Julia Taylor, BCS Scholar
Julia, 40, began her career as an NHS IT professional and now is currently training to teach with Sunderland University and is currently completing her placement at Newcastle High School for Girls:
If I had a pound for every time someone asked me why on earth I would be mad enough to quit my secure, well paid job in the NHS IT sector to become a Computer Science Teacher, I would now be a very rich lady indeed!
Honestly, since picking up the phone and calling the get in to teaching helpline almost a year ago it has been a whirlwind, full of ups and downs. I was very pleased to hear that career changers are more than welcome in to teaching, in fact their experience is positively encouraged.
I was recommended by my Premier Plus Advisor to apply to BCS for a Scholarship, which I did, and was successful in getting through to the interview day in London. It was very intimidating being the only woman in a room full of geeky men who practically speak in binary! However, I did not let that dissuade me, put in my best effort and was lucky enough to be awarded a BCS Scholarship.
With this comes a whole heap of help and support, including educational resources and some really interesting webinars. I have really found them invaluable along the way. It is also good to have a network of colleagues outside of my University and placement school to connect with and share advice and concerns. I also know that the BCS Scholarships team are just a telephone call or email away, should I need them for advice.
I am not a typical trainee teacher, I have had an extensive career in IT and I am the mother to two beautiful daughters. If I am honest, at the end of my first placement I was not enjoying being a teacher. I felt like I had made a disastrous midlife crisis error and thought all the people who thought I was mad for leaving my job were right.
My plan was just put my head down and tick the boxes, get through until July until my PGCE was finished and I could go and find a ‘proper’ job. Teaching was not for me. However, I began my second placement at Newcastle High School for Girls and I have had an absolute change of heart.
Thanks to the help and support of the wonderful Computer Science and ICT staff at the school, I now adore teaching. Teaching is so rewarding, I am writing this sat at my desk bursting with pride, after watching all my year 9 girls competing in a battle of the bands competition.
What has that got to do with Computer Science you might ask, well we have spent the last six weeks coding some fantastic promotional band websites, creating logos, merchandise and promo clips. The cross curricular links are amazing! That rewarding feeling is something money cannot buy and no other job can give. So if anyone says you are mad for thinking about becoming a teacher, don’t listen to them!