Now Teacher Wayne Grier had a long career in investment banking before leaving to become a computer science teacher. Here he shares how Now Teach helped him secure a teaching job after his training year.

Just like my Now Teach colleagues, I have pursued a long career following a different thread to teaching. My thread focused on investment banking, as my career interest encompassed corporate finance, securities markets and international business.

It wasn’t until the birth of my son nine years ago that I began to consider a transition to a career in education.

Planning my career move

I researched how to get into teaching and spoke with a few friends who were teachers. I decided to volunteer at my son’s primary school and I applied for teacher placement roles advertised on UCAS and was counselled by an advisor from a UCAS-connected website.

With this momentum, two events transpired nearly simultaneously: in 2020, I joined Now Teach and was accepted as a student at University College London (UCL) on their Computing with ICT programme.

At this point it seemed that my teaching foundation had been firmly established with the professional network at Now Teach and the training at UCL.

Training during lockdown

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher training at UCL was delivered differently than in previous years. For the first three days of the week all classes were online as opposed to within the Institute of Education buildings.

Despite this, institute training was rigorous; I learned a lot through studying pedagogical research. When I went on the two UCL student-teacher placements, the ideas informed the lessons I prepared and I was given the freedom to use my own initiative and inject some of my personality into my lessons.

This meant that my teacher training year was quite a lonely experience as I didn’t have the chance to attend classes in person and form stronger bonds with my student colleagues.

Being a part of the Now Teach Network meant that I was able to share my experience of changing career with people who were in the same boat as me. They were also struggling with the lack of social contact during their training year. I attended the monthly Now Teach online events, which were all very practical and on relevant topics.

My favourite event focused on behaviour management and I found the themes discussed to be immensely valuable.

Help with my job search

Towards the end of my teacher training, I was finding it difficult to find a job as an Early Career Teacher. 

I had already interviewed for two different roles that I’d learned about through UCL, so I reached out to Now Teach for help. My Programme Manager was especially helpful in their counsel. They reviewed my CV and personal statement and advised me on how to:

  • Streamline my CV to just one page
  • Create a CV relevant to applying for teaching positions and how to position my training against limited teaching experience
  • Refine my personal statement to demonstrate my teaching ability with examples

This advice really helped me to refine my applications and, in addition to this, I was given exceptional interview advice. Now Teach  received notice of vacancies from a few different schools including  Charter School East Dulwich. I applied and was invited to interview which culminated in  an offer of employment!

Another new start

I am really happy at my new school and am embracing its culture as well as the new challenge of completing the Early Career Framework for new teachers.

Fortunately for me, there are two Now Teachers from the previous cohorts who are already established there. They have been providing me with ongoing support and encouragement and I intend to promote the benefits of Now Teach to my other colleagues at the school.

I’m also definitely planning to continue to attend Now Teach’s events and look forward to when I can actually meet the other Now Teachers to share advice about growing and developing in our new roles as teachers in person.