Many teachers ask, “What else can you do?” Some ex-teachers have shared leaving teaching success stories with Thinking of Leaving Teaching about what they do now. As of December 2023, there are around 185 leaving teaching success stories from ex-teachers who got jobs ranging from Academic Developer to Youth Staff Entertainment.
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Self-Employed Music Teacher
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Local Council – Rough Sleepers
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Teacher/Tutor in Prison Service
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A deputy head teacher retrained as a paramedic after he said he fell out of love with his old job. Full story in the link.BACK TO MENU
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Baby College Success Story
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Kate Hughes’ Story (Franchisee, Baby College Oxford)
What is your background? With a music degree and a Teaching Qualification, working with youngsters made perfect sense. I worked as a school teacher before having, and then spending some years at home with, my 3 children. This changed life, and made me look for a job that fitted around family life but also gave me the independence of running my own schedule.
Why did you choose Baby College? Baby College Oxford was something I chanced upon and I have never looked back. I love that Baby college incorporates the latest scientific research whilst teaching parents about the development of their little ones.
How is it going? Since taking over the Baby College Oxford franchise in September 2022, I have opened 2 new venues (to add to the 3 other already healthy ones), met hundreds of amazing parents, worked with local communities to help those that are unable to attend, and I now have around 250 families on my books. It is an incredible feeling when you receive an email from a parent thanking you for making a difference in their lives and for giving them ideas to use at home with their babies.
This job gives you the bonus of earning as much as I did when I was teaching (possibly even more the way I’ve grown the franchise), but with the flexibility to make my own hours. After expanding this summer over Sept/Oct 2023 the business has made me over £8k in just two months!
I get to drop off my kids, do my classes, and still pick them up after it all. It’s a fantastic way of getting the work/family balance life that we all dream of.
Would you recommend this to others? I never thought that I would be running a business of my own, earning a decent salary, whilst being so well supported, and loving every second of it. It was the best decision I ever made and there is so much more to still go on and do! I love my job!!!!!
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Hi fellow (ex & maybe soon-to-be-ex) teachers. Just over half a year ago I made the decision that staying in the broken education sector wasn’t worth it anymore, and became an IT Apprentice (*Admin-found through the Government Find an apprenticeship service*) slightly over 3 months ago. I recently had my 3 months review and had words like “amazingly”, “she should be proud”, “excellent” written about my performance in a brand new career in my report. I never had this in my 6 years as a teacher despite working myself to the point of (almost) death.
I never thought I would ever find any job like this after working at so many different schools, and never seeing real improvement between them for behaviour, workload, micro-management, resources, or effective support.
I thought the “honeymoon period” of getting out of teaching would have worn off after a month, or maybe 2 months, and certainly by 3 months… but I was wrong. I was just used to subpar working standards (the ones we teachers are all used to) that any slight improvement feels like a dream.
I’m really lucky I found a company who was willing to give an ex-teacher a new life, and I hope that those of you who are still looking for a way out can find that place that allows you to experience a real healthy, happy working life that doesn’t seem to exist in the education sector anymore.
Tutoring via 2-hour tutor programme
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From a mum on maternity leave, to gaining 17 clients upon completion of the 2-hour tutor programme and then replacing her salary in just 6 months, meet Charley Crystal.
Charley was a secondary school English teacher and head of department. She found it increasingly difficult to balance her demanding job whilst raising a young family. Following the birth of her third child, her request to return on a part-time basis was denied so she started investigating creating her own tuition business.
She reached out to us at the 2-hour tutor programme as she wanted a way to continue teaching but with more flexibility and control over her own schedule. She realised she could potentially replace her teacher’s salary by creating her own, online group tuition business.
The support and guidance provided by the 2-hour tutor coaching programme helped Charley to create her own niche group tuition business and market it effectively, supporting English language GCSE students to achieve a grade 7-9.
Charley loves being her own boss and is now able to maintain a better work-life balance for herself and her young family. Building relationships and seeing her students make progress within her programme over time has been highly rewarding and she thoroughly enjoys helping her students increase their confidence with their GCSE English.
Her advice to other teachers in a similar position is to give the 2-hour tutor programme a try as there is ample support, and you can make your money back quickly.
Local Authority – Attendance/Inclusion
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I’ve been working in schools for 31 years and a headteacher for 11. I’ve loved making a difference but the last 3 years became so consuming: working 70 hour weeks, daily migraines, feeling overwhelmed constantly by the lack of support I could provide for staff and children due to limited services, staffing issues and tight finances. Following the death of a family member and serious illness of a child in school I decided to resign in January. No job to go to and no idea what I could do. This group has been a life line. I originally wanted out of a broken education system completely but over the last few month decided to try something within an LA so I could use my experience, skills and still make a difference. I started a new job last week and will support in a local authority with attendance and inclusion. A massive pay cut but it feels right. 37 hours a week, holidays in term time and a great team.
Thank you Craig and everyone else in this group for all your advice and support over the last year. Don’t think I could have been so brave without it. 💕💕
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I wanted to add my thanks to Craig for setting up this group and his amazing and helpful website, and share my experiences in the hope they might be helpful to someone else as others have encouraged me.
I had been teaching for 23 years and at various times had considered leaving but had no idea what I could do, all I knew was how to teach. I moved schools (we relocated for other reasons) and it was harder than I expected (I’d been in my last school for a long time). The team were lovely and supportive and everyone was friendly but I was just finding it hard. After another evening of tears my husband found Craig’s site and it was an eye opener, suddenly it seemed like there were other possibilities! I read through everything, joined this group and read the other inspirational stories and started looking. After reading advice on various pages (the job search pages are helpful too) I applied for 3 jobs in the CS and was offered interviews for 2. The advice on here and the website and CS about considering your transferable skills is really helpful and exactly what I did- consider what experience you have in a particular skill and describe how you used it; as a teacher you will have many very desirable ones! I was offered a job from the first interview (I also watched lots of videos on interview skills) and have been in post since the start of August. I love it! It’s a completely different pace, there was time to learn and having my weekends and evenings back has been amazing! Although the money is less, it’s manageable and there are always opportunities for progression (and the pension is good too!).
Thank you Craig for all your amazing work on the site and group and the inspiration to really consider alternatives and to everyone who took time to share their experiences.
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I have a new job with the CS starting on Monday. The wage is very poor (close to minimum wage) and is less than half my last wage in education. I had little choice but to accept the job after a year and a half unsuccessfully applying for a wide range of non teaching jobs.
I would like to thank Craig for his work on the website and this group. The information and guidance provided is excellent and Craig should be commended for his insightful, balanced and supportive approach. Job searching is a lonely process and the site has proved invaluable to me.
Personally, I would not recommend handing in notice and leaving a job without securing another job first, unless you have substantial financial back up. I know people on here have got lucky and found new employment very quickly, and that is great, but there’s no guarantee of this and it won’t be because you are not highly capable and employable. I have found the job market to be a lottery, with many jobs already promised to internal candidates, huge amounts of applicants, very time consuming, lengthy, tough application processes and stiff competition. In my experience, financial instability and stress can be just as dreadful as teaching job related stress. Both are obviously horrid. Without going into gory details, unemployment can be totally dehumanising. I lost one of my best friends to the stress of teaching, so I don’t say this lightly.
I am sharing this perspective from my personal experience and genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.
Once again I would like to thank Craig for all his work and to wish everyone looking for work outside teaching the very very best of luck!
Civil Service – Environment Agency
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I have been reading the posts since the start of the new term and it saddens me to see so many teachers already feeling so demoralised.
I wanted to thank Craig and this group so much as it is the reason I had the courage to question my job and believe I could look elsewhere and do something other than teach. Now that I have found a job, the least I can do is share my story.
I am a mum of two and in 2 weeks I will be leaving teaching after 15 years and starting my job as a Team Leader for the Environment Agency (full time) with no background in this at all. I thought I would share my story in the hope that it might inspire others who have reached the point where they have had enough.
Firstly I mention being a mum because I have found being a mum of two under 5s and working as a full time teacher almost impossible despite a supportive husband and great colleagues. The problem is the profession, not the school. I feel like I am constantly putting school before my own children even when I try not to, getting them up at the crack of dawn, putting them in wrap around care, relying on grandparents then setting up for an evening of work once they are asleep.
In January I started actively looking for employment and it took me 6 months to find the right job. My new role will involve mainly working from home. I will work flexi-time hours, which I can fit around the school run and, most importantly for me, I can go to things like sports day when I want to and when I finish my day’s work that’s it. No marking or extra unpaid admin. and no setting work when my children are sick and I should be looking after them!
If I could offer any advice on finding a job when you don’t know what you want to do (I had no idea) it would be:
- Make your CV non-teacher like and corporate. This is vital.
- Don’t apply for 50 jobs. Spend time (a lot of time) applying for just a few that you are really interested in. Don’t send a generic CV. Tailor it to each job. Time consuming but necessary and worth it.
- Ignore the titles of the roles. Click on them and scroll to essential criteria and salary. If you meet it then look if you would be interested in it. Often the role puts you off as you have no idea what it is from the title.
- Do your homework! If you get an interview, live and breathe it between the time you are notified and your interview and do plenty of research.
Good luck to everyone. The right job is out there and thank you so much to those who have previously answered my questions and helped me.
Charity Job – Project Worker
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I just wanted to share my own little success story.
I’ve been quietly watching this group for a year and had been a teacher for five years. Since the pandemic I’ve found teaching particularly difficult (in a few different schools) and last October everything got too much and I was allowed to leave at October half term. I was ready to jack it all in but convinced myself to give teaching one last go. I went to a brilliant school on agency, really chilled and lovely and got a contract there and my confidence really improved and I looked forward to going to work. Then, the school went through loads of changes and paper planning, regular lesson observations, pressures, ridiculous high standards and unnecessary paperwork all started creeping in and I could feel myself losing it again and I started having panic attacks all of the time. One day in Summer term, I sat in the car park crying for 45 minutes after school and felt so, so bleak and destroyed. That day I thought enough is enough. Luckily, my contract ended on 31st August (it was going to be renewed) and I just walked away from it in July without a plan. I’m the highest earner in my house but my partner and I agreed that this couldn’t go on anymore and we would make it work because the alternative was me being very, very poorly. I applied for every job I liked the look of and I used this group to help me work out financially what could be manageable (which was difficult, seeing as we already struggled with money). I interviewed for a charity and got a job as a project worker, working with children and families. I have flexi time (imagine getting PAID for all the hours you work?!), holidays taken whenever, tea/coffee whenever i want, opportunities to work at home and basically all of the small little things that teaching deprives you of. I’m responsible for managing my own time and case load with an extremely supportive manager, and trusted to do my job. I’m already so much happier and feel like the dark, consuming, overwhelming cloud of teaching is starting to lift 🌥️
Also, I was offered 2k more than the listed salary due to them really wanting me after interviewing, so please don’t be put off by salaries that appear low as there can be negotiation! I have still taken a pay cut but already my quality of life is so much better 🤍
I felt so inspired and encouraged over the last few months reading everyone else’s success stories and believing that there’s a way out so I wanted to share my own ✨
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I have been a long time lurker here, and I’m welling up as I write this. After 12 years of teaching, mostly in an independent school I loved, but more recently in rural and deprived schools (following a family move), struggling to cope, I am about to start a new job, in a field I worked in prior to teaching. I just realised I couldn’t do it anymore – that I was never going to replicate the experience I had in my first school. However much I loved my specialism, however passionate I was, in the state sector it was never going to be enough. I was exhausted, overworked and under appreciated. I was expected to magic up resources out of thin air (read – pay for them myself), complete piles of pointless paperwork that kept me away from the children, and work in classrooms where the temperature never rose above 5 degrees Celsius in the winter. Neither teachers nor children were allowed coats indoors, because it apparently didn’t look nice – but the SLT offices were always lovely and toasty. It was outrageous and unbearable – and now I’m off to the Civil Service. I’m so desperately sad to have left education behind, and still wondering if it was the right choice. I’m hoping against hope that this new role works out. Thank you for all the posts I’ve read on this group – you have all helped me to make this decision, and I wish all of you the very best.
Tech Sales Development Rep
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I’ve been waiting to write this post for a what feels like years. Because I did it, I got out – in a matter of 6-8 weeks and you can all do it too!
I didn’t have to upskill in anything else or even take a pay cut. All the fear mongering was exactly that. I had 2 interviews and got offered both jobs! I left teaching after 6 years, because at 28 I knew, despite loving the children, that there was more out there for me. And I knew my hard work could pay off elsewhere. So with a lot of determination, a couple of sessions with a career coach and an understanding of what I wanted from a career I applied for jobs with these non-negotiables:
- A salary of 40k and above
- A supportive and good work culture
I have now accepted a role as SDR (sales development rep) for a Tec company. Yes Tec Sales. A base salary of 35k with a commission structure of 10-15k which 100% of SDR’s are achieving and some earning more. And please let me add, a lot of Tec company’s offer an even higher commission but I loved the product and the people so committed to this company with the knowledge I’m getting into a very lucrative career so money will follow.
