#NAW2021: Chris embarks on a new career thanks to a Teaching Apprenticeship
Chris Smith had worked in a variety of jobs since graduating from university, including a stint with a television company and different roles within retail. Whilst working in retail, he also volunteered as a teaching assistant (TA) at a local school one day a week – and it was this voluntary role that re-ignited his ambition to become a teacher.
Chris says, “Teaching was something I had always considered, but it was really a combination of becoming a father and my role as a volunteer TA that re-ignited my interest in teacher training, particularly within Key Stage 2. Although I enjoyed my career in retail, it wasn't rewarding me in the same way my volunteer work at the school did. I know that it may sound clichéd, but teaching is a career where you can truly make a difference.”
As a family man with bills to pay, Chris needed to continue earning a wage whilst re-training. The Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship was the ideal route. Norfolk Teacher Training Centre (NTTC) reassured Chris that he was an ideal candidate and that he had the transferable experiences and life skills to make a great teacher.
This led to Chris doing the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship with Wroughton Junior Academy. After successfully completing the course, Chris now has Qualified Teacher Status and a Level 6 Apprenticeship.
Reflecting on his experiences of the Apprenticeship, Chris says:
It was an unusual training year with the challenges that Covid presented from the spring term, but NTTC swiftly adapted - quickly moving to online subject knowledge training alongside frequent contact via email and Zoom. The challenges caused by the pandemic have only really increased my passion for teaching, and highlighted the importance of educators’ role as key workers.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Apprenticeship and was fortunate to be permanently employed by my training school following completion of the training. Hold no illusions, teaching is hard work - but also, I cannot think of a more fun and rewarding career.”