Leaving an established, successful career in marketing and moving into the world of education was a big change but one that Deb Taylor has relished and taken in her stride.
Deb’s vibrant personality, positivity and enthusiasm for education are infectious and it’s clear teaching is more than a job for her. 
The journey into teaching 
Having children affects your life in so many different ways. For Deb, it changed her perspective so much that she decided she wanted to work with children and took the first step onto a new career pathway by becoming a Teaching Assistant. Having completed her Level 3 Teaching Assistant Qualification, Deb wanted to progress further and completed her PGCE to become a Primary School Teacher. 
Building experience within a school setting is something that Deb believes is extremely important before you take the leap and join the sector. People’s perceptions of what the role may entail compared with the day-to-day reality can vary so she recommends spending time in the classroom before embarking on training to become a teacher and suggests that volunteering can be a great way to start. 
“I worked in education for 10 years before undertaking my PGCE, so I understood what it would be like working in a classroom, how schools operate and the expectations of the role. The experience I had as a TA was invaluable. Although rewarding, schools can be fast-paced, demanding environments so I would recommend that you volunteer in a school before making your decision about working in education.”
Working on Supply
Once Deb completed her PGCE, she started to apply for part-time roles but found there wasn’t many advertised. Monarch Education was recommended to her and in September she initially secured a seven-week, part-time position as a key stage 2 Early Careers Teacher (ECT).
“With having various other commitments, I wanted to work part-time but I struggled to find a suitable position. Out of dozens of adverts, only a few were part-time positions so that’s when I considered supply teaching and my friend recommended Monarch Education.”
During these seven weeks, Deb has found that working on supply means you have to be adaptable. “As a supply teacher you’re like a chameleon, you have to adapt very quickly. Not only are there so many different subjects to teach but you’re working with different classes, with different staff and there is a lot of variety.
“Being an ECT and working on supply is a wonderful experience. I work with many people, and I can see best practice in different schools, so this will hopefully help me grow in my new role as a teacher.”
‘Marvellous Mistakes’
Having previously worked in industry for 15 years Deb believes it’s important to bring her wider work experiences into the classroom. For Deb being a teacher is much more than teaching the curriculum; it’s just as important to help children develop their life skills.
Deb makes her mark on by helping the children to build their confidence and resilience to succeed. She thinks it's important pupils take pride in their work, have a positive approach to learning and the right attitude; learning to react positively even if they are struggling.
“Children can feel anxious about getting things wrong, so I try to encourage them to look at things constructively. When pupils make a mistake, I encourage them to consider them as opportunities to continue to learn. I think it’s important to not only reward pupils for achieving academically but for their effort and positive attitude; especially when they have overcome adversity and progressed.”
Transferable Skills
Working in several different industries before becoming a teacher meant that Deb has transferable skills which have helped her in her teaching role. She would encourage those who are interested in changing careers to consider joining the education sector as it has been tremendously rewarding for her.
“I was used to working under pressure and juggling many things at the same time in my previous jobs, which is definitely what you have to do as a teacher, so my experiences have certainly helped me. I think my life knowledge has enriched the classroom. I don’t think you’re ever too old to change careers and I think with your maturity and experiences, you have a lot to offer.”
Reflecting on her own experiences in primary school, the style of teaching has changed but the empathy and compassion teachers show has not.
“I enjoyed my primary school years. The quote ‘they may forget what you said but they won’t forget how they made you feel’ sums up my primary experience. I felt secure and it was made fun, plus my teachers always encouraged me to improve on any weaker areas in a positive way.”
This feeling is something that Deb is keen to replicate for her pupils when working as a supply teacher.
“I’ve had some fantastic jobs, but I think this is a role where I can make the most difference. I have a great sense of purpose and I am proud of what I do. To me it’s not just a job, I genuinely care about the children and their futures. I want them to feel safe, happy and have a good, engaging learning experience.”
Why join Monarch Education?
Since starting work in September with Monarch Education, Deb is enjoying her time so far and appreciates the support she received from her consultant, Lauren.
“I chose a sole agency representation and Monarch Education has been brilliant, so I don’t feel I need another agency. Lauren knows when I can and can’t work and because the service is more personalised, she understands the assignments that suit me.
“I would 100 per cent recommend Monarch Education. You can make a good living working on supply, but it is far more flexible than a permanent teaching position plus you don’t need to necessarily be involved in the wider running of the school.”
For more information about registering with Monarch Education, click here. 

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