Transitioning into the New Year – Our Hopes for 2021

2020 was certainly a challenging year. Participants on the Transition to Teach (T2T) programme have had to adjust to virtual teaching, while the T2T team found themselves investing in some office furniture and adapting to working from home.

We asked our participants and team members to share their memories of the year – and their hopes as we move into 2021.

Biggest surprise in 2020

Lots of the team understandably listed the impact of Covid-19 as one of their biggest surprises in 2020. Happily though, there was a far more positive surprise on the cards, with our Guidance and Development Advisers (GDAs) finding themselves truly astonished at how well T2T participants tackled the challenges that came with the pandemic head-on, seamlessly adapting their teaching and showing massive amounts of all-round resilience.

In other news, there were two new four-legged members of the team in the form of Labrador retriever Bear and chihuahua Spider Troy the Dinky Boy (his friends just call him Troy). Working from home was made slightly more complicated with new puppies thrown into the mix, but their new owners persevered and are looking forward to many more dog walks in 2021.

As for the classroom, our participants are convinced that the laws of physics don’t actually apply while teaching as time seems to vanish in the blink of an eye – that’s certainly a sign that you’re doing something you enjoy!  

Biggest achievement in 2020

From our trainee participants having their first glimpse of feeling like a ‘proper teacher’ to our GDAs helping our Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) secure their first teaching posts, there were plenty of achievements in 2020.

The T2T team grew as the programme continued to expand and lots of the newer members listed their new role as their biggest achievement of the year, and all of the team were proud and excited to see the programme grow from strength to strength.

Biggest challenge in 2020

Unsurprisingly, the upheaval brought by Covid-19 featured heavily in both our team and participants’ biggest challenges of the year. We all faced a series of adaptations throughout the year and managing working from home with children and puppies in tow took some getting used to.

We also missed offering our face-to-face workshops and events. Meeting T2T participants and those who are interested in joining the programme is often the highlight of our calendars, but the team have very quickly moved to successful online provision and recruitment. While we hope to hold a mixture of online and in-person events in the future, the shift to solely digital has highlighted some significant opportunities moving forward, including a whole host of new events exclusively for T2T participants, covering topics from pedagogy to subject knowledge, and more.

Hopes for the new year

One of our participants shared the hope that their second school placement will be as happy as their first, with their initial placement being everything they had hoped it would be and a lot more. They’re even planning on walking the 2.5 miles to and from school each day to stay healthy!

The team are hoping for a return to normality with meeting new team members in-person, pantomimes, and even marriages to look forward to. On a programme level, everyone is looking forward to seeing the T2T programme continue to develop and being able to support as many teachers as possible throughout their training and NQT years.

Resolutions for 2021 

Apart from the aforementioned dog walks and exploring local areas, participants and team members listed a huge variety of resolutions for the new year. On the teaching side of things, our participants have resolved to use the confidence they’ve been honing throughout their training so far and to continue to work on their craft, while our GDAs are looking forward to continuing to support the first T2T cohort into teaching posts and the second cohort throughout the rest of their training year.

Perhaps one of the most astute resolutions came from one of our Career Transition Advisors (CTAs), who resolves to live more in the moment and appreciate the little joys in life – something we can all strive to do, whatever our professional and personal aspirations for the year ahead.

Thanks to the T2T team and participants for contributing – we hope you all have a happy, healthy and successful 2021.

Jo Holland, Employer Engagement Manager at Transition to Teach, spoke to the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter about how the Department for Education-funded service can support exiting employees into an exciting new teaching career. 

Where should employers start?

Down-sizing and restructuring are particularly challenging times for employers, especially when they lead to job losses. Many employers want to do the right thing to support affected staff and most offer support with preparing CVs, job search and interview techniques. Some companies go even further to support their staff by proactively seeking and sharing job opportunities, such as opportunities within the teaching profession. 

Sometimes employers can be wary about being seen to promote one career over another. We always explain that it’s not about promoting a particular career, but more about giving staff at risk of redundancy possible avenues to explore.  

Teaching isn’t for everyone, our job is to raise awareness of teaching as a credible career opportunity for employees at risk of redundancy and help them decide if it is for them. It’s about Transition to Teach being there when companies need us. We might hear nothing at all from an organisation and then, a year later, they get in touch, perhaps because redundancies have been confirmed. 

Some sectors have been particularly affected by the pandemic and there has certainly been more interest from companies for the Transition to Teach programme. Some employers will bring in outplacement companies, and we’ll work alongside outplacement teams, as well as careers advisers and job centres. 

What support does Transition to Teach offer?

Once companies have an active redundancy situation, Transition to Teach offer support in a variety of ways. 

The first step is usually to set up a meeting, find out timescales, share our employer pack and find out how the company wants us to support them. In many cases the company will just take this information and disseminate it to staff, but others will ask for more support. For example, we recently provided a private webinar for a client in the travel industry and we also support army resettlement on an ongoing basis. 

Some staff experience redundancy rounds every year, sometimes multiple times each year. The coronavirus pandemic is causing people from all sectors to re-evaluate their careers, not just those at risk of redundancy. 

Read the full article at