I’m only 2 weeks in but WOW. The difference in stress. I’m working hard but nothing compares to the teaching exhaustion. I’m socialising, making friends, I’m not isolated in a classroom. The flexibility of working at home 2/3 days a week is amazing and I’d never go back. And you know how amazing it is to know the harder I work, the more I get out? Instead of it just being taken advantage of.
I DO NO WORK OUTSIDE OF MY HOURS. And I actually breath at work. I enjoy my full hour lunch. And I really don’t miss it one little bit!
It saddens me that the job I once loved is the job I’m willing people to get out of but if you were as miserable as me I wish that on no one and want to assure you, it can be better.
(PS: if Tec sales doesn’t get you excited, there were so many education charity jobs that were interested in ex – teachers. My best advice…NETWORK. Get on LinkedIn and chat to people.. message them and ask for a 5 minute google meet to learn a bit more about what you do. I received 2 emails this week from people telling me they had job openings I may be interested in because of this. So many people love to talk about what they do. I recognise being able to move home with my parents was a real privilege and if you can stop paying rent for a month or 2 or rely on a partner that is absolutely a privilege that benefitted me so I am sorry for the people that can’t do that. But you can spend your evenings networking and be out by Christmas! So many companies are willing to wait if they like you.)
Opened a Café
So after dreaming about it for years, the final toxic year pushed me to do it!
I’m sat in my own little cafe, after spending this morning piping on cakes, making lattes and bacon butties.
People said I was either incredibly brave or mad, my HT’s parting shot was ‘most new businesses fail in their first year, especially hospitality and catering’
Couldn’t be happier, off the anti anxiety and anti depressants, sleeping well and hair growing back.
If you can….do it.
If you can’t (yet) have a slice of cake and take a deep breath.
My little domain…. (T by the Sea, Victoria Quay, Gosport)
Motivational – Various Jobs & Training
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Just wow! My first September weekend in almost 20 years where I have barely anything to do for next week!
My lifechanging decisions and opportunities?
🎉Quit my mainstream full time English teaching job.
🎉Secured a 3 day a week job teaching AP students online
🎉Trained as a self-employed study skills support worker for HE students with autism
🎉About to begin a diploma in counselling
Yes – the job is a fixed term mat cover, but I’ve already a whole new skillset in just 3 days and who knows what it may lead to.
Yes – I am still waiting for referrals for the study support role, but I’ve gained some valuable qualifications and certificates for all the training I’ve done (CV update due!)
Yes – going back to study is daunting, and is going to cost me, but in 2 years I will be qualified for independent practice, and can be fully self employed should I wish to choose that route.
Yes – I will have less money in my pocket, but sitting here in my garden without a care in the world, listening to the bees go about their business on a beautiful September Saturday morning, is priceless!
So to anyone in this group who have started this term knowing that this will be your last year, my advice is any or all of this:
✅ Start planning now – map out an action plan (and stick to it)
✅ do some free taster days, courses.
✅ Research jobs/roles
✅ Get your CV sorted
✅ Organise some work experience, shadowing and/or volunteering to expand your skillset
✅ Work out your bottom line income you need to exist – ditch the unnecessary expenses now to start building a financial cushion
✅ Draft your resignation letter and see how it makes you feel 😂
A long post, but hope it’s worth sharing a success story. I know I have friends and ex-colleagues in this group who have had these conversations with me but are still there hating it, and everyone else who is the group for similar reasons.
The biggest and hardest step is to make the decision, but once you’ve done that, the rest just seems to fall into place. 🙏🙌
NHS Work Coach
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I came out of teaching after 20 years. Wish I’d done it years ago. Now a mental health social worker working in the NHS. Paid overtime is always available if I want to do it but there is absolutely no expectation to do extra. There’s also loads of flexibility and autonomy. Since changing career I’ve realised just how archaic management in schools really is!
I applied for Think Ahead. You complete a post graduate diploma whilst learning on the job with a bursary. You then are employed by the NHS or local authority, depending on where you are based and complete an MA in the 2nd year whilst working. It’s a fast track course, so full on, but a really quick way to change career!
NHS Work Coach
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I’m working on an NHS community mental health team as a work coach. Love it 🙂
I work with folk who have recovered from mental health illness, back into work, when they are ready. It’s person centred and they’re not ‘tied in’. I manage a caseload. I’ve worked with some amazing people in my role. It’s a very rewarding, interesting job.
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I just wanted to add to the many positive posts I’ve been seeing here recently as the new academic year has started. In my 6 years as a music teacher I was only ever at school at the start of September 3 times as I’d been going school to school as a long term supply teacher for 4 out of 6 years, and mostly didn’t start until the second half of a term. Music teaching jobs had already become so hard to find by the time I completed my first PGCE (post-16) in 2018, and even more so when I got my second PGCE (secondary) in 2021.
I remember facing numerous incredibly challenging behaviour everyday and thinking “maybe they’d behave better if I was there at the start of their school year instead of halfway through?” then of course I was proven wrong, haha!
Yesterday, I said to my colleague that I was so glad to not be in school and instead was at an extremely supportive IT company, learning how to become an IT engineer, with an incredibly friendly and supportive team. I have not had a single bad day at work since I became an IT Apprentice around 2 months ago, and continue to enjoy learning SO MUCH (ties in with my previous experiences of being a studio engineer geeking out at studio setups and equipment for this).
I have continued doing what I love despite leaving the world of music teaching – I continue to perform in bands on the weekend, and my current employers are not only extremely supportive of this, but everyone at work would ask how my gig went during the weekend, and some would try to come and watch me perform too!
I thought the “honey-moon period” of making the career change dive would have worn off after a month at my new job, but it hasn’t at all – this is my life now, and I’m so much happier compared to before that it’s just insane to make the comparison!
I hope all of you who are considering the change successfully find a career that allows you to thrive, not just barely survive each day, and realise the crippling weight of trying to keep up with the constantly increasing workloads and expectations in school isn’t universal to other jobs.
Residential Children’s Worker
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So, time to share my story to inspire people there is life after teaching. My brother encouraged me to join this group during the last Christmas holidays, when I knew I had to make a change. 22 years teaching, mainly in 2 schools, a bit of supply and a near breakdown in 2013. Took a lot to put me back together after that, but the school I had worked in since 2015 did. However, I could have 22 years of working life ahead of me and I knew, if I stayed in teaching, my physical and mental health would continue to suffer. I’d heard all of the “transferable skills” advice, I just had no idea where to start or what I was good for after so long in a classroom (mainly Y1 & Reception).
One random night in January I was awake and worrying at 3.30am. I started scrolling through the local council job pages, and found one job which involved working with young people, but not in a school setting. There was an open evening the following week, and I met a lady so passionate about her job and making a difference to the young people in her care, I knew I wanted some of that. I applied, was interviewed and got the job. It look several months for all of my DBS checks to clear (they had to go through nearly 30 years of working life!) but the timings worked in my favour, as I could see out the school year with my class.
On 1st August I started my new career in a children’s home as a Residential Children’s Worker. It wouldn’t suit everyone, with shifts, overnights and a pay cut (was on UPS2) but I’ve absolutely loved my first month. I know there are bigger challenges to come, but the team have been so welcoming, the young people have been accepting and the manager has been complimentary. I’ve had loads of training and support. I have been asked to be the new resident’s key worker, so I will have to learn fast. Staff are not expected to do any work outside of their hours, but if you do, you log it as overtime. (I can’t get my head round that!) Extra shifts can bit picked up, and colleagues are willing to swap when necessary. Annual leave is worked out in hours, rather than days. Some weeks I have 4 consecutive days off, others 3.
Am I going to miss anything about school? Yes, of course, especially my classes, my colleagues, my own space to organise. I feel for all of you dreading going back because I’ve been there, done that. I feel like I’m getting my life back, and am even hoping to come off the anti-depressants which have been my crutch off and on for the past 15 years.
There is life after teaching, and I hope you can all find it too, because anyone who has worked in teaching deserves it. Thank you Craig, and thank you [my brother].
No Job – But Made the Leap
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Been a member here for over a year probably. Sought quite a bit of advice before and decided to move away from teaching this summer after over 20 years in the profession. I’ve had a couple of coaching sessions, read a few books and whilst I am not really much closer to knowing my next step this is the first September in over 20 years where I’ve not had those feelings at the end of August. This is probably the most risky thing leaving my job without having anything to go to but I’m going to take time away, read more, try and do more research and hopefully that job I can fall in love with again will pop up along the way. Thanks to those who’ve helped on here and I’m sure that better things lie ahead. Please remember all, your health is more important than any job.
University Job – Course Administrator
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Hello lovely people! I have an interview for a job as a course administrator at a university on Thursday! Thank you to the website for helping me fill in my application. I’ll also use it to help me prep for the interview. BUT…
What is it like working in a university? Is it all year round or do they close during summer? I don’t think they do but then I’m not sure. Might there be a uniform or will it be office clothes? Is anyone a course administrator and can tell me what a day to day is like?
Thank you for any insights. I’ve tried to search but I’m not sure I’m searching for the right words.
They updated their post saying:
I just want to say thank you to this group, the website and all the advice! I got offered a job as a course administrator at a university close to me today! I am so thrilled! They even said I was their first choice because of my experience working with children – they said it would definitely come in handy when dealing with students! 😅 So there ARE jobs that really do appreciate ALL of our experience!
Feeling Very Thankful
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Today is the first day since I was 4 years old, that I haven’t been in school/uni. I thought I would feel anxious, have FOMO, be wondering what is happening…. but I’m really not!
Yes, I hoped my ex-colleagues/friends did well, and I did have a sneaky look at the emails to see what I was missing…. and then very quickly closed them down and felt thankful I had left!
I started today with a walk in the sunshine with a podcast, a fresh hot pot of coffee before going to my office upstairs. I have some really interesting tasks to be developing in my new role (started in July) and just feeling very thankful that I have taken the leap to leave the school system and hope it is a better place without me 🙂
Good luck to all those back at school this week and to all those starting out fresh. Don’t forget to enjoy a hot coffee!!
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Today was the first ‘official’ day of working for myself as a LAMDA tutor, teaching Drama to pairs in a lovely private school. Having taught for 25 years…
Day 1 of my school week. Things to be grateful for…
- No sitting in a cold, echoey hall being told how to do my job, when there’s lots of work needing to be done to prepare for the school year.
- No having to sign up for duty rota.
- Deleting lots of emails that no longer concern me.
- Getting an early finish because I’ve been doing bits of work (things I enjoy) for the last few weeks.
- Having time and space to plan, prepare resources and communicate with the lovely parents of pupils I’m teaching.
- No feeling of dread about the hamster wheel I’m about to get on.
- The lovely view from my window of the room that is now my new place of work.
- Being able to prioritise my stuff and only my stuff, not the list of dictates and paperwork one normally has on the first week.
- No worrying about the new form and how the day will go tomorrow.
I can think of more. Lots more.
University Job – Student Transition
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Not ready to post as myself yet… but I am so happy in my new role. I took a huge pay cut, but my monthly pay isn’t affected too significantly at all. I am so relieved to not be at inset day on Monday, and feel I have made one of the best decisions of my career by leaving. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this free on 1st Sept!
I’m not sure I would have gone for it without this group. I feel so lucky. I’m now working in HE (non teaching) and I really recommend it.
New role is working with schools and students to help manage their university transition process. Worth looking at jobs.ac.uk for jobs you may never have thought about 🙂
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Thank you for this group. I’m happily retired although I had some initial reservations, I couldn’t be happier. I will have less money and I probably could have carried on another couple of years, but life is precious, we live to our means, I have no regrets. Thank you to you all for being in this supportive group. GoodBye and remember we only have one life x
Trainer for a software company
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I have left teaching after 20 years. I have wanted to leave for over 10 years if not longer. I stuck it out because of money but I reached my tipping point. After being trotted on by career climbers, assaulted by a pupil, bullied by SMT, over worked to the point that I sacrificed myself and my own kids I took a stand. It’s took me a while to get the courage to write this post because of PTSD. This group did give me the courage to make the jump so thank you all for that. I am not OK yet but I know I will be eventually. Baby steps. I will be leaving the group soon and any other education related groups. Even the word school or teaching makes me panic. I wanted to post because there may be other people who feel like me. Make the leap, take the pay cut, put yourself first. I am rebuilding. There is another life after.
When asked what they were now doing, they replied:
Working as a trainer for a software company. It’s amazing.
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Did an interview for a non teaching post today on Teams.
I didn’t get a phonecall before 5pm which most likely means I haven’t got it but again I don’t feel it went well.
There were 5 questions, 4 of which were extremely long winded and detailed. I tried to prepare STAR answers to competency based questions and while this was useful I don’t think I really cracked it.
