In August, we will be joined by our new Executive Director, Clare Geldard. Here she introduces herself, her motivations for joining and her vision for the future of Now Teach.
About 12 months ago, I woke up and realised that having lived, breathed, dreamed and grafted in the world of speech and language therapy for over thirty years, I wanted a change. Lives and careers are lasting longer and at the age of 52, I wanted to do something different.
I feel great affinity with the people that join the Now Teach programme. These incredibly brave career-changers bring so much value from previous roles in industry and public sector in to our education system. They are an amazing human resource for solving some of the most vexing social problems – the teacher recruitment crisis, the deficit of experience in a predominantly young workforce and high attrition – particularly in schools that serve disadvantaged communities. I too want to take my years of experience and knowledge and inhabit a new world.
For me that world is to be Now Teach itself. I am about to start my second career – the challenge ahead of me is large with many questions to answer and solutions to find. But I have grown a social enterprise from inception to an income generating, sustainable arm of the national organisation I CAN - which, in partnership with schools impact thousands of children each year. My next challenge is to build on the successes of the Now Teach team and its co-founders, Lucy and Katie, and to grow Now Teach. They, and the exceptional team they’ve built, have taken a great idea and made it a reality. Working with them, I’m excited about helping the organisation reach its full potential.
That potential, I believe, is huge. In time we will grow in numbers of recruits, locations, contexts and depth of impact. My first task will be to work out where to focus our attention, but I feel confident that within a decade Now Teach will be an organisation which is a powerful force within education. Older people are, as US academic and entrepreneur Marc Freedman has written ‘the only growing natural resource’. At a time of crisis in teacher recruitment and retention Now Teach is crucial not only for the numbers of teachers it can recruit and support, but for the impact they can make on the wider sector.
I have lots to learn and I greatly look forward to the privilege of watching the progress, success and impact of the first three cohorts of Now Teachers as they work their way through the education system. I hope to drive the impact that these articulate, passionate career-changers have on the children and schools they serve,as well as the education system at large. They are disruptors and pioneers and the role of Now Teach is to support them and learn from them as we expand.
Now Teach is unique, crucial, and a game changer and I cannot wait to get started.