and qualified to teach maths, physics or languages.

Get an adviser
Whether you're ready to apply, or simply exploring teaching as an option, we'll send you all the information you need
Close