I have another interview for Thursday, any tips?
For the Thursday interview, I pointed them to the Interviews page on this website, at https://ex-teachers.uk/job-search/interview-questions/ Soon after, they heard about the job and wrote:
Didn’t get the job. I didn’t feel good about it at the time. I come over so so bad at interview its ridiculous.
After the Thursday job interview, they wrote:
Got the job today!
It seems to be a student mentor where I help some students avail of courses/work placement and mentor/monitor them as they go
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After 13 years of secondary teaching, I will be starting a new career in software engineering with one of the “Big 4” Professional Services firms in September. I don’t have a computer science degree and I have never taught it. I had zero experience in programming languages and coding before I started learning this year. I dedicated every free moment I’ve had in the last year learning how to code. (And that’s tough as a working parent of two preschool humans!)
I decided last summer after a few years of similar thoughts that I was ready to leave the profession. I have been a teacher, a HoD and for the last 7 years a HoY but once I had a family of young children I really struggled with the expectations and workload of teaching. I had already done most of what Craigs website suggested you do before you leave teaching, I had changed schools, dropped down from 1 FTE to 0.8 FTE and then 0.6 FTE.
I first started looking at charities and learning and development roles, I didn’t have much luck. One interview in October with an education charity that didn’t even have the courtesy to let me know i’d been unsuccessful (until after 3 weeks of chasing).
I reflected and went back to Craig’s website and looked at what I needed to do. What was financially viable? What do my skills lend to? What was realistic? Where were my interests?
I’d always had an interest in tech and stumbled across free resources to learn programming languages. I did a few months self teaching Python and then did two evening courses with an organisation called Code First Girls. I then applied for their “degree” course which is an intense 16 week evening bootcamp, with a job guaranteed at the end. I went through an intense interview process with my “Big 4” company including a tech assessment, group interview and 1-2-1 interview, I was told two days later I had been successful, they would like to sponsor me on the course and offer me a job retraining full time in September.
Thank you for this group and website as I used many of the resources to help me figure out what to do and how to perform well in an interview with the STAR method.
I didn’t think anyone would be interested in my experience but turns they are. Tech companies want teachers. They love our skills. The best comment I received in my 1-2-1 interview for this role was “wow, we are dealing with completely different subject matter in our industries but the skill set across roles is exactly the same.”
There are quite a few teachers who are switching careers the same way as I am and there are many who have done it before me on this group.
NHS – Applications Trainer
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I know I’m doing this anonymously, but I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone in this group for the advice and support. I have received a job offer for an applications trainer in the NHS – so I will be handing my notice in asap – and starting after Christmas.
When asked how they found the job, they added:
I looked on NHS jobs and saw the posting required a teaching qualification and experience. I then called them up and had an informal chat about the role – which really helped because it both made me more interested and gave me more confidence about applying.
Lead Curriculum Development Manager
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Hi, I’d like to share another success story if I can? I went back to work as HOD for a Design & Tech department in March 22. I immediately hated it, the work life balance was non-existent and all I wanted was quality time with my daughter. Every naughty kid, late night and addition to my workload made me resent everything about a job I had previously loved for 15 years. I started looking for options and found my way to this page, then after a long time thinking, I enrolled in a Diploma in Digital Learning Design. I did this in the dead of night after my daughter was asleep and qualified in May. I actually resigned in March, partly so that my department has a fighting chance of appointing someone good, but also to force my own hand. I didn’t want to bottle it then find myself still miserable in the job in 5 years. I then put myself out on the job market and made 40 applications before 3 interviews came along at once. The learning curve, particularly around CV writing for the business world was steep, but I nailed it. The interview processes were polar opposite to teaching, with weeks between stages and very little contact. It was gruelling, but so worth it. I found myself having to withdraw from two jobs so that I could focus on writing a presentation for the board of directors at the company I really wanted to work for, then 9 days later I got the call offering me the role of Lead Curriculum Development Manager for a skincare brand. I’ll be developing all of the online content for their apprenticeship schemes. On Friday, I walked out of my teaching job with my head held high, knowing I’ve got a lovely quiet summer ahead of me before I start a hybrid work schedule. I can’t wait to get going.
I had many conversations with similarly unhappy staff at my school over the last weeks of term, and they all said they’ve been inspired to give it a go. I’d recommend it to anyone and would happily advise on the CV stuff if anyone wanted help.
HLTA in a local school
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Just wanted to let you know I have done it. I handed in my notice in May and have now been offered a job as an HLTA in a local school. Less money but also less stress. And no more long commutes. Thanks to Craig for all the advice and everyone else who has shared their inspiring experiences. And now six weeks to enjoy that feeling of relief 😊
Left School – No plans for September
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Hello everyone in this amazing group. As someone who doesn’t use any social media I only use facebook for this group. The comments and posts have kept me from feeling like I was going insane😂 after many happy and successful years in teaching the job has changed and is no longer the job it once was. I finally left my current school and feel complete and utter relief! The scrutiny the targets the unrealistic expectations are over! I like many others on this group have not got fixed plans for September but I also know it was the right thing to do . There are lots of opportunities out there teachers do seem to get stuck in a belief that teaching is the only job . I am looking forward to new things and will do supply whilst I take time to think . Thank you for this group!
University – Student Support
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I just thought I would share in case anyone is leaving at the end of this term and is having wobbles (like I was a week before leaving). I left teaching at Easter to work at a university in student support. It has been totally transformative and I feel as though, in the words of the Mad Hatter, I’ve got my muchness back! Friday used to be all about getting in, opening the wine and listening to Radiohead. Tonight I don’t even feel like I want, let alone need, a glass (or 6) of wine, and I have been dancing around the kitchen to the BeeGees. To anyone who is making the leap, good luck and I hope you are as happy as I now am 😊
Events, Communications and Marketing Manager
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I just wanted to pass on how grateful I am to this group and community. I was really struggling to find my professional progress in teaching (I was a Curriculum Leader for Drama) and felt, like many others, very under appreciated & burnt out. This group inspired me to finally sit down and write my CV (after not having had one for about 10 years!) After that, I began putting in applications for roles I’d never even heard of but was so excited by! This group made me understand how valuable my transferable skills are in other roles and it gave me the confidence to hand in my notice and take a leap of faith.
3 months later, I am now the Events, Communications and Marketing Manager for an Academy, have an incredible work/life balance and can draw on all my years of experience from teaching in a new role that is creative, interesting and the perfect level of challenge and CPD.
This group was a lifeline, thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing!
Organiser for the Labour Party
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Just to say, I’ve done it, I’ve left! Just starting my second week as an organiser for the Labour Party. It’s been a strange adjustment, working in a big office with lots of adults, no bells to guide and punctuate my day, no panic that I’m going to be late (meaning 30mins at least before my working day starts)
I have missed the pace in one way, most because I’ve been indoctrinated into working really fast and really efficiently for the past 15 years, that my new role feels a bit slow. However I’m taking the time to do research, learn systems etc.
I didn’t have Sunday night blues the other night. I’m currently (although it will not always be like this) running a million point to do list in my head.
I have taken a larger than I’d have liked pay cut and I no longer get the school holidays, which will feel strange in a few weeks time. But I’m hoping I can drop my kids at school every morning and after working a day can be more available to them, rather than thinking about other peoples kids- which to me is priceless.
Thanks for all the support I’ve found in this group. I set myself the challenge to get out of teaching by the end of the year and managed it by March. I’ve tried to upskill myself with union courses and now I’m out
Wishing everyone trying to get out the best! Take care of yourselves, and remember this is just a job! Don’t be guilted into staying if it’s not for you anymore x
Offered new role – thanks to Group
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I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has posted CV and application tips, and to the admins and moderators of the group. This group has given me courage to keep applying when I felt it was all hopeless and I would have to go back to teaching as I thought I would at least know what to write in the application!
Today I have been offered a new role and therefore will leave the group but didn’t want to leave without a thank you.
Good luck to everyone searching, and also to those still in schools. Just remember what a fantastic job you are doing, and although it feels too much, you are incredible!
Set up own Counselling business
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Thank you to Craig and this group for helping me on my journey out of teaching; I will be leaving on the 31st August after 23 years of teaching MFL.
I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to leave teaching and started the long process of training to be a counsellor quite a number of years ago. I went to evening class and over a total of 4 years did my level 2, 3 and 4 diplomas. The latter was especially challenging teaching full-time, whilst also doing a 100 hour placement for a local charity, and completing all assignments. But I did it, and loved it, and qualified in 2019.
Then I set up my private practice, again whilst teaching full-time but limited myself to 3 clients max a week so that I didn’t burn out, with the aim of building up experience.
In October 2022, I reduced my teaching contract to 0.7 to see if I could grow my business, which I have.
My next steps now I’m leaving teaching? To keep counselling but also in September, I’ve been accepted onto an MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy. Once this is done, I will be a CBT Psychotherapist and I’m hoping my business will go from strength to strength.
Life now feels exciting and I wish you all good luck in following your dreams!!
Nature Makers Success Story
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I worked as a geography teacher in London for 13 years in various roles, including Head of Department and Lead Practitioner for Geography in a multi academy trust. I loved teaching in so many ways, but once my son was born I found it increasingly difficult to have a work-family life balance.
I was becoming frustrated with some aspects of teaching and felt that the focus on exams and attainment robbed a lot of the fun out of learning. I tried hard to make sure my students (overwhelmingly from a fairly deprived area of London) experienced trips to rivers, the coast and countryside, and had the chance to ‘run free’ within the bounds of field trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Having my flexible working request denied and returning to work effectively demoted was the last nail in the coffin.
I have always loved being outdoors, particularly taking long meandering walks in the parks or the countryside. My son was a ‘Covid baby’ so when he came along, we had no choice but to do all our exploring and socialising outside. I worried about this at first, but there was definitely a moment when I realised that not being allowed to mix indoors didn’t have a negative effect on him, quite the opposite. Around the same time, I suffered with post-natal depression/anxiety, which led me to learn more about mental health and mindfulness and the benefits of nature for our mental health. I also realised how valuable it is for new mums to have a group of similar people to interact with as more than ‘just’ a mum.
Why a children’s franchise?Find out about Nature Makers Franchise Opportunity here
I’d started thinking about alternative careers, knowing that I definitely wanted to work with children and their families. Nearly every option that appealed to me (nursing, midwifery, social work, play therapy, youth work, counselling) had similar problems to teaching in terms of a tricky work-life balance, yet seemingly similar benefits in terms of job satisfaction. I was really lost as to what I could possibly do.
One day, when toddler classes had restarted, I turned to my friend in a Singing/Acting class and said ‘I wish this was my job.’ At the time, I was half joking, but it sowed a seed. As much as I loved taking my son to the class, the reason I took him there was it filled a void in my skill set and gave him something I couldn’t. Realistically I am not cut out to be an Imaginator, however fun it looks. I also definitely don’t have space for all those props in my tiny house.
I started researching different children’s franchises. I was still pretty sceptical that it could actually become a viable career and I was scared.
I stumbled upon Nature Makers and loved the sound of the classes. I organised a meeting with Faye, who was completely lovely and I definitely felt like we clicked. I also went to one of her classes at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens (roughly 100 miles away!) with my son. I remember saying to my husband ‘I really hope this is as good as I think it will be because if not I’ll be devastated!’ Thankfully, it was awesome (so was Faye) and I left really inspired and excited for the future.
Fast forward six months and I have moved to the other end of the country and set up Nature Makers in the north east. I absolutely love my job and couldn’t be happier.
BilinguaSing Success Story
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Having worked as a secondary school teacher of MFL for over two decades, with roles including Head of World Languages, Head of Year, Achievement Coordinator and even Assistant Headteacher; I returned from maternity leave for the second time and realised that the pressured and challenging environment I was in was just no longer for me. It just didn’t fit anymore with the beautiful new world I had been gifted with my two precious girls. I wasn’t sure what was to be my next step, but I knew I needed a route out.
I had never heard of language classes for babies and toddlers (I would definitely have taken my two along, if I had!) and had certainly never considered that buying a franchise was a possibility but Ellie Baker, founder of BilinguaSing Ltd., connected with me on LinkedIn and that was it! There was no message, simply the name of the franchise was enough to pique my interest I thought “Languages? Singing? This is me! What IS this?!” Perfect timing for me and, even despite the uncertainty and lack of security that came soon after with Covid, I have never once regretted the leap I took out of teaching when I bought my franchise back in 2019. I never thought I’d be one of those people who could whole-heartedly claim “I love my job!” but I totally am! As well as treasuring being able to share my love of languages and getting to have fun singing with little ones and their grown-ups during my day, I get to walk my girls to and from school and design my week to suit me and my family!Read more about BilinguaSing franchises here
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I thought I could make it to 55 and take early retirement, but at the start of this academic year, I knew I didn’t have much left in the tank! 🙄
I had done a couple of free taster s/courses in the summer, so had a direction I wanted to explore. I took the plunge and handed in my notice before Easter, with no firm plan 🙈 but just knew I had to make the leap to give myself some head space 🤯
What I did:
👍Looked at lots of advice on here and other pages/websites
👍Had a pension chat
👍Upgraded my CV
👍Created job alerts on all the sites most relevant to me
👍 Applied for and got a place on the course I wanted
👍Was offered and accepted a Team Lead post for my exam board
👍Applied for and got 2 interviews (non-teaching)
👍Applied for and GOT a one year mat cover with CHES 3 days a week! 🎉
I’m not giving out advice and suggesting anyone should chuck in their jobs with nothing to go to, but sometimes it’s hard to see the wood from the trees. By freeing myself up I got some perspective.
