Testimonials – James Crayston

James Crayston, Maths Teacher, Furness Academy

I came into teaching later than some of the others who were on the SCSD programme, but equally, there are others on the course who are older than me, there was a real mix of age and experience.

My background for the 5 years previous had been mainly working with education, employed as a recruitment consultant supplying cover staff to a range of education establishments throughout the country, from primary schools to FE colleges. I also spent a couple of years recruiting for the care sector, being drawn specifically to children’s residential care. Prior to this I had worked for Enterprise Rent-a-Car after graduating for a few years and worked my way up to Night Manager.

 I also spent some time working in the hospitality trade as a Manager. There was a real mix of roles which all involved responsibility, I was worried that I wouldn’t be considered for the course, but it was more the potential ability to teach that they were interested in at interview, it was not a case of whether I could do everything right now.

I studied Business with Finance at University and when I first graduated I did consider training to teach but never really knew how to go about it and didn’t think I was qualified enough, so all of that went on the back burner until now. I saw the School Direct programme advertised and did some research into it all and after several phone calls with the school, I decided to take the plunge and apply.

It was all very straight forward and from filling in the UCAS application to being offered a place, was only about a month. It was decided that because I hadn’t studied any maths for a long time, I would complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course which was all online and gave me a real boost in terms of recalling my own learning. That brings us to today, where I am little over half way through my first placement and I really could not imagine doing anything else. The staff in my placement school have been amazing and really made me feel part of the team.

I am now 2 years into my teaching career and working at the school where I did my first placement. This year as well as teaching Maths I am working alongside the charity Young Enterprise and working with students to complete a challenge involving setting up and running their own business.

I am also the careers champion, working with local businesses, bringing the ‘real world into school’. Teaching is challenging, but if you put in the time and have the willingness to listen to students as well as ensuring that they listen to you then you will be fine. Making such a career change was a risk, but it is something that I would do again in a heartbeat.