Jamshed Javeed, pictured, of Levenshulme in Manchester, accepted he intended to travel to Syria to join rebels fighting against the government.
Javeed admitted two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terror acts. He was remanded in custody after the Woolwich Crown Court hearing and will be sentenced in December.
The teacher is said to have become rapidly radicalised from living an ordinary Western lifestyle to becoming someone determined to fight in the Middle East, having changed his appearance and behaviour from August 2013.
Det Chief Supt Tony Mole of North West Counter Terror Unit commented: "What this case tells us is that the earlier we can be told about someone's intentions to join a group like this the better. Ideally, we would like to stop people well before they get to this stage. Anyone who goes out to fight with Isis could potentially be a serious danger to communities if they return. By the time you have been trained, had experience, built up future friendships and fully engaged with that terrorist rhetoric, you potentially become a dangerous individual so we take a robust approach to people that wish to engage with terrorist organisations,” he said.
At the time of his arrest, Javeed said he felt the British government was not doing enough to help the situation in Syria and that his actions were "honourable".