Get into teaching: Emma Bowers’s story

A skilled costume professional chose to pass on her industry skills to the next generation by becoming a teacher.

Emma Bowers, 48, graduated from her costume degree and went straight into industry working for the National Theatre and then freelance as an alteration hand and costume maker.

After a number of years, she returned to education to study Level 3 Education and Training at South Essex College with a view to teach evening classes in her specialism. She was then offered the opportunity to join the teaching team at University Centre South Essex’s BA (Hons) Costume Construction degree and she completed a PGCE at the college to be able to take on the role.

Emma said: “I really enjoyed the teaching courses. For me, it gave me a better understanding of the role of a teacher. I know my subject but needed to understand how to deliver to the different needs of a student.

“Although observations were daunting at times, these for me were the best way of assessing my practice. Feedback from these observations really helped me going forward.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend teaching as a career. Seeing your students develop their skills, gain confidence and reach their potential is very rewarding. I love watching them grow socially as well as practically and then they go on to establish their own career paths within the costume industry. It is a great feeling to be a part of their journey.”

For more information about training to become a teacher, visit