✅I only followed up job leads I was really interested in, not because I was desperate.
✅I opened my mind up to things I would otherwise, have discounted.
✅I reassessed what was REALLY important, emotionally, mentally and financially.
I never realised just how many jobs there are out there and now wonder what I was so afraid of…… 🙈🤩
Still not sure how I will make ends meet or pay for my course, but I know I’ll be a ton happier and healthier and that I can ways top up with tutoring if needs be.
If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, but really want to, find something you really want to do, write lists, research, use your holidays to get the donkey work done and there will be light at the end of the tunnel. ❤️
Support Worker in Children’s Residential Care
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Posting anonymously as my colleagues don’t know I’m leaving yet…but just wanted to say thank you for the suggestions, help and advice posted in this group.
I finally summoned the courage to apply outside teaching for the first time in over a decade and I was (very luckily) successful at my first interview earlier this week. I’m really looking forward to a new challenge and a move away from the classroom!
When asked what the new job is, they replied:
It’s a support worker in children’s residential care 😊
Curriculum Development Consultant
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I wanted to share my success story!
I’ve known I’ve wanted to leave teaching for a while so I’ve tried to take calculated and concise steps towards that goal. I’m not in a position where we have loads of savings, but we’ve been careful and I managed to go part time this year. Although better for my mental health, it ultimately didn’t solve the deeper issues and I knew by December that this career wasn’t for me.
I handed in my notice very early, and I had decided I’d supply until I either found another school or my own business began to grow- which was the ultimate goal.
Since the relief of resigning, I’ve started having less mental fatigue and more boundaries, and actually am using my days out of the classroom to grow my business and it’s becoming really successful, with regular clients- something I didn’t expect. I also managed to be offered a curriculum development position- it’s consultancy work but they’ve already contracted me for a sizeable project that will just about pay the bills… so I may not need to supply at all! This wasn’t even on my radar but it was through connections at school that I was approached and asked about it.
Making the decision to leave was the hardest part but everything else fell into place. It almost felt like I had to make that decision to mentally make room for what other possibilities lay before me. For those of you on the fence, I hope this helps somewhat. It feels really cheesy but I believe everything does truly happen for a reason.
Civil Service Job
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Just want to say thank you to Craig for this group and the website and all the posts on here that have made me brave enough. After a long struggle with my mental health these last 2 years, I finally took the plunge. After 20+ years of teaching I started applying for jobs in the Civil Service. I’ve just handed in my notice and start my new job in a few weeks. I‘m not a great fan of cliches but I really does feel like the weight of the world has lifted! 🙏
Part-Time – Various
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Appreciation post for this group. I joined a few months ago when I was demoralised after a tough inspection. It gave me the push and confidence I needed to look for jobs outside of the pressure and politics of my school.
I started searching on Indeed and followed the advice on Craig’s website to write my personal statement, which I tailored for each application. I initially applied for 2 jobs, was invited for interview and offered them both. The one I accepted was a Specialist Teacher for a LA, part time (which was important to me), more money and out of the classroom 🙌🏼.
I then decided I might like the opportunity to boost my income if needed; so again, using my tailored personal statement, I applied, was invited for interview and offered a job as a casual Independent Family Group Conference Coordinator. I can give my availability weekly, WFH and it pays really well.
I feel like such a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, to know I have a clean slate for September.
So thank you, I’m so grateful for this group and Craig’s website.
Good luck to all who are still on the road to leaving.
Local Council – Education Advisor
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I am about to leave the group after successfully moving from thinking of to actually leaving teaching. From September I will be working as an Education Advisor for my local Virtual School. I am excited and nervous but thankful that this group gave me the courage to take the leap.
I used the Guardian template to re-write my CV. Searched Indeed, County Council and Civil Service websites using ‘Education’ as a keyword. In total I applied for 5 jobs and got interviews for all. First was unsuccessful, 2nd and 3rd I was offered, 4th and 5th I withdrew as I’d accepted by then.
I agree with everyone that, to get your foot in the door, it’s vital to tailor your CV/application form/covering letter to the job and person spec but after that it’s even more important to prep thoroughly for interview. I watched YouTube videos, read policy documents, researched institutions, practiced interview questions and presentations. As I was stepping out of my comfort zone I prepped like I’d never prepped for a teaching/TLR interview – and it paid off!
I also think it’s really important to find the job that’s right for you. Don’t try and force yourself to fit because you’re so desperate to get out. If you get it right, your passion and enthusiasm will shine through and that makes all the difference.
Good luck to everyone that’s still searching. I hope my post helps in some way 😊
University – Outreach Officer
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Good evening, I’ve been part of this group for a while and thought I would share my story. I was a secondary school teacher and I handed my notice in January 2022 without a job to go to, despite having a family at home to support but knowing that it would be best for all of us if I wasn’t a teacher anymore. I was lucky though, that we knew my husbands wages would pay the bills and we could just cope if I didn’t get anything and just did supply the next academic year.
I did get a job, fixed term job at the local university working as an outreach officer. I wanted fixed term in case I wanted to go back to teaching and they were happy to wait until September for me to start so I still got my summer. It has been a great move. I have had to juggle childcare in the holidays, but it has been easier than I expected especially as we can do flexible working and work from home a number of days a week. I no longer work in the evenings and the weekends are now my own, I have so much more time for the family.
I am now about to finish my fixed term position and start my permanent one in the same department with no thought of re entering teaching. There has been a pay drop and I am lucky that my husband was able to financially support me with this.
Civil Service – Environment Agency
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Good Morning all. I just wanted to share my leaving teaching success story! I left my school (secondary) at the end of the Spring term and have since started a job at the Environment Agency. Two things I’ve noticed the most since starting my new role:
1. I’m not completely tired out at the end of a day
2. I can finish work at 4.30 and not do ANY work in the evenings, or even think about work!
Thank you to everyone who helped me on my journey!
When asked about the job and where they found it, they replied:
I looked on the environment agency jobs portal. I’m a technical officer, the role is generic but they have roles in various teams at this grade. I’m at Grade 4, which is the same pay as M2 currently. Grade 5 jobs are around M6/UPS1 salary currently.
Tappy Toes Success Story
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Former Primary school teacher, Francesca Mash said, ‘Buying my Tappy Toes business has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I now have quality family time and every class is a joy to teach!’Find out more at tappytoes.com/franchise
Training/Assessing Teaching Assistants
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Morning! I have an interview today 😬
It’s training/assessing teaching assistants.
This is the first interview I’ve had in 20 years and I’m bricking it!!!
Teaching broke me and I’ve been on the sick for 6 months.
This group and website has been a godsend 🙏
Any kind words of wisdom would be much appreciated 💕 xxx
They later updated this:
Update: I got the job!!!! 😊
Thank you for all of your lovely and supportive comments ❤️ xxx
Thank you x
They also mentioned my website:
your website has been absolutely wonderful, thank you so very much xxx
LA – Business Support (Fostering & Adoption)
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Just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has posted in this group. I accepted my first teaching role 30 years ago. I have had various positions as my family has changed and grown. I’ve been at my last school about 16yrs.
This week I have accepted a job for the LA working as business support for the fostering and adoption team. It is for 30 hours a week and mainly working from home. Chasing references and DBS checks and minuting online meetings.
I am very sad to be leaving my amazing staff – but not the job. I’ve been on medication for the last few years just to sustain myself. The counselling I had a few years ago told me to leave – but has taken me a good while to have the confidence to get out.
I feel so relieved to be leaving but so sad that I am. I have fallen out of love with the only profession I know.
But what makes me even more depleted is realising just how many of us feel the same. Where will it end?
But thank you all for your wise words and understanding.
When the fun stops – stop!
Charity Job – Training Manager
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I’m hoping my story might give others ideas/hope!
After, 17 years working in the insurance industry, I decided to train to teach. I left my job and went to university to gain a degree and to complete my teacher training. It was a role I was passionate about and truly loved at the beginning. As the years progressed, demands grew and grew, targets were higher and support was scarce. Despite working with a wonderful team, and kids I loved, my school became toxic to me and I felt that I had to leave teaching and try something new. I had no job to go to when I handed my notice in – something that was terrifying as I didn’t know what might happen next.
I posted my CV online and had numerous offers of teaching and supply posts. These were not what I wanted! I applied for a couple of jobs in the private sector and I was invited to interview – so at least I knew I had something to offer.
As I was waiting to interview I received contact from the founder of a local charity. He had heard that I had left teaching and was interested in me joining him and his team. I went for an interview and we spoke at length. The role was as a training manager, developing and delivering sessions and workshops to schools, businesses and community groups. The focus on safety and wellbeing for women – including work around domestic abuse, stalking, coercive behaviour and healthy relationships.
Although the post meant a reduction in pay (often a worry I know) it was too good not to take it! So here I am…
I haven’t been so happy or fulfilled in my career for years. I’m valued and appreciated. My days are varied and interesting. At the end of the day I go home and I’m not expected to do anymore. I still get to work with young people – just in a different way.
Training and in particular the charity sector is a great option for someone with the skills that teaching provides.
Working in a Library
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I’ve been quietly reading so many helpful posts on here for a while. I just wanted to say thank you! Your ideas gave me the confidence to hand in my notice. I had no job lined up but got on with job applications. I accepted a job offer today!
When asked what job they had got, they replied:
I’ll be working in a library including school visits, helping people and working with the community so similar skills to teaching but with new things in the mix. After almost 30 years teaching it is a new chapter!
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As a teacher I have always encouraged pupils to use their education to their advantage. I have been a maths teacher for 17 years now and can’t see me working in a classroom for another 17 years or more.
Prior to entering teaching I had a career in football and through this had an interest in the human body and the how the body heals from injury. When looking for a fulfilling career outside teaching, osteopathy seemed the perfect fit. It’s a career where, like teaching I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. This time though I will be improving the health and well-being of others.
The skills developed in the classroom such as explaining maths concepts to students have come in useful when trying to explain anatomy concepts to the patients I’m involved with treating. As a teacher you need a lot of patience and to adapt when things don’t always go to plan. In the treatment room every consultation is different, and you need to be willing to adapt your thinking to the different problems you are presented with on a daily basis.
The ability to study osteopathy part time at weekends at The London School of Osteopathy is just perfect for me, first 3 years I can cope with working full time then naturally taper off to two days a week.
Being able to naturally bring teaching to an end is brilliant and I learn something new every day now. The being a student again is one of the best parts of the osteopathy course. Knowing I will help people again in a different way is similar to guiding students on their learning journey. If you have an interest in osteopathy and know teaching is becoming something which is not what suits. My advice is plan the 5 years retrain and change.
I can’t wait to what the next chapter brings. I will be able to choose to work full or part time, for myself or in a multi-disciplinary practice. A new world of possibilities awaits. And you never know I could go back into teaching but this time teaching osteopathy students like myself!
Find out more about how to become a Virtual Assistant at https://catherinegladwyn.co.uk/BACK TO MENU
Learning & Development
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Thrilled to say that I have been ordered the job of Learning and Development Advisor at a large law film. I am self funding and working towards my level 5 CIPD Diploma in organisational learning and development. I think this helped in really showing my commitment to a career change. There were two stages to the interview process, the first being a traditional style interview question and answer session. The second a 20 minute facilitated workshop as part of a blended learning approach I had to design. I hope that is of some help for others branching into L&D.
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Thought I’d share my journey after leaving teaching in August 2022. My story is slightly more unique in the sense that I left to work alongside my husband in the family business (construction related) so I did not go through interview processes. However, what I have noticed is how transferable my skills are to project management! The organisational skills and coordinating projects from cradle to grave is very much the same as teaching. I decided to undertake a 3 day project management course, mostly so I could learn the new semantics but the systems are practically the same (we just use different terminology!)
One of my biggest challenges has been accepting a change in my values as a professional. I really struggled with the concept of profit making and not ‘improving the lives of others’ as directly. So I met with a career coach who gave me a sound piece of advice.
She said that I may never (and many people are the same) find one singular line of work that meets all my needs and requirements as a person. She recommended I take a portfolio approach to my career. This is basically where you break your week up and do 2 or more jobs that give you full time work but meet your needs differently. So since then I have secured freelance work with a training company as a wellbeing and employability coach. I meet my clients out with my business hours and I have found that spark from being a teacher I missed has come back as I am helping people directly again.
