Sean Archibald on changing career to teaching

Sean Archibald UTC Portsmouth Sean Archibald, trainee engineering teacher talks changing career to teaching

With teacher training applications up by a third on 2019, many people are considering their career options during COVID-19. Teaching provides a rewarding career for those looking to use experience gained from industry to make a difference.

As a trainee teacher at UTC Portsmouth, Sean's engineering background is serving him well as he begins his training as a STEM teacher in Portsmouth. Enrolling with Essential Teaching UK, Sean took some time out to speak to us about changing career to teaching.

Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us Sean. So, where did your interest in teaching start?

Well, I've always had an interest in teaching however I felt that I required the life experience before being able to give students the skills they needed to become engineers.

Life experience is always important but how did you find the transition from working as an engineer to teacher training?

Having the experience of working in industry does help. I am currently training to be a teacher in engineering - so having subject knowledge is beneficial. The route I took to train was a little different however with the support of my peers it has become easier over time.

Originally, you started working at UTC Portsmouth as a workshop technician. Do you feel this was a good introduction to the world of teaching?

Absolutely! Working as a technician was a great introduction as I was able to help out in the workshop showing students how to use the equipment. I also had opportunities to support design and technology lessons, helping students develop their ideas using my own experience.

One of the best things about Portsmouth is the support you get as a teacher. Have you experienced it? 

The teaching community in Portsmouth is very supportive, especially the teachers and support staff I work with. At Essential Teaching UK, the other trainee teachers on my course help each other, drawing upon their own experience in the classroom.

What advice would you give to someone who might be considering a career in teaching?

Go for it! When working with students, it can be challenging however the rewards are huge. No day is the same! When a student solves a problem, it is really uplifting to see their reaction. 

Inspired by Sean's story? 

If you've been inspired to switch your career to teach a STEM subject, use our route finder to locate a course that's right for you. Whether it's teaching primary, secondary or further education, there is a pathway for everyone. 


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