How teachers can break out of the classroom routine

Teachers in search of new pastures find they are well qualified for other things

More teachers than ever are disenchanted with their vocation and believe that the grass has to be greener elsewhere. Research by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has found that two-thirds of teachers have considered leaving the profession. Happily, teaching skills are highly transferable to positions beyond the classroom and prized in sectors outside education

Former primary school teacher Paul Guinane found that sales skills came easily when he set up an ICT services company, Softegg, 18 months ago. As ICT coordinator for his school, his technical expertise was a given but it was his leadership and communication skills that have brought commercial success. Guinane now employs 19 consultants and earns 15 per cent more than his teacher's salary.

Perceived barriers to breaking out of teaching are surmountable, confirms another ex-teacher. Now communications manager with the National Association of Special Educational Needs, Sean Stockdale lists the skills that can propel teachers into new careers. "We can deal with a demanding workload and tight deadlines; we are proactive; we are great at face-to-face work and we are used to dealing with 'customers' – whether pupils or parents".

For teachers who are simply fed up with school and want to teach elsewhere, there are a number of options. Most hospitals employ teaching staff to ensure that school-age patients continue their education while on the ward, for example. Becoming a film location tutor is another glamorous choice with the prospect of exotic travel and hobnobbing with film crews and stars.

"I got a call about a job in Morocco to tutor a child performing in the Walt Disney film, Prince of Persia [released in May]. I flew to Casablanca the next morning," says Veronica Jones, a former secondary and primary school teacher, now registered with Location Tutors Nationwide agency.

The destination isn't always as enticing as the Sahara and the hours are generally long. There's a lot of hanging around and tutors have to grab time between filming and make-up to ensure their charges receive the statutory minimum hours of education.

It also helps not to mind being on your own, to like acting on your own initiative and be able to deal with over-zealous parents on set. Despite the makeshift nature of teaching on location, Jones loves her work. "I enjoy travelling and I'm always learning."

Childminding or nursery work could be another route out of the classroom. Denise Williams, a primary schoolteacher of 10 years, left teaching after her school in Worcester was amalgamated. Having witnessed acute behaviour problems, she decided she would be valuable at pre-school level and retrained as a childminder.

Childminding and nursery provision is highly regulated in the UK: Williams had to learn about the new baby curriculum, everyone in the house was checked by the Criminal Records Bureau, plus, she had to welcome Ofsted inspectors into her own home. The upside of this is: "I'm more in control of what I do, there's no travelling and I don't have to get up so early," she says.

Moving into a new environment is never an easy step and Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, recommends teachers conduct a thorough career audit before jumping ship. "The danger for teachers is that they're so fed up, they could end up fantasising about life on the other side."

School teaching: How to escape

Location tutor

Requires a chaperone's licence from your local authority. Pay: £110 – £150 a day, £180 with overnight allowance.

Safeguarding children officer

One of many possible jobs in children's services. Pay: £24,000 plus

Project manager

You need organisational and people skills plus sector knowledge. Pay: £18,000 – £40,000 plus

Hospital teacher

If you like the caring side of teaching. Pay: National teachers' pay scales

Childminder

You'll need to do it on a big scale to make decent money. Pay: from £3.50 an hour per child

Assessor/examiner

A part-time income booster, and there are permanent jobs Pay: £25,000 plus

Marketing executive

Let your communication skills shine. Pay: £20,000 – £35,000 plus

Entrepreneur

You need to be able to handle uncertainty and working on your own. Pay: however much you pay yourself

ICT support

For ICT coordinators and teachers. Pay: £20,000 – £35,000 plus

Education sales

Great for the big classroom performers. Pay: typically, £25,000 basic, plus that magic opportunity to earn

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assistants

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...

Royal College of Music: Assistant to the Deputy Director & the Director of Research

£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...

Guru Careers: Marketing Analyst / Optimisation Analyst

£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935