The career coach advice to take a portfolio approach to my career has been the best advice I have had. Between the two jobs I can meet all my needs/wants and values. My advice is to perhaps consider what types of jobs meet your needs and then look for part time work in both! This was something I would never have considered!
University Job – Molecular Biology Lab Technician
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Just a little encouragement for you all – I left teaching in 2019 and my ‘escape job’ is at a local university as a lab technician in molecular biology. It’s not too glamorous, but it does require a decent amount of grey matter, and we still get a lot of hands-on work with the students, especially during the final BSc year and MSc projects. That ticks a lot of boxes for me. (And I leave my work at work!)
Our MSc projects start next week and I was giving an introductory course to a bunch of students today. Lo and behold, I meet an ex-pupil of mine from 4 years ago, who followed my footsteps to study Biochemistry, and is now undertaking her Masters with us! It was a lovely surprise for both of us! 😊
Civil Service – HMRC
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Hello everyone! Just thought I would share my situation with everyone as I have officially left teaching and had a week in my first job! I handed my notice in at my previous school at Christmas as I was starting a new job. Unfortunately the employer of that job withdrew the position but I still applied for other jobs. Luckily I applied for the current job I’m in now which is for HMRC.
I absolutely love it, I cannot express how much of a different life I have and I now actually have time for people in my life (this week I actually went out after work two nights in a row because I had no work to do outside of normal working hours!. Previously I was in teaching for 1 and a half years working in a secondary school, my first year was incredibly tough and I changed schools to a fantastic and supportive school but the work life balance was non existent ( I just worked).
Some advantages of leaving are; I have my life back, I have met some amazing people in my new job, the workplace itself (HMRC If anyone is thinking of applying) are amazing – they care so much about your well-being and with my role I can use flexi time which means I can work some different hours which is great!
Some disadvantages are I am paid less ( but in reality am I for what I was working in teaching?), you don’t get the same holidays however I do get 25 days + all bank holidays including the kings coronation and flexi time in which you can take half days etc, and I do miss being in the classroom as all I ever wanted to be was teach but unfortunately not at the expense of my personal life and wellbeing!
I have written this just to give an insight into leaving technically without a job lined up and with some of the benefits but also some disadvantages! 😀
University Jobs – Various
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Left in December 2021 and haven’t looked back. I have worked two different jobs in a local university. The first role was designing a data science course (I have zero background in data science so it was a fun challenge!). My current role is programme lead for an entrepreneurship programme which includes designing, delivering, recruiting, marketing and admin. As I’m in the latter half of my current contract, I’ve just applied for a Student Learning and Developer role in a different department.
I get bored easily and I have found adjusting to a ‘normal’ workload difficult so I keep myself busy with other projects (e.g. getting involved in a research project).There’s so much you can do! Be brave and go for it! You won’t regret it!
Education Service Lead
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I started following this group a couple of years ago and it gave me so much hope that there was life outside of teaching.
I hit crisis point in September 2021 after a culmination of work expectations becoming unmanageable, not being supported by senior leadership in my role and being told daily to ‘be creative’ to manage impossible and unsafe situations. My daughter was also struggling with her mental health post Covid and it all became too much. I simply couldn’t get out of bed.
I spent several months in complete burnout and eventually tried a phased return, where I was then micromanaged within an inch of my life and got to a point where I didn’t even believe I could make a decision for myself. I’ve never felt so low.
However, I somehow found some strength (pure desperation) and looked for jobs and applied! I actually pulled out of two interviews the day of the interview as they didn’t feel right and I was still too ill.
Eventually I saw a job working as an education service lead in a mental health hospital and I felt excited for the first time in what felt like forever!
I applied, I interviewed, and I got the job!
I have now been in this post for a year and I can honestly say I have never felt so enthused and empowered by a job!
My boss can’t believe how much I’ve done…because no matter what I’m expected to do, it all feels like a walk in the park compared to teaching!
I work sensible hours, my weekends and holidays are my own, I have a team to work alongside who support one another, not blame and point because they’re all so burnt out and bitter that they can’t see any other way of working.
I actually earn more than I did in teaching and I had a leadership role in secondary. The holidays aren’t as good…but I actually enjoy them now so feel as though I am more rested! The pension isn’t great…but at least I no longer feel I’m working for a pension I wouldn’t have lived long enough to receive!
I have only posted anonymously due to knowing some amazing staff who work at the school and not wanting to tar everyone with the same brush! Especially as I know some are in this group.
I spent so much time thinking I’d never be well enough to work again! But I am, and loving life! There is another way! I promise
When asked what the job entailed, they said:
I was employed to set up and lead a service for patients and some community users to learn vocational skills for future employment. I also employ some ex teachers who absolutely love their job too! It’s like the best bits of teaching every day!
Children and Young People’s Services
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Just wanted to send out a massive thank you to this group and the Facebook page. 🙏
After 14 years of teaching and as head of department (and a tough period of a breakdown due to stress) I had my first day in my new job today at the local council in children’s and young peoples services!
I loved it!!! 🙌
I just want to say thank you for all the top tips on the Facebook group and the website – I don’t think I would have valued my worth without it!!
My colleagues say I’ve been brave and I never really knew how brave I was until today. I went through a period where I questioned my sanity and whether I was doing the right thing; but today I know I’ve made 100% the right decision. No looking back just moving forward into a fabulous job and promising career!
If you are in that state of flux my advice would be simple – there is a life out there, know your worth and believe you can! X
When asked how they found the job, they said:
I literally just kept checking the council job sites. When I saw a job that I felt my skills applied to I applied but I spent a lot of time working out the key words from the job/person spec and in all honestly I barely mentioned teaching.
I took the bare elements of teaching and twisted them into more “corporate” speak. For example – rather than saying you design schemes of work I would say that I use strategic vision to formulate short, medium and long term plans in line with KPIs and performance objectives.
It’s just changing the language! Hope that helps? X
University – Senior Success and Retention Officer
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Hi all, I just want to thank the group for helping me to find a job outside of teaching. I’m posting anonymously because my colleagues don’t all know about this yet but I am leaving teaching at Easter, after 12 years in the profession. The stress levels had reached a point where I felt sick walking into work every day and work was coming before my own wellbeing. I felt guilty for ages, thinking I was failing as a teacher, and put off leaving for three years but this year I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I am going to work at a university as a senior success and retention officer, supporting international students, and can’t wait for a challenging, 9-5 job. In the interview, I was just myself – I laughed at myself, was chatty, spoke loads about how my experience and skills related to the new post and, importantly, I told them I was aware of the areas I need to improve upon but told them I am an enthusiastic and keen learner, prepared to put in the work to develop them. I also related the role to my own personal experiences so the panel knew that I have empathy for the people I will be dealing with.
Apply for jobs that are outside of your comfort zone as well as within it but definitely look carefully at the person spec and required skills. If you have most (but not necessarily all of them), send off an application – you have nothing to lose. And don’t doubt yourself – if a job sounds like something you could do but your confidence is low, remember how skilled and capable you are.
I feel a huge sense of relief but also sadness, and I think that’s okay. Good luck, all!
Civil Service – Decision Maker
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I posted recently about my confidence levels training in a civil service job after 28 years teaching in secondary schools. I really appreciated all the support. I left teaching for all the reasons that are mentioned daily by members on this site. Teaching completely broke me, despite knowing I was born to teach and loving the interaction with most students, it was no longer physically or mentally an option for me. It’s so sad to see the number of really good, caring, conscientious people being forced to leave the profession. I urge anyone thinking of leaving to do so as I wish I’d done it twenty six years ago when the doubts kicked in (and my health was already beginning to suffer). Fear and just loving working with kids held me back. Wow, I am loving my life now; coming to the end of the online technical training and finally it’s sinking in and I just love my team. SLT have been amazing, so supportive (I was able to go for a doctors appointment during working hours😮)and they contacted me to see how I was doing❤️I can’t wait to get back in the office next week when consolidation starts (another three months of practical training with a mentor 1-1). I don’t remember ever getting this kind of support or training in teaching 😢I am finally being respected and the daily dread and anxiety has gone🎉🎉Good luck everyone. There is a beautiful life after teaching.
In further comments, they stated that they found the job on the Government website:
It’s quite a minefield, but just looked up my area and what I fancied doing I’m a DM (decision maker) which quite suits me. I’ll be talking to lots of elderly people. I like the working pattern of hybrid and building flexi.
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Thinking of leaving teaching? Do it.
After roughly 5 years of being a passionate teacher, the job started to take its toll on me and I ended up in a really rough place. I let a lot of people down. But I had no choice, I HAD to put myself first. And I am so proud of myself for doing so.
I took a massive risk, and had to rely on my partner. I admit that I am so lucky and couldn’t of done it without him due to financial commitments e.g. mortgage.
I left teaching in July with no idea what I would do next. I took my CV around some local coffee shops and fortunately, found myself a little job. I had gone from my UPS & TLR pay to a less than £10 an hour, part time job. We moved house in August so our bills had doubled. It’s been a massive struggle. It was still SO WORTH IT. I slowly started to feel myself again.
The customer interaction was great, who knew that making coffee could be more “rewarding” than changing children’s lives? I was getting smiles and “thank you’s” over and over again.
I knew that this wasn’t a long term solution. I worried that I’d never find another job – since all I knew was teaching and every single job advert seemed to want experience in something else. I cried, I panicked, but I persevered!
Eventually, I got an interview for a job I applied for within a charity! (Much, much less £££ than I was on as a teacher) I panicked about what they might ask me – I wrote a post in this group – thank you to those who replied
My references flagged some things that my new employer wanted to speak to me about – again, I worried and all the horrible memories came flooding back. I posted in this group – after reassurance, and I got it – thank you
Monday I started my new job.
My new team seem lovely, the whole atmosphere was friendly and supportive. A complete contrast to what I’ve been used to in school settings.
My role is mostly working from home. Today, my day looked like this:
Wake up, drop partner to the station, go home and have some toast, go swimming and have a shower. Get home, make a coffee and log on at 9am. Complete mandatory training, do a bit of research. Put some washing on, text a couple of friends, sit down on the sofa to eat lunch. Meet with my team (virtually) to check in at around 3.30pm. Finished what’s needed for the day and then went for a little walk.
I know every day won’t be like this, I know there will be good days and bad days, I’m not deluded. But I have a really good feeling.
If you’ve read this to the end, and if your mental health is suffering due to your job as a teacher. It’s not worth your health. I took a massive risk, I let a lot of people down, I heavily relied on others.
Best decision I’ve ever made!
Thank you to the lovely, supportive people on here who continue to offer advice and spread positive vibes.
Personally, I have decided that I want to come off of the group now. I wanted to share my story first. The group has helped me massively in my transition out of teaching – so thank you so much
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Thank you so much to Craig for setting up this group, and for all your advice. Today I found out I passed all my checks for working in the Civil Service. 😃😃😃 I will be handing in my notice as soon as I know my start date. I wouldn’t have even have thought of the civil service, or had any clue about how to apply without this group and the advice on the website, so thank you so so much 😁
If anyone is interested… I had a lot of debt and realised that money was the main reason for staying in teaching. I looked at my finances and ended up taking out an IVA. This meant I could take a pay cut and apply for jobs that pay a lot less.
I applied using the STAR technique, and also printed out the behaviours and values definitions from the Civil Service website, matching my answers to them.
There are loads of YouTube videos on how to answer the behaviour questions- I watched the relevant ones, wrote out prepared answers then learn them before my interview. All the behaviour questions I was asked were ones I had prepared for!!
I also managed to get some work experience so I could say I’d had recent experience and not just been in a classroom.
I’m going to be working for the Animal and Plant Health Agency, TB testing cows
University – Educational Outreach Officer
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After 19 years I decided enough was enough. I applied for a university position as a senior educational outreach officer. I got an interview and got the job!!! Yes it’s a pay cut but I get lunch breaks, overtime, the opportunity for hybrid working and flexi time. Totally different world. Thank you so much to this group for the help and support needed xx
Project Manager for a MAT
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Thought it might be useful to share my story as there are lots of questions about project management- many of them focusing on what “I don’t have” rather than the wealth of what you most certainly do have.
For context, science teacher of 20 years with some time in the TA 15 years ago. Just 2nd in dept, nothing fancy. My school was about as good as they get, but I was still driving home in tears most nights. I said to friends that I was simultaneously bored rigid and also stretched to breaking point. I didn’t want to move schools, I wanted to look back on my life and be proud that I had shaken every last drop out of it and hauled myself out of the rut I was in.
During lockdown I set up a little side hustle business. This had grown to the point by Sept 21 that if I tightened my belt tighter than it had ever been I could jump. I worked for a few months trying to grow the business but I missed the safety net of being employed: paid holidays, sick pay, pension, colleagues.
