Zoe Niblett, Former Gateway Alliance Trainee 2018-2019
I was working as a Brand Manager within a hairdressing wholesaler and had been working in and around sales for the best part of 20 years. Ironically, I had never wanted to work in sales, but life had other ideas at the time, and I found myself at 43 needing to make the jump to a new career before my sanity cracked. The only other consistent in my life had been my love of working with children and had been doing this voluntarily since I was 17. I decided to pair my experience of mentoring, training and coaching with children and teaching was a natural progression. BUT I lacked a GCSE in Science……initially I felt that this path was not meant to be and was gutted. However, I spoke to various organisations to see if I could work round this and one lady said “I’m sure you can get your GCSE no problem!” and this got me thinking…..how hard could it be?
After lots of research and buying of books I found an independent organisation that would allow me to sit the exams so I paid my fees and I had 6 weeks of study till the first exam. I crammed the various topics in the GCSE revision books, learnt the various types of questions by sitting past papers online and wrote copious amounts of notes right up until D-day. I sat both exams and then it was in the lap of the gods. Thankfully, all the hard work paid off and I passed achieving an A*! Throughout all of this, Gateway were by my side encouraging, supporting and mentoring me on what I needed to do next and when. They kept me on track, willing me to do the best that I could; I know that without them helping me I would have been at a loss. They opened doors for me that would otherwise have been closed due to the lack of classroom experience that I had. They saw the potential cross-over of skills from the private sector to the classroom and championed me every step of the way.
Once my course started the regular Gateway meetings to talk through the high points as well as the low points were invaluable and being part of a team also meant that you felt like you were part of a bigger family unit all willing you to do well. Gateway were also able to extend my learning with additional training, such as, an MFL day and a full SEN day at the partnership schools; these were brilliant and I still use what I learnt on those days in my day-to-day teaching. I cannot recommend the Gateway Alliance enough to potential new recruits – the support they offer and the schools within the partnership are both amazing. I am now entering my second year of teaching and have been offered a place on the middle leadership course already. Thank you Gateway Alliance I am indebted to you for the opportunities and support you gave an “older” student.
Whether you’re a career changer, graduate or are currently working in a support capacity within school, we can provide you with the best possible training experience to equip you with the skills, knowledge, experience and confidence to be a fantastic teacher. Train to teach with Gateway Alliance.