From Teacher to Trainer

amanda barber

So, what makes someone who has taught for 28 years decide it’s time for a change?

How do you leave a career that you have invested your whole adult life in? What else could you do?

Well for me, it wasn’t just one single reason, it was many. My journey away from teaching quite possibly coincided with a ‘BIG’ birthday. Thoughts of change had been rumbling for a while. Don’t get me wrong I loved my colleagues, the children and the families that I worked with. BUT…I was tired of the constantly changing goalposts and the drive to do better with less funding, time and resources. I wanted a better balance for my family and me. Yes, I had the holidays with them, but Monday to Friday Mum was in ‘school mode’. Something would have to change.

The Guardian suggests that record numbers of teachers in England are quitting the profession.

‘The latest workforce survey by the DfE found that 40,000 teachers resigned from state schools last year- almost 9% of the teaching workforce.’ (R. Adams- Education Editor- 08.06.23)

Furthermore, 12.8% of teachers quit after their first year in the profession. It seemed like I wasn’t the only one.

But what about the holidays and the salary? What could I offer a different employer?

These are common questions asked in the many social media groups for teachers looking to leave education. Adventures After Teaching, set up by Joanne Howard on Facebook, is a group which offers teaching staff the answers to these questions with practical guidance. Here I found other people, just like me, contemplating the big leap! With the group's support and helpful tips, I began to understand that as teachers we have many transferable skills which are highly valued in the job market. Think of all the different things you do/ activities you plan and assess/ people you organise/ decisions you make in each day, and you begin to realise your worth.

Was I honestly ready to turn my back on Education entirely?

What about my passion for teaching and reading in particular? A little insight into my education career might help here- Reception teacher, Early Years team leader, Phonics and Early reading lead, Member of SLT) I love reading!

So armed with my skills-based CV and a vague idea of still doing ‘something in Education’ I signed up for Indeed. Two jobs caught my eye. A reading tutor for HMI Prisons and a Regional Trainer for Lexonik. Both would be hugely interesting but on reflection, I turned down the interview for a reading tutor as I felt my skill set might be better suited for Lexonik.


The recent Ofsted English Education report states that ‘1 in 4 pupils still move to Secondary school without having met the expected standard in the KS2 national reading test.’

As a Primary school teacher of 28 years, that statement deeply saddened me.

Where were we going wrong?

The opportunity to work for a company whose mantra was

‘No one should be limited because they can’t read’

struck a huge chord with me and I was excited to be given the chance to become part of their journey. I could put my skills from developing Phonics in Primary schools into practice to reach a much larger audience.

From my first initial contact, I could tell Lexonik were interested in me as a person. I received the questions they would ask, before the interview, which blew my mind. The sense that they didn’t want to trip me up, rather see if we were a good fit continued throughout both interviews with Kate, Lisa and Sarah. They also supported me as I transitioned out of teaching and into Lexonik.

And now… 6 weeks in post….

The bubble still hasn’t burst, and I have a feeling it’s not going to!

In my second week, there was a company get-together at Lexonik HQ. I came away with an even stronger insight into the determination that everyone in the company shares alongside the passion they have for their product.

It has been a steep learning curve for me. I have very much been the ‘vulnerable learner’ and experienced cognitive overload on occasion. Being able to deliver training alongside supportive and enthusiastic colleagues is giving me the confidence to work towards my first solo training day. It helps to have a product that you believe in because the data shows it makes a real difference to the students, whatever age they are.

And that after all, was one of my key criteria for career change… to still be able to make a difference.

As for my work-life balance… well I’ve read at least 4 books since starting, I take the boys to school when it’s raining and am properly present in my life.

Win, win.

If you're interested in closing the literacy gap at your school get in touch with us today. Or find out more about our products here.