In January the business had a terrible month and I realised how precarious I was. I joined linkedin with no idea what I wanted to do…I just made my CV sound more business-ey by talking about ‘projects’ I had run for the whole school (outreach/ cpd). I’d say don’t be modest. If you read my cv you would believe I had single-handedly been responsible for increasing numbers at my school!
In January, refreshed and READY for a proper new challenge I applied for a CS job. I didn’t even make the first sift but so what, I had started. In linkedin I followed all sorts- NIoT, Academy trusts, the national trust, the DfE, contacts of contacts. Then an advert appeared. My OH had always said I should try to PM but he is in IT and I regularly resort to turning things off and on with some swearing so that was a no-go.
The job was ‘Strategic Project Manager’ for a very large MAT. I only fit about 60% of the advert. The rest was an absolute mystery to me. I didn’t have prince 2 either. I tailored my CV a bit and sent it to the lead explaining that I didn’t have all the skills so rather than waste their time, would they still welcome an application. The answer was a yes and so I applied to the best of my ability given I still had little idea if what the job actually was!
The interview was via Teams and I held so little hope that I was quite relaxed. I talked about my ‘project experience’- about designing, leading a team, communicating and measuring value. You’d never have known that the ‘budget’ I managed was £1500. I asked lots of questions. I didn’t pretend I knew what the job was but I made it clear how I could add value. To my shock, I got it…. about the same money as I was on in teaching (UPS3 +TLR), great pension.
The role involves me managing projects that the MAT see as vital to growing and diversifying. My background gives me some credibility with principals but also means I actually can see what’s needed; for example in opening a free school I can usefully input into staffing, building design, policies. I know that we don’t need an exams officer or to register with a board yet. I stopped the order of exam desks. On the admission events it was easy peasy- talk to and reassure parents… gotcha. My line manager is great and I get constant mentoring, reassurance and praise.
It’s mentally tiring. Probably a bit more so than teaching at times as some days of my ks3 lessons were easy after 20 years. But there is NO EMOTIONAL INVOLVEMENT. At 5pm I’m done. The weekends are guilt free and while I work hard, the toll is nowhere near that of teaching. I don’t need a week off every 6 weeks just to lie in bed. I don’t lie awake worrying any more about unmarked mocks, or a parental complaint.
Teachers work ethic is incomparable. Think what you achieve in your free lesson; you call a parent, plan a lesson, drop down to finance to order books and photocopy your days sheets. I literally had to slow down initially. Turns out other sectors don’t work as though their hair is on fire. I love my employer- their values are great and they have PAID for actual CPD. Several thousand pounds worth, not just Pat from PE giving a session on something I’ll forget by next week. I’ll hopefully promote within the next 18 months and the step up is unlike a TLR where they pay peanuts but expect the skin off your back and your firstborn child.
I WFH most days, getting up at 0830 and logging on for 0900. I have 1-2 days a month in the London office (hotel/ travel paid) which is beyond exciting. I do site visits to my projects on average about once a week. Currently I’m leading on the opening of 2 SEND bases, 2 free schools and other small projects. I’m busy but I love it.
Quality Role in Apprenticeships
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Sharing my story…
I joined this group last summer (2022). I had returned to teaching in January 2022 after being on my second maternity leave. I actually returned to work early as I felt too guilty about the poor experience the students were having as no proper maternity cover was ever organised. 🤷♀️
During these two terms I felt bullied by the students and my attempts to talk to my team leader were laughed off or he agreed to take action and nothing followed. I was managing to keep on top of my workload despite my sleepless nights (my daughter was only 6 months). I’d sit up marking work until 2/3am, fuel myself with coffee all day, be a grumpy mum all evening and desperate for my kids to go to bed so I could get on with my work… I was anxious, miserable and completely exhausted. I barely saw my boss (I think he started avoiding me).
At the end of the summer term, when you start getting excited about the promise of a new year and reflecting on the highs and lows of the past year. My colleague and I were pulled aside – a student had made a complaint about us (the ringleader of the bully group). Despite telling my boss all year what had been going on he explained he would be investigating this very seriously.
I had no further update until GCSE results day.. I spent the summer worrying and joined this group.. I jazzed up my CV and started applying for learning and development type jobs. I knew I wanted to move to the private sector. I applied for everything and anything that was vaguely interesting. Then in mid August, whilst staying in Pembrokeshire, my lovely father in law who was getting up around 5/6am with me offered to look after the kids whilst I applied for a job. Something I stumbled upon on LinkedIn, but it seemed to call out to me.. I had a teams interview the Tuesday after the bank holiday and was offered the job 10 minutes after we finished. I handed my notice in on the 31st of August and struggled to make it to October half term.
I started my new job for an online apprenticeship provider in November. It is a quality role doing session observations (these are recorded teams calls) getting involved with deep dives, audits etc. I work from home it’s completely flexible and tomorrow my 18 month old is too poorly for nursery, I told my boss this afternoon and he said, do whatever you need to. It’s so refreshing! I couldn’t be happier. It was weird to have so much freedom to start with but I love being able to go to my eldest daughter’s assemblies without planning to have my lesson covered etc and feeling so guilty about it!!
There is life after teaching! Thanks for reading if you made it this far…
When asked if they had any tips for anyone, they replied:
I wasn’t particularly successful on the learning and development front.. but my top tip is be relentless in applying and don’t be afraid or think you are not good enough, if you get invited for an interview for something you applied for on a whim go for the interview anyway, it’s all great practice and exposure to a world you are hoping to be part of!
Training Officer for a charity
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Happy days! My turn to share a success story. I resigned last May with nothing to go to, but planned to do supply while I found something right for me. I was a faculty lead with 20 yrs experience and I had reached my limit. I found a temporary job with a charity as a training officer and I either work from home or travel round. I have lunch breaks, evenings and weekends, and I feel human again. I’ve just been given a permanent contract and although I don’t know whether it will be a ‘forever job’, I’ve found a world where I feel trusted and valued. January is a tough month for lots of reasons, so please keep going – there is hope and there are many things you can do. Thanks Craig for this site and all the useful advice. Love that quote from Frasier*. Sometimes you really do just have to take a leap of faith.
* Quote from Frasier referred to is, “While it’s tempting to play it safe, the more we’re willing to risk, the more alive we are. In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took…”
Team Leader (Producing Assessments)
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After over 20 years, I left teaching at the end of the summer term. I secured a fixed term position in a completely new role which I started in September. Before Christmas I was interviewed for a permanent position and was successful. Another huge thanks to Craig’s website with advice given about the STAR interview technique which I have used in both interviews.
The pay is lower, i don’t get as many holidays, but like others in this group have said, i’m not exhausted so don’t need the recovery that holidays can give. Weekends are my own, I have the energy to socialise during the week and term time holidays are great. I also haven’t had the back to work dread that many face after a holiday. I really can’t thank Craig enough for setting up this group and particularly the website which has been invaluable in my leaving teaching 🙂
When asked what their current role was, they replied:
I work for an awarding organisation as a team leader of a team producing assessments. I was a middle leader in school and I am not working in my subject area as the skills required for the role focused on leading a team.
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So I used to look at the posts on this group and think, “that will never be me, I’ll be stuck in this forever” but I saw this quote one day and every story everyone posted became my survival.
One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.
Yesterday I was offered a role outside of teaching. A culmination of over 2 years worth of work and dedication and tears. I leave at Easter and I’m so excited to go back after the Christmas holidays for the first time in years as I know it’s my last term in teaching.
So I just wanted to thank everyone who’s ever posted a success story on here for being my survival guide.
Before everyone asks:
I trained over my maternity leave to become a scrum master. I self funded my psm1 and did some work experience over the summer holidays with a company.
A scrum master is a servant leader for a scrum team which is usually a group of developers and a product owner. It utilises coaching, facilitation, mentoring and teaching skills to remove impediments and create a functional successful team. All of the skills I had through 13 years of teaching and could demonstrate using the STAR method examples of how I had utilised those skills in different situations.
Project Officer for Learning Resources
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I wanted to share my Success Story and thank this lovely [Thinking of Leaving Teaching] group.
I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer last year, I recovered but it knocked the stuffing out of me. I was teaching in FE (definitely easier than secondary, but still tough) and my line managers were Awful.
I realised that the chest pains I was having lifted in the summer and that I was broken and stressed in work and decided not to go back in September and hand my notice in for January.
The first couple of months were a bit panicked – I didn’t get interviews to things I thought I’d qualify for, I felt a bit hopeless. I learned a bit more about hyping up my transferable skills and did some free courses on LinkedIn (as well as improving my profile to play the job hunting game).
I didn’t get the job for the first interview I went for, but they asked me to apply for another role. I was offered the second interview but they didn’t seem great and it was part time. The third interview I had were incredibly encouraging- they recognised all I was juggling with teaching and really valued my experience as well as my skills. They were interviewing for 2 roles over 2 weeks but split the process so they could offer me one of the roles straight away. I’ve accepted. I’m really excited and I am so so glad I put my health and my family time ahead of my sense of obligation to teaching.
You’re all in this group for a reason, be kind to yourselves and find a workplace that deserves you and will treat you well ❤️
When asked what job they were doing, they replied
I’m going to be a Project Officer (fabulously vague) for Learning Resources. My dream job of making resources without having to teach anyone! 😅
Project Management (Civil Service)
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I just wanted to take a little time to give my success story to hopefully help others, in the same way reading the site and this group really helped me!
I left a 0.6 teaching role 6 months ago and I now work 0.8 as a HO (Higher Officer) in the Civil Service.
I don’t think I ever posted for advice as I found everything I needed through previous posts and through the website and it was all so, so, so helpful!
Pay – I was UPS2 and for three days my salary was £24k now I am 4 days and my salary is £28k. I chose to do 4 days, but three was an option. My new employer is very flexible. My pension is much better so not really a cut in pay overall particularly- especially hourly! I work my hours and don’t kill myself doing big long days and certainly not weekends.
Flexi – I choose how my day works. It’s brilliant. I’ve been able to attend events at my child’s school, run errands when needed during the day and only last week my youngest was having a really tough morning so I messaged my manager and got the response ‘They’re a worry when they’re not themselves. Don’t worry- that’s what flexi is for’
In my 11 years teaching, on the rare times I needed to have time off I was made to feel like an utterly terrible human being.
I have mentioned the baggage I come with from previous negative experiences to my new manager!
Values. The values and culture of an employer was extremely important to me. I worked on recognising what I wanted my new employer to look like, behave like and treat people like and aligned that with the two roles I applied to. I was successful in both interviews and settled on this one after the first role needed a very short notice period.
Star technique – read all the info you can for the techniques when applying. I applied to two roles-was interviewed for both-and was successful at both interviews. The role I am in had nearly 500 applicants for 5 posts. I haven’t had an interview since I began teaching when I was a fresh-out-of-uni PGCE graduate.
Work life balance – I enjoy my new role- there is clear opportunity to progress; I am valued; I am respected and I still work bloody hard! But at the end of my day, whenever that may be, I say goodnight to my team and don’t give it a second thought until the next day.
I hope this helps inspire someone else who may feel stuck, unappreciated or unhappy.
When asked a little more about the job, they replied:
My role is related to project management- a lot of the skills are transferable and I had plenty of examples to hand with leading on subjects in school.
Hope that helps.
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I have been an active but silent member of this group for a fair while. I think it gave me the boost of confidence I needed to hand my notice in back in May. A weight was immediately lifted from my shoulders and I have taken time to heal and gain perspective knowing that I wouldn’t be forced back into the rut in September. I have been teaching 19 years, 7 of those as a head of year. The last few years have been hard!
I have been applying for all sorts, had a couple of interviews and been a lot more calm about it than I probably should have been! But it was what I needed. I have spoken to an agency today and have supply work available (on tap, it seems!) so again, the pressure of finding a job has been lifted. I am going to write the book I’ve always wanted to write – which will hopefully develop into a multi million pound movie franchise- and I will just continue to search for what I really want to do. I truly believe there is something out there and that I made the right decision back in May. It was scary, I was brave, but I’m looking forward to the adventure! Thank you to this group for helping over the years. This is my first and probably last post!
Studying and Waitressing
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Teaching was sucking the life out of me and I spent every evening dreading going back to work. I longed for weekends, half terms and school holidays and when they eventually arrived I spent the whole time worrying about and dreading the return to work. What a way to live. Looking forward to something and then not even being able to enjoy it. Life is far too short for that!
I handed my notice in one Monday morning after a ”disagreement” with my then headteacher. I had nothing lined up, no real idea of my next steps. After I’d done it, I didn’t even think twice (apart from a few occasions when I was with the kids, because they were never the problem).
I’m now studying a masters in Psychology and waitressing a day or two a week for a bit of spare cash, and I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time I felt this much peace. Yeah, the course is tough but it’s kicking my brain into touch. I’m off of my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I feel like I am living, even though I still have very little actual “free” time. My life feels like mine and I cannot express how pleased I am that I just sacked it all off.
