Home East London ‘I left my £50k graduate finance job and became a teacher so...

‘I left my £50k graduate finance job and became a teacher so pupils can see people like them in the classroom’

7

Growing up in one of the poorest boroughs in London meant Shalman Uddin saw first-hand how tough life could be. His parents had moved from Bangladesh to Newham, and while attending Stratford School as a young boy, he knew he wanted to make it big in the finance world when he was older.

Money meant options, security and quality of life. Even with the lack of opportunities and tough conditions, Shalman didn’t let his environment deter him. After leaving school and achieving first-class honours in Business Management at university, he began a successful career in finance. While happy that he had fulfilled his childhood dreams, he still felt like something was missing and now at 25, Shalman has begun making waves in a whole other industry.

He told MyLondon: “Growing up my family did all they could for me but we were poor. My friends and people around me had different aspirations, some wanted to get a 9-5 and others went another route. I always knew I wanted to work in finance so when I finished school, I got a student loan to go to university and had to get a part-time job to support me through it.”

READ MORE:’I quit my job as a teacher to become a professional declutterer – it’s not just about tidying up’

Growing up his parents wanted him to be a doctor and were disappointed when he went off to do his own thing

After working in finance, Shalman has now set out to change children’s lives through education. He qualified as a teacher at the age of 24 and since then has risen through the ranks of his school, now becoming a Head of Department at the young age of 25. He sees the importance of having a teacher that children can relate to as being one of the most important parts of being a teacher.

“The reason I became a teacher is because of change. I think education has the power to change so many lives and create opportunities. Growing up, becoming a teacher wasn’t an option that my friends thought was for us. Now I’m doing it and working with children, I can see how important it is to have a teacher like me. I grew up in a similar situation to these kids so they can relate to that and I think that is beneficial for them.

“There’s a difference when you are a teaching assistant to being an actual teacher. The kids always tell me how cool it is to see someone like me as a teacher and how they feel comfortable speaking to me about anything”, Shalman added.

After qualifying as a teacher at 24, he is now Head of Department at the young age of 25

After qualifying as a teacher at 24, he is now Head of Department at the young age of 25

Shalman is his school’s first Muslim teacher and only Asian teacher at present. The teaching workforce in the UK is made up of a majority of white British people whereas the rest of the school workforce is split over a number of ethnicities. Shalman sees this as a benefit and also a reflection of the fact people from diverse backgrounds don’t think they can grow up and become a teacher.

He said: “Being my school’s first Muslim, Asian teacher is inspiring. I want to show kids that the idea of Muslim people they may have in their minds isn’t the truth, we are pretty similar. Teaching is an industry crying out for more black and Asian role models to help inspire the next generation. I think it’s really important for kids to see themselves in the teachers that teach them.

“Even with Ramadan, they constantly asked me about it and why Muslims are fasting so being able to explain that is a nice feeling. To change the perception of what a Muslim man is to them. To show kids there is no us vs them divide but that they can actually relate to us. To be able to say that I’ve been through the same situations – I think goes a long way. I get to show that if I can do what I’m doing, they can also do it one day.”

Shalman wants to continue making an impact in children’s lives through his teaching. He also wants to see more teachers from ethnic backgrounds take up the mantle as being someone kids can relate to is hugely beneficial. He also wants to continue making an impact in east London.

He added: “I think education is the best way to make a change in children’s lives. I grew up in east London and want to make it a better place and the only way I think that can be done is by education. I never want to leave here but want to see it become better. I remember being in sixth form and my teacher said that I would make a great teacher one day. Those words stuck with me till this day and I want to do the same for the next generation.”

Read More
Read More

https://www.mylondon.news/news/east-london-news/i-left-50k-graduate-finance-23858838