JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 141
Why I left
become a teacher
Liz Griffiths, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Weston College.
Not everyone who becomes a teacher sets out to work in education. When I left school I was
unsure about the career path that I wanted to pursue.
I got into engineering because my favourite subjects were maths and physics. I was lucky
enough to attend a seminar on women in engineering, which led me to start an apprenticeship at
a helicopter manufacturer. I had a successful career in the sector, and worked on projects such as
the Lynx and Puma aircraft.
I was introduced to Weston College in Weston-super-Mare through GKN Aerospace, a company
the College delivers apprenticeship training for.
I saw it as a great opportunity to inspire young people, particularly women, to take up a career in
engineering - and since I started, I've seen more and more girls choose to study in this field.
The benefits to students of having teachers with industry-relevant experience and knowledge is
immeasurable, which is why colleges like Weston College look for people who're willing to take
the leap from industry into education.
Here are my top five reasons why you should consider moving from industry into education:
1. You can make a difference. Nearly everyone remembers a particular teacher at school who
has had an impact on their lives, and there's nothing more rewarding than seeing young
people you've taught go on to succeed.
2. Variety. No two days in education are the same. Instead of working on repetitive tasks,
you get a lot of freedom in the way you teach.
3. Teaching is fun. Teaching lets you explore your skills in a new setting, interacting with a
wide range of people, and it challenges you to think about new and inventive ways to
show others how to perform the things you learnt in the industry.
4. Hours and holidays. This is a major factor in many peoples' decisions to become teachers.
At Weston College, the working week is 37 hours, and just under half of that time is dedicated
solely to teaching. Lecturers at the College get 45 days holiday a year plus bank holidays.
5. Job security and staff development. There'll always be a need for teachers, and working
in education offers security that the industry didn't. On top of this, the staff development
opportunities I've had have been excellent. Weston College is one of a handful of colleges
to hold Investors in People Champion status as well as being awarded its Gold Award.
Weston College is a top-performing further and higher education college, graded 'outstanding'
by Ofsted, and winner of awards including a Queen's Anniversary Prize and multiple Association
of Colleges' Beacon Awards.
The College is actively looking to recruit people from industry into education, particularly in the
fields of engineering, civil engineering, law, health and social care, and early years education.
To find out more about the benefits of working in education, visit: