We spoke to four teachers who are now in their dream jobs.

Karen Setters, from Liverpool, has worked as a nanny and in a nursery. After moving to Hastings, she trained to become a teacher at St Peter & St Paul C of E Primary School in Bexhill.

“When I was at school I was always told that I was not clever enough to become a teacher, so I trained to work in a nursery. I then moved to London where I worked as a nanny and in a nursery.

“My husband and I were living in London and wanted a quieter pace of life, so we decided to move to Hastings which we love. He encouraged me to follow my dreams and I got a job as a teaching assistant at St Peter & St Pauls in Bexhill. After a year I went on to train to become a teacher while I was working at the school.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to see the children in your care grow in confidence and ability and it gives you a real sense of pride and job satisfaction.

“I love it and feel that I have achieved what I have always wanted to do. I only wish I had done it earlier.”

“I always wanted to become a teacher”
Hollie Durrant, from Eastbourne, studied primary education at Canterbury Christ Church University. She recently became a teacher at Stafford Junior School in Eastbourne.

“I always wanted to become a teacher. I did think about training in psychology or criminology, but nothing drove me as much as teaching. I’m from Eastbourne and wanted to work here after I’d finished studying. I like that it’s really diverse and there are people from all sorts of different backgrounds.

“It’s been quite eye opening, for example I’ve helped two Spanish children who didn’t speak any English and now they can write sentences on their own.

“It’s really rewarding to see a child progress who you didn’t think would. You don’t realise the difference you make until you’re in the job and it’s exceeded my expectations.”

Teachers (from left to right) Marica Dowell, Amy Bartle and Hollie Durrant

Teachers (from left to right) Marica Dowell, Amy Bartle and Hollie Durrant

“I played trombone for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee”
Amy Bartle was a trombone player, before studying a PGCE part time and is now head of music at Claremont Senior School in Bodiam.

“Growing up near Rye, I really enjoyed playing the trombone at all the holiday music courses and youth orchestras East Sussex Music organised. It really helped my career and I later trained in music, before becoming a trombone player.

“I’ve worked for many orchestras, such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and travelled all over the world. I also took part in the Queens Golden Jubilee events, which was great fun and I was involved with the London 2012 Olympic bid. I was part of a brass ensemble playing on a traffic island at eight in the morning to get people to vote for London!

“While I was working, I was also teaching and running workshops in schools, which I loved. After I had my first child, I realised touring on the road with a baby wasn’t ideal, so I made the move to train to become a teacher.

“My first job as head of music has been a real learning curve, as I’m involved with everything to do with music at the school. Recently I went along to a free music conference for teachers in the county run by East Sussex Music. What was especially wonderful was that I suddenly met all of these people I was taught by as a child!”

“I used to be a medical physicist, now I’m a teacher!”
Marica Dowell, from Lewes, worked as a medical physicist for 10 years, before deciding to retrain as a teacher. She studied for a year at Sussex University and now teaches science and maths at Uckfield Community Technology College.

“Since I was little I wanted to become a teacher, but sometimes life takes you in a different direction and after my degree I was offered a PHD and ended up working as a medical physicist. After having a child, I was commuting to London and working long hours and thought becoming a teacher would be better suited to having children.

“The training was amazing and it feels like this is exactly what I’m supposed to do. It’s a lovely feeling to be constantly around young people that want to learn. It’s a bit like being in theatre, as I feel like I’m an actor keeping the kids entertained. I like trying to make the lessons interactive and connecting them with real life science.

“There can be ups and downs, but everything such as marking, melts away when you are in there with the kids.”

Want to know more about teaching?

To find out one of the many different ways to train to become a teacher visit teachers or visit East Sussex Music