Meet our Harris Academy Wimbledon


Roy Duguid - Computing Trainee

Harris Academy Wimbledon

October 2022

Img 20221024 wa0002"Why did you start your teacher training journey?" 

In a nutshell it was because of the pandemic. During the first lockdown I was furloughed from my job as a 3D Designer which I’d been doing for the past 5 years in a bespoke joinery firm in Shoreditch. When I was furloughed, I had an instant change of mental health. I know for most lockdown was an incredibly tough time and wreaked havoc with their mental health. However, I was very fortunate in that I had the opposite experience. I was running every day, I was reading, I was writing, I was doing my hobbies again, I was being more productive and felt a huge feeling of calm that I hadn’t experienced in years. I then had the realisation that I hated everything about the career I was in and felt firmly stuck in a rut in a toxic work environment. The term “quiet quitting” has since been coined and I realise that that is what I had been doing the past few years, just drifting along in a career I didn’t remotely care about. 

When I eventually returned to work after 3 months (in which I had zero contact from my work) I felt a pit in my stomach… having to go back to the same job I now realised was the single biggest detriment to my mental health. I felt panic at having to go back to the same office every day and work long hours staring at a screen with peers who wanted nothing more than to just live the Groundhog Day of the office job. When there were talks of redundancy, I asked my then boss to give it to me instead of someone less senior and my boss agreed. 

After the dust had settled, I had a long hard think of what the next step would be. Lockdown had made me reassess my priorities. What did I want to do now? I didn’t want another office job. 

I made a mind-map (of course) of potential careers I could go down and once the idea of teacher had been formulated it made perfect sense. Out of all the careers I have had the ones where I had helped others made me feel the most invested and rewarded. So I started looking for jobs in schools. I got one as a teaching assistant in a new Harris Academy on it’s first day of opening. A fresh start. 

Looking back, I wished I had made this change years ago, however I probably needed things to happen as they did for me to be as invested as I am in this career change. For the first time since I was at university (a very long time ago) I feel as though I’m doing something I want to do, not just drifting. And working with people who are passionate about their jobs makes me want to be better at what I do. 

In conclusion, all it took for me to change career was a global pandemic.