Please, please do not stay in a job or place that is sucking your very soul out of you. You are worth so, so much more than that. Be brave. It’s scary, not going to pretend it isn’t. But what comes after that initial fear is something far more wonderful than the drudgery of living for a weekend that you probably can’t even enjoy anyway.
Much love, all.
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Thanks in no small part to this group I handed in my notice to leave at Easter with nothing lined up.
I had two interviews yesterday and was offered both jobs! I’ve accepted the role of Training Designer and I’ll be working on training courses for the Navy.
It is a significant pay cut but hybrid WFH, only 37 hours a week and I’ll hopefully never again have to argue with someone about if they can fill up their water bottle 😃😃
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I’ve read the posts in this group for ages, but rarely post. But… I’ve been reading the #successstories & thought I’d add my own.
I trained in Primary 20 years ago now, specialising in Early Years. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with teaching. I tried so hard to manage the stress & the workload. But I fell apart in the end and couldn’t stay. My life turned to antidepressants & meditation to try & put myself back together again.
It took me a long time to recover. I hung on – took a job as a TA then took a (zero hours) contract as a lecturer in an FE/HE college. My finances were (still are 🤣) on the floor.
But now I’m in 4 weeks into a job as an Employment Coach for an Education Charity (and that pay cheque is coming 🤣). I had to do a lot of work on myself to build my confidence again, but I’ve found work that really works for me. Homeworking, flexibility around my kids & I actually feel like they appreciate my skills. I never thought I would find my purpose beyond teaching, but I have found something that fills that void without taking everything.
So no matter how you feel today, there is hope. Have a great evening everyone 😊
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This is the first year since childhood that I don’t have to go “back to school” in September.
Since primary school, I’ve been in education – as a student in school, then college, then as a lecturer teaching psychology for almost 20 years. I went part-time in 2016, trained as a coach in 2017, and this year I’m taking a career break to go full-time with my business.
I don’t know that there’s another group of people that would fully understand what this feels like: exhilarating and yet also so very strange.
I’ve been a part of this group for a while and so many stories resonated with me and also motivated me: every single one of the #successstories spurred me on. Thank you.
If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be running my own business I don’t think I’d have believed it was possible.
Craig has been posting about all the wonderful resources available here and on his website. I know as well as anyone how easy it is to say: that’s all very well for them, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t start a business or a new job. Where would I even start?
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Am out ! 20 years of secondary science ( biology ) all in the same school that I also spent approx 2 years as a lab tech.
This group is astonishing in how it can help you ask questions , prepare , research , give you confidence so thank you all.
I am still in the field of education this time in science apprenticeships and I start Monday. I will stick around in here for a bit to help.
Learning & Development/HR
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I’ve been following this group for a while and yesterday was offered a job out of teaching! I’ve been a teacher for 15 years and although the process to getting a job offer has been stressful, I’m hoping it’ll be 100% worth it. To anyone who is considering making the leap but is afraid, my advice is go for it. Life is too short!“
When asked what they were doing, they replied:
“Going into the corporate world! Trying to break into learning and development/ HR so this is the first step in the right direction. I enrolled on CIPD level 5 so I had a professional qualification which seems to have helped.
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Thanks to this group I felt the courage to leave my teaching role and I have received an offer for a data analyst role. Thanks so much for the inspiration and motivation! 😃
When asked about training, they replied:
zero! It’s all on job. I explained how being a teacher effectively means you already analyse data and explained with examples. (Marking, SEN, etc…) x
When asked where they began, they replied:
I just thought about the skills I had and how I could use them elsewhere, looked at the success stories on here and matched it to things on indeed x
Local Council – Adult Social Care
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First off, hats off to all of you- regardless of how you feel now, you are all heroes for the service you have given/continue to give.
Secondly, I wanted to share my ‘getting out’ story. For context, I have battled MH for the past 9-10 years and did not realise how much the job was impacting my relationships with friends and family. Things came to a head last Christmas- constant arguing and a sense of isolation at home felt like my marriage was being pushed to breaking point.
I reframed my thinking- so many of us are guilty of assuming this is all we can do- and started applying for anything that I could tangibly link my skillset to. There wasn’t a plethora of options until April, then I found more roles of interest- I started having interviews and performed well in all, the only drawback I faced was being ‘overqualified’ for a couple of roles I interviewed for. I crafted a general personal statement that I could adapt for each application- a significant timesaver.
I ended up in a fortunate position of being able to choose from 5 job offers- 2 of which were teaching roles as contingencies, while the other 3 were linked to Adult Social Care with the local council. I’ve been in my new role in a highly supportive Mental Health & Well-being team for the best part of a month now, and I honestly haven’t felt this ‘light’ in years, friends and family have noticed a calmness that had been missing for a long time.
If you want to get out, do it. You are worth so much more to those that care about you. Take care of No.1, and good luck!
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I have somehow managed to get offered an interview for a Careers Advisor at an FE College. I am shocked but so happy to have this opportunity!!
Please could anyone offer help with the interview questions and process as I will be switching from primary teaching to this?? I have been requested to do a present on ‘how I will support college students with their career choices’
I would love to get this job!! 🤞🤞 Any advice to point me in the right direction will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
I offered advice that I include in the Interviews section of this website. As a result of this, the person updated their post with:
I GOT OFFERED THE CAREER ADVISOR job 🎉🎉 plus they will fund my study for the qualification!!!!
So so relieved and happy!!!
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For those wondering of where else they can look…
I’ve been a TLR holder for 17 years…. Kept applying for DHT posts (Primary) and after 15+ interviews my resilience ran out. (There’s only so many times you can be told why the internal candidate was better…)
Fast forward to April and I saw a post advertised for a project manager in the refugee service. I knew I hadn’t got all the essential criteria but liked the sound of it and thought I’d enquire anyway. I was strongly encouraged to apply and secured an interview.
At the end of the interview I was asked if I would consider applying for a more senior post. I got the shock of my life, dropped my jaw and told them it was the first job I’d applied for outside of teaching. They smiled and told me I was underselling myself and have masses of transferable skills.
I got the more senior role. I NEVER would have dreamed I had the skills to do it. So the moral of my story is even if you’ve only studied teaching qualifications, there is another life out there and it’s always worth an enquiry, you never know where it may lead!
Junior Database Administrator
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Hi everyone!!! 👋🏻
“I am now in my second week at my sparkling new job (as a Junior DBA) after leaving teaching in March/April last year. So thought I’d update you!
A lot of my career switch was helped by a charity called Code First Girls who help get women into tech and help level out the huge gender imbalance in the tech industry. I started with an ‘Introduction to Python’ course with them, and then studied what they call, a Nanodegree. I learnt so much and it was all sponsored by my employer, with a promised job at the end.
I know it is still very early days with this job, but the difference in culture has been a huge shock. Everyone has time to chat to you, they encourage hour-long lunches, I can WFH, you’re not expected to work more than 7.5 hours a day, you get perks, healthcare, free food in the office, a relaxation room, there’s a games room, you’re encouraged to collaborate(and you actually have the time to), salary is better than UPS3… I’m in awe at the minute and feeling like I’ve fallen on my feet.
Training at the Home Office
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Well it’s happened, I am finally leaving teaching. After I handed my notice in I left in august with big dreams and a lot of nerves. I am nearing the end of a term of cover at a lovely private school but have had a provisional offer for the home office. I am so excited that I took the plunge and looking forward to starting my new career. It has taken some time to adjust but I can not believe how much happier I feel right now. I do have to wait for security checks before I get my start date, so will still be doing cover for a while, but I am really looking forward to getting my life back and trying something new. Good luck everyone with what ever you decide to do, but remember it’s only you who can decide what you do and sometimes it’s just worth taking that jump to see what the world can offer.
It’s been a long time coming but hopefully a new start, keep the faith everyone, you are amazing, you have given me the courage to make the change.
Adult Education and Online Teaching
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Can honestly say I’ve never been happier. I walked out on my school in September. Toxic, unhealthy. Couldn’t take another day. A scary few months of collecting unemployment, Door Dashing and subbing. Finally landed two jobs I love! They are both teaching, but one is part time at a community college working with adults and the other is teaching 100% online. Such a relief not dreading work everyday. It’s all the best parts of teaching and none of the other crap. So, hang in there. 💓
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It’s official. I will no longer be a teacher after this academic year 😁 As of August, I will be a learning technologist😁
After months of feeling lost, uncertain, lacking in confidence and overwhelmed about my way forward in life, I’m so glad I found this group. I realised I wasn’t alone and that I should actually act on those feelings to take the next step in my working journey.
I did have to take a pay cut but after checking my finances properly, I realised I could afford to make the jump. This process made me realise that I have so many transferable skills that are applicable for other sectors – in my case using technology to help learning.
Big thanks to Craig for his help too as I wouldn’t even have heard of the role of it hadn’t been for him.
If you’re feeling lost, don’t give up. There are jobs out there even though it may not seem like it right now.
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Hi, I just joined today and I wanted to share my story. In short, I was a secondary Science teacher for almost 10 years (2010-2020), of which 7 were spent in various schools/ colleges etc, and 3 as a supply teacher, before I quit the profession back in 2020.
I enjoyed the first few years of my teaching career, but over time I felt more and more under-appreciated, constantly stressed out and disillusioned with the education sector as a whole. I felt stuck because I felt that my undergrad degree in Biology and PGCE didn’t give me many ‘feasible’ options besides teaching. I was already at the top of the main-scale so I couldn’t afford to go for other low-paying jobs. But I knew I had to make a change or else it would become increasingly difficult to eventually change career when I am older.
I thought long and hard about what else I wanted to do and what I thought I would be good at, and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to get into the tech industry and start fresh again. So I quit my permanent role, signed up with a number of teaching agencies, and took out a postgraduate loan to study for a Master’s degree on a part-time basis while I did supply work to support myself.
It was a pretty tough two years, where I had to juggle supply work from different agencies for 4 days a week and attend lectures and study in the evenings. Money was tight and it required much discipline with time, and it meant cutting back on the non-essentials. Luckily it worked out in the end and I graduated with a Merit in Data Science.
I applied for a graduate scheme in one of the leading IT consulting companies and went through with the assessments and interviews. I was accepted within two months after I finished my masters. Needless to say I was ecstatic about this! I was due to start in the next cycle in early 20. I kept my head down and continued to work as a supply teacher despite the covid cases going up until the schools were eventually closed, it was a judgement call I came to thank later on as the furlough scheme kicked in.
So Covid happened, many companies were going into lockdown and froze their hiring efforts. The company I held the offer with postponed my start date. So I had to make a decision on my next move. I decided to use the time I had to up-skill through various online coding resources, free virtual events, free online bootcamps and virtual internships. They really helped me enhance my skills and confidence in preparing me for this new sector. I made it through and when things opened back up again in Summer 20, I had a confirmed start date in late 2020. I was lucky, I had the support of my family and received a small payment for the delayed start. It came around soon enough, and the rest was history.
I really enjoy my job now; I feel like I have a new sense of purpose and a whole new world in front of me. I got on really well with others on the grad scheme despite being a decade older than them! I am learning new things and every day is exciting for me. I thought it would be tough for me to work under senior colleagues who were younger than me, but it didn’t feel like that at all. My company is really diverse, tolerant and understanding. I have far greater flexibility to work from home and I am earning about as much as I did when I quit my job as a teacher. I am so happy I made that decision to leave teaching and now I am on my next chapter as a data scientist.
Teaching English to young offenders
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So today was my last day in a school setting. Thank you to this group for giving me the courage and inspiration to remove myself.
When asked what they would be doing, they replied:
I have accepted a post at a young offenders institution teaching English. Coming from a primary background, it will be lovely to teach just my subject and because of the environmental you can only work within you working day.
Exam Board – Curriculum Development
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So, it finally happened and I’ve secured a job outside of teaching! 🎉🎉
I know how scary it is to hand your notice in before securing another job and thankfully, for me it had worked out. However, the advice and support from this group has been invaluable and I can’t thank you all enough for that.
There is something out there and they will massively value your skill set!
When asked what they would be doing, they replied
Going to be working for an exam board in curriculum development!
Exam Board Job
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So that’s me done with teaching after 18 years. Start New job Monday working for exam board.
There are jobs out there folks. Don’t give up!
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I did it! Had a locality manager interview on Tuesday and found out today I’ve got the job! I’m so excited!!!!!! Made a brave decision to leave without a job to go to and feel today like it paid off. I never would have been brave enough to apply if I hadn’t pushed myself to hand my notice in and take a leap xx
Special Needs Officer
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I wanted to give an update as this group gave me so much courage to finally (23years) leave teaching….
I handed my notice in without a job to go to. I applied for a post as a Special Needs Officer for the LA but was unsure if it would be right for me as was worried it might be out of the fire 🔥 and into the frying pan 🍳! The salary was the same as I was on at UPS 2 with a SENCO allowance. I got the job and decided I really wanted to give it a go.
