In 2005 I qualified as a teacher. I love kids and what better career then teaching as I can work with kids and make a real change to young people’s lives and contribute back to society. I thought it was a career for life.
After my NQT year I got a promotion as Head of Citizenship. I introduced a school council, focus groups for the different students from different back grounds, taught my lessons and got great results in a school that had come out of special measures a few years earlier. I had so much energy and passion which was the petrol for me to do these extra things.
As the years went on things started to change. A new head came in which lead to diminished morale and many staff leaving. The work load and scrutiny from management became intense, as if we the staff could not be trusted. Exams became the only focal point with other aspects being deemed unnecessary. The fun was sucked out the classroom and sucked out of the school too. Observations became more frequent and the goal posts kept on changing. Ofsted want this, now Ofsted are looking for this, but now Ofsted want this and so it went on!
I was coming into school at 7am in the morning and not leaving until after 6pm in the evening. By the time I got home I was shattered. I had no time for my own kids or husband. Weekends and holidays was as stressful as being in school as I was doing all the tick box activities which was not really relevant at all. The only break I really had was 3 to 4 weeks in the summer. The Sunday blues was the worst feeling, thinking I’d got to go to work the next day. I was a wreck by Sunday afternoon not wanting to talk to anyone or do anything. This had a big impact on family life and teaching was not a job anymore but taking over my life.
By 2011 I had decided that enough was enough… I needed to gain my sanity back… my kids back… my husband back… my life back… I gave my resignation in at Easter to leave in the summer. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had my husband’s support which was really important. At this point my salary was important but I decided that there was more to life than money. I felt such a relief once I had resigned, as though a large mountain had just been removed from on top of me. I can smile again… a smile that is real from the heart.
Once the summer holidays started or for me a permanent holiday I started contemplating on what to do next? I came up with the idea that I wanted to run my own business but what? All I had known was education since I left university and therefore decided to use the management skills from my experience as a head of department I had gained to open my own tuition centre. I did some market research, decided on a location and found premises to hire out on Saturday mornings. I printed leaflets and got them delivered in the area and advertised for tutors in the local paper. I started with a 2-hour slot on Saturday morning. Within two months I was running three 2-hour slots, which increased to Saturdays and Sundays after Christmas. The business gradually grew and within two years I was doing all day on the weekends and evenings during the week as well. After four years I was able to hire a manager for the centre and I was able to lead a rich life and I do not mean in terms of money only but spend quality time on things I wanted to do and prioritise the important things such as family, going to the gym and going to see my childrens’ play. 🙂