Thinking of Leaving Teaching?

Alan Reeves

Alan Reeves – Utility Warehouse

Like so many other teachers, I was tired of the profession and the constant red tape and moving goalposts, and of course; workload. But what else could I do? I needed to pay the bills and no other vacancy I searched generated any interest or required salary to meet my family’s needs. The twelve weeks holidays meant little to me anymore, other than wasting my life away looking forward to them so I could rest and ultimately recover for another 6-8 weeks of intervention, data, marking in green pen, no yellow, wait no purple, oh I give up. In my 15 years in education, I’d seen people move up through the ranks, and most of them not because of their classroom ability; if you know what I mean.

I had been teaching Business as my second subject for 3 years when my fantastic Head of Department left and departed for pastures new. I was genuinely upset for myself at this as she was (and no doubt still is) amazing and I genuinely wish her and her family well in their new life. Into her shoes stepped Mrs X. An inexperienced classroom practitioner from the private sector who had been in the school for only 2 years (2 years steeped in constant mistakes, which is fine if you learn from them. She didn’t). It was at this point I made my decision. I have one academic year to get out (Nov 2019). But what else could I do? I knew of this Facebook page ‘thinking of leaving teaching?”, so I read, and read and read until I concluded that for the wellbeing of me and my family, my earnings need to come from more than one source. Good. Progress being made. Now, where was this income going to come from?

I began a TEFL course as advised from a member of the Facebook page mentioned earlier and researched TEFL as an online opportunity. I was progressing nicely with the course and teaching at school was becoming more enjoyable again (yes actual teaching, not the politics that goes with it) because I knew my plans. Friday came and boom. Up steps Mrs X with a stark reminder of why I need to get out. I was furious that this person had ruined the start of my weekend. Going home to family in this mood is neither right nor fair on them; it’s not their fault after all. It was then I felt that perhaps I could do literally anything to get out earlier than I planned while I learned TEFL. So back to the job websites. I trawled the usual pages and vacancies and eventually did what I thought I would never do; I sent my CV to 5 adverts for ‘work from home as a distributer’. Yes, it was that bad. Or was it? Four made contact by email and none of them inspired me one bit, but one person, Laura rang me. “What’s your story?” she asked. I proceeded to waffle on about being a teacher and being desperate to get our when she stopped me mid rant. “I’m an ex teacher and Deputy Head too”. Wow, someone that understands. We immediately had a rapport and I haven’t looked back since.

She sent me some information about the company, so I delved a little deeper. I rang back and became a customer. I immediately decided to become a Partner in the business and began my online training. In hindsight, I’d have waited until later in December to start to get the business up and running in January as nobody is interested during the festive period. No matter, I persevered and booked a launch party at my house on January 6th. From there, I’ve learned new skills and discovered skills I didn’t know I possessed and earned commissions similar to that of my teaching salary, but all part time from home. I have progressed already to Team Leader status, have 20 personal customers, 50 group customers and a team of 12 Partners all doing well for themselves which naturally in turn means I am too. At the time of writing I am working on expanding my business and taking it online, and all from the comfort of my own home.

During this time, I have finished the TEFL course and secured a position with an American company to teach English online where I choose my hours around my life. It’s truly eye opening what you can find and do for yourself when you have a plan and go about executing it.

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