I’ve just completed 5 weeks and can say that I’m so very glad I took the plunge. I’m full time but do my hours over 9 days so I get a day off a fortnight. I’m currently completely home based. It’s a very busy job but with NO interruptions and it’s good to be busy when you can stop at the end of your working day. I can take and collect my daughter from school, as long as I do my hours which is a blessing. And I can totally switch off at weekends! The job certainly isn’t stress free and some of the meetings can be difficult but I feel well prepared for this coming from school. I did a few hours overtime last week and my line manager told me I needed to take the time off in lieu. I said there was no need as I felt I was a bit slow to get through work due to being new. She insisted!
For anyone agonising over whether to leave, this was me for 23 years. I felt trapped, stuck and very, very unhappy. I didn’t see a way out. Lockdown made me take a breath and look at what I wanted for the rest of my career. I looked at finances and prepared to make some big changes (although I ended up on the same pay!) I built the confidence to hand my notice in and apply for jobs. It was just my time and I’m so glad I did.
I no longer count the weeks (days)
I no longer live for the holidays (which is good because I don’t get as much holiday 🤣)
I no longer dread Sunday evenings
I no longer struggle to get out of bed
I hope this helps somebody, like Craig’s group helped me 😁
Police Control Room Operator
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I applied for a job today as a Police Control Room Operator. I used the STAR technique and now just have my fingers crossed.
Readers, they appointed me!* I’m exceedingly happy!
* Subject to clearances, vetting, health checks, etc.
Today’s my first day of training as Police Control Room Operator, alongside three other former teachers in our group of 17. So far, so good.
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Did my first day at my new charity job today. Haven’t even done the actual job, only the training, and already I’m 100% sure it was the right choice.
I am allowed to choose whether to work from home, the office, a coffee shop or anywhere else, regardless of COVID. I am allowed to adjust my hours around my life and commitments or simply according to my preferences.
I was encouraged multiple times to ask questions: “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” and “if you don’t know something it’s not your fault, it’s because somebody didn’t tell you”
I can choose when to take my lunch break. I can pee whenever I want.
I was given a laptop to take home and work on instead of being expected to use my own. I was told that I can have a keyboard, mouse, backpack or any other accessories I need. If I ask they’ll be couriered to my house.
I can request leave for any reason whenever I want. I’m getting a paid holiday over Christmas despite the fact I’ve worked there one day.
But best of all. I told my manager that a family member is seriously ill and I was at the hospital late last night and I was really worried about making a bad impression in my new job. She told me that family comes first, I can rearrange hours or take time off if I need and all I need to do is talk to her and not to worry.
Why did I do TEN YEARS as a teacher??!
Curriculum Coordinator – Adult Learning
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After very nearly 20 years of teaching I handed in my notice about 2 months ago with nothing to go to and no idea what I wanted. But so burnt out id been off with stress for the first time a few months before and with a total realisation that what was being asked of me, always more more more, was both impossible and unacceptable.
As a SENCo I looked at and was interviewed for a couple of advisory and special school jobs- it was a very important part of the experience as it made me understand I was ready to step out of schools. I have now been offered a job as a curriculum coordinator for adult learning and in the offer and a follow up meeting I already feel more valued than I have in a long time.
Am I scared about what the change in hours means for my children and I…yes!
Am I worried if I am ‘up to it’?…yes!
Am I anxious that I don’t even know what the new job will be or be like…yes!
Does it feel like the best thing I’ve done in a long time….YES.
My advice would be don’t put up with it any more, your life is worth more. I have always loved my job and always ‘stood up’ for it but no more- enough is enough. Good luck everyone 😀
Local council – Adult Education
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I’ve done it. I’ve got a new job. No more SLT for me. Imposter syndrome has been beaten into me and I am now getting out. First interview and was successful. Go for it everyone.
When asked how they found it, they replied
It was a chance finding. Popped up on my local Facebook. Clicked on it. Said it was leading T and L for a small adult learning hub. Perfect. Applied and interviewed today, They rang at 4pm. So excited. Lots of jobs on charity website too.
University – Widening Participation
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Following just over 2 months of leaving teaching I wanted to share more about my journey. I really hope it resonates with people and gives people a sense of hope about their own position – I took so much from this group and the support within as I left teaching, that I wanted to give back and help show people they’re not alone. So, apologies for the long post…but, hopefully this is useful to someone.
In mid-April 2020, whilst in lockdown, I told my partner I wanted to leave teaching – he was shocked but supported me. He said he was well aware things hadn’t been good and wanted me happy. Then, I told my dad…he was also shocked but supportive. He told me he’d always been worried about me burning out but that he thought I was destined for Headship. I apologised for disappointing him. He laughed and told me not to be stupid. Then, I contacted my Head explaining how unhappy I was – he set up several meetings to try to rectify the things which were stressful – he was genuinely great. He sorted lots of things to try and help. I felt ashamed as I told him that I could feel my mental health declining and felt embarrassed that I’d let him waste his time appointing me. He corrected me multiple times and explained that things change and there’s no use in being unhappy somewhere.
From this point on, the pressure started to lighten. I could see sunshine at the end of the tunnel.
During this period, I started to look for jobs. I had no idea where to start, no idea what to look for. I came to this group frequently for inspiration! I was convinced I needed no less than 40k – I couldn’t take any less. I started to look for jobs around this mark – finding a handful which I felt like I fitted the criteria for. Applications made but no interview. Then, someone here recommended local universities… I started looking but everything was lower than the wage I wanted. I quickly realised I really needed to look at my finances. On recommendation from someone on here, I set up a finance tracker and realised I could get my bills down significantly with a small amount of effort. This allowed me to widen my job search – I was now looking for 30k instead of 40. The pool opened up dramatically. I applied for another pack jobs – CPD specialist, Staff Development Lead, Open University, Teach First, my local universities. In the meantime, I set myself up on TES and started selling resources, as well as starting several courses on Teachable (again tips from here). I started looking to tutor and signed up with several agencies as well as set up my own tutoring page on Facebook. All of this in planning to have a strategy. Then, FINALLY…in October 2020, I got an interview. I prepared my socks off, and still felt like I’d failed. 5pm that day rolled around and…I got it. She said, in fact, I’d been the obvious choice and blown the competition from the water. Teaching had shattered my confidence and even though the interview had gone well – I still felt it wasn’t enough (this still makes me sad). I cried on the phone …to my new employer. Thankfully, she was also an ex-teacher and knew exactly what to say. She talked me through the process I’d feel next, including the shedding of my teacher skin and the transformation into finding myself. It was… extraordinary to have someone understand it so well.
I started my new role in January…and it’s incredible. Incredible.
Yes, I’ve taken an almost £700 a month pay cut. But, it is so absolutely worth it. I am, 2 months in, starting to feel like me again, my confidence is improving and my work life balance is better. My role is still challenging and still has its stresses but nothing like before. I’ve started counselling through the NHS to help me further and my relationship both with myself and my partner is significantly better. I am forever in debt to groups like this one because you gave me light when I thought there was none and some hope when I was in absolute darkness…and most of you won’t even know it.
So…if you’re in that darkness now and it’s you crying at your desk…please carry on. Make your plan, know you’re not alone, know you’re not a failure, you are strong and you can absolutely do this. It doesn’t matter if you were planning on career progression and don’t want it anymore – that’s ok. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re grieving – that’s actually normal (I read it in an article from this page!). You are more than teaching and it is not the only thing you have to offer. You deserve to have your weekends, you deserve do what you like in your evenings…life is not just for working. Anyway, I hope my story echoes with some people and maybe gives some people hope. Life changes and the best we can do is go with the flow and enjoy it.
No Job – But Happy!
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Today, after a huge amount of stressing I have handed in my resignation ( no job to go to yet , slightly anxious husband, we can afford it so long as the car doesn’t break down before I find a new job 🙄) but I cannot explain how good I feel. I can actually contemplate Monday without feeling physically sick, knowing that I can let all the s**t wash over me, focus on my students and do the job I trained to do with the knowledge that I hold no value in the opinions of those who seek to undermine me.
All my friends and family have been nothing but positive about how I’ve done the right thing and if I ever questioned my teaching ability I have friends queuing up to make a list for me to tutor their children .
Thank you to the bottom of my heart to this group for the support to give me the courage to do what I should have done ages ago.
Who knows what the future holds but I definitely know it involves enormously improved mental health. 😁😁🥂
EDIT: I’m overwhelmed by the response and support I’ve had to this post. Thank you. ❤
To anyone who is here because they are in a toxic school all I can say is resign and do it now !
Local Council – lead EHCP coordinator
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Thanks for all the messages of support. I’m going to work as a lead EHCP co ordinator for my local council. It’s a step away from school leadership but using many of the skills I’ve learned along the way.
I’ve watched post after post of dedicated like-minded professionals feeling beaten down by the pressures of teaching. I’ve felt exactly the same and wondered if I would ever get out.
I finally took the plunge at half term and handed in my notice with nothing lined up. Then found and applied for a job not in a school and today got it!
There is light at the end of the tunnel…. Roll on July!
Don’t give up!
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I’ve just been for an interview outside teaching, and got the job! It doesn’t pay that well, to be honest, but the perks make up for a lot.
I used to be a chemistry/ science teacher, was head of chemistry and 2nd in science in an enormous comprehensive, and had ambitions for headship.
But them my daughter arrived, and climbing the career ladder didn’t appeal as much. So I’ve done part time permanent teaching, followed by a stint as a stay at home parent, with 1 to 1 tutoring to keep me current and have an income, followed by more part time permanent, and eventually long term supply teaching.
And long term supply made me realise I’d lost the passion for teaching. And like so many of us, it wasn’t the actual teaching, it was the admin, the sheer hard work of dealing with understandably bonkers behaviour from the kids post covid, and the lack of forward planning/organisation from this particular school.
So now I’ve just got a job as a chemistry technician. The hours are 8.30 till 4.30, and hopefully nothing comes home. My son goes to the school, so he no longer needs a bus pass. I get free use of the school gym after work. I get a free lunch. And if I make the maximum contribution to my pension plan, the school will pay 10%. So although the gross pay is less than my teachers pay would be, my take home /tax free component of my pay is so much better.
Looking forward to starting the job.
Thanks for all the advice about applications and interviews, especially the star technique, on Craig’s website. https://ex-teachers.uk
Private Tutor and Supply
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My story …..
I finally resigned in May and left at the end of the academic year. I sold my house and recently moved 250 miles away, back to close to where I grew up and have just got settled in my new house.
The move meant I have paid off my mortgage from the old house, have bought a new house outright and have zero debt and a nice bit of security left over in the bank.
I’m currently retraining as a personal trainer for menopausal women, those recovering from illness or with exercise referrals from the GP and adults with disabilities. I’ll qualify in the spring next year.
To keep the wolf from the door in the meantime, I’ve just started private tutoring and am slowly building a small network of lovely local students and families.
I’ve registered with a supply agency that has plenty of work (will start doing one or two days a week next week but they’re already offering me jobs) for short term casual work whilst I qualify.
The point is that there is a way out and I’ve taken a leap of faith but it’s working out so far.
I was an assistant head in a big secondary and working ridiculous hours.
Who knows where this will end but for now it’s all good 😄😄
Hope my experiences will help silence the fears of others that are on the brink and lacking the confidence to go for it – you can do it! Xx
Exam Board Job
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So, had interview last week. Was told would find out Friday if I was successful. Hadn’t heard anything, so was all set to email when got an email from them. Apparently the HR person had come down with covid and was off and so they were catching up. Short story, they offered me the job! It’s working for an exam board. It’s not teaching, but still in education. Monday to Friday, 2 days a week in office, rest working from home.
Only problem now is they’d like me to start in July. I’d put my notice in last term to finish end of August. Will need to chat with the head when I get back to see if they will let me go early.
Thanks for all the advice and support from everyone in here. You’re legends.
Remember, there is hope for all of us and companies and individuals want people like us. We’ve all got skills that employers need.
Have a good Easter everyone. XX
Pet/home sitting services
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Probably shouldn’t brag (because I know I’m v fortunate to only be p/t & have a very supportive husband – main earner). However (quit at Christmas after 25yrs) … tomorrow I’m officially starting at a company that arranges high-end pet/home sitting services.
I’ve been off on long term sick leave due to chronic eczema & had to leave (currently applying for ill health retirement). I was fortunate to find this job – one of my best friends works there & let me know about the vacancy, no interview, just a chat with the owner! It’s a pay cut BUT it’s only 5hrs a day for 3days a week (10am – 3pm), meaning I can get up at a reasonable time & apply all my creams. It’s perfect.
Today, I booked up 4 weeks of Pilates classes on a Mon evening & Bounce classes on a Weds evening! When I was teaching, I was always far too shattered & the weight has crept on!
Honestly, if you’re older