Amisha Khaira, 30, is a middle leader and Year 1 teacher at Oriel Academy, a primary school in Feltham, West London.
Mrs Khaira started at the school via Teach First in 2013 but after several years she decided to spend a year working for London accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC).
However, she quickly realised she had “become a small cog in a large corporate wheel and missed being able to teach.”
Here she reveals why the Aspirations Academies Trust is the perfect fit for her and why teaching is so rewarding.
Mrs Khaira studied law at King’s College London but realised towards the end of her degree that it was not a path she wanted to follow once she graduated.
She came across Teach First at a careers fair and found the ethos of the charity – ending educational inequality inside and outside the classroom – appealed to her.
Mrs Khaira said: ‘’I was state-school educated and from a working-class family and I had really great opportunities when I was at school and those memories stayed with me.
“It’s a really valuable contribution that you can make to society [as a teacher] and seeing such a transformation in the children is rewarding. You do have to be passionate about what you’re doing and to work with teachers who share that common goal.”
“I started [at Oriel] in Year 6 which was trial by fire and it was quite stressful and demanding but the opportunities were broad and there was the chance to take on additional responsibility.”
After several years, Mrs Khaira said she felt a “sense of curiosity” to experience working in the corporate world and secured a job with PWC as an associate working in technology assurance.
The role involved project management, audits and travelling but after a year, Mrs Khaira said she “left by choice because I missed the creativity, variety and the difference I was able to make in teaching.
“I became a small cog in a large corporate wheel.”
Crucially Mrs Khaira knew she did not want to go to another school or another Multi-Academy Trust.
“I’d had a look around at other schools and knew I wanted to come back to Oriel as I felt really valued by the staff. I felt listened to and I had a great relationship with the team.”
“It was the variety that attracted me to come back to Aspirations. There’s a lot of opportunity to grow or to be trained up to do something different.”
Mrs Khaira came back full-time as an NQT lead and had the flexibility of spending three days in the classroom and two days focused on leadership. She has also helped to run the Teacher Acceleration Programme and has now started senior leadership training.
She concluded: “My year out was not a waste as it made me realise what I do want to do and the skills I learnt, I know I can use here at Oriel.”