The Return to Teaching Myth

Thinking about returning to teaching after many years, having never completed the NQT year? Now the two-year ECT? You can’t do that …Can you? 

There is a time frame between qualifying and the completion of an NQT year … Isn’t there? 

You will need to take an expensive refresher course … Don’t you?

In fact, you need to totally retrain at university, or work for a year in an unpaid school placement … I think? 

These were just a ‘few’ of the repeated comments when taking part in a live return to teaching call, organised by  last month. The whole call was dominated by an overwhelming number of people, who had qualified as a teacher years previously and for varied reasons, had not taken up teaching and been able to start their induction period. The answer is yes, you can return to teaching and it was amazing how many people were in a similar situation.

From the number of people on that one call, by the end of the hour and my experience of forums and groups online, this ‘myth’ that you cannot teach, if you have too many years between qualifying and teaching appears to be widespread.  I wonder just how many people out there are left thinking they cannot return to teaching?

It is always a good idea to check your individual circumstances, but generally, if you have qualified with QTS but not completed the NQT/ECT and you apply for a position and a school is happy to take you on, there is nothing stopping you returning to teach. The chat facility on is a great place to start, they deal with any questions you may have and in some subject areas there is additional support, when returning. One thing I would highlight, this all comes with the caveat or common sense, spending time in a classroom is highly recommended. Do not expect to walk into a teaching job, having not been in a classroom for years! Education is continually changing, nationally and locally, and as always, there is something to learn.

My journey returning to primary teaching is just starting, now that I know I can. I have enrolled in free courses to update my skills and knowledge and I will be gaining experience in local schools. I hope from this post, other people will realise they too can return to the classroom and what they thought was a barrier to returning to teaching, was actually a myth. 

For those of you looking to get into teaching who are unsure, check out our blog How To Become A Teacher - Routes Into Teaching.

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