Member Spotlight - Finding My Next Job

We hear from the lovely Laura on her decision to leave teaching, experience with the Adventures After Teaching Academy and finding her new role.

My Teaching Background

I taught for 18 years as a secondary maths teacher and an assistant head of maths for the last 10 years of my teaching career. Although I loved parts of the job, I was absolutely bloody exhausted. Marking and answering emails until all hours of the night and then waking up in the small hours to finish marking … you know the drill.

I had felt several times during my 18 years that I had had enough. The first time, I felt like I wanted to mount a rebellion against SLT for all the bureaucracy and extra workload they were piling on us … I went off and had a baby instead. I felt ok for about 3 years, when I felt again that I had had enough.

I was ready to leave, but decided it was worth moving schools to see if that would help, I felt like I would be throwing all those years of hard work and education down the drain if I just gave up. So, I got a new job. I moved to my new school, had another baby and then really started to enjoy it there.

At lots of points throughout my career I felt trapped in the profession. I had no idea what else I could do, what anyone else would employ me to do apart from low paid admin jobs. I felt totally stuck.

Then in Nov 2019 I got ill, had about 6 weeks off and ended up on phased return, but still really struggling.

Then covid hit.

We all got sent home, I started to feel a bit better and upskilled learning how to teach online, like lots of us did. I did some extra training courses in things that I was interested in, not at all related to teaching. I felt a whole new world of possibilities open up to me. It was very exciting.

When we returned to school, I still wasn’t properly better, but slogged on. The Government sent immuno-compromised people home to shield, that was me. I taught every day through my computer, beamed into my classroom. I controlled behaviour and still marked books as friends would drop them off and collect them for me.

Finding Adventures After Teaching

During the Oct half term of 2021 I had done Jo’s ‘Stay or Go’, and I was so happy I did. I decided then and there that I was going to leave, and said it out loud. I felt totally empowered by Jo, especially her showing me all the skills that I do actually have and making me feel completely employable!

I joined up in Jan 2022.

Since returning to school properly, I had faced a difficult time with SLT, still not feeling well, this totally overwhelmed me and I went off sick.

The Adventures After Teaching group really supported me during this time and I started to heal.

Something that Jo said, was that ‘I have done my time, I have helped all those children and that it is ok for me to leave now’. This really resonated with me and reframed how I thought about leaving.

There is a grieving process, it is true and I still feel a bit sad at times that I just don’t hear from some of the colleagues that I thought were good friends. But then I remind myself, that I never had any time for anything when I was teaching either!

My New Role

I now have a job teaching adults; entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and apprentices, about digital marketing skills and website building.

I teach online, from home. I start at 9.15am, so I get to take my kids to school every day. My little daughter and I sit in the car for 30mins reading every morning (I love this). When I finish in the evening, I shut my computer and do nothing else. I don’t work at weekends and when I do work a bit late, I accrue TOIL.

My TOIL allowed me to take a day off a week over the summer holidays!!

I don’t have to stress when there is an INSET day and my kids are home. I don’t have to stress (really) in the holidays, as I am at home. I can work from anywhere, so take my kids away in the holidays to visit families and friends and can work from there. I get to watch all my daughters’ award assemblies, harvest festivals, sports days, surf comps, you name it. Life is SO much more flexible.

I know that I don’t want to do this job forever, my health issues are ongoing (think I had early covid), but it is great for now, my confidence has grown and as Jo says, ‘it doesn’t need to be your forever job, it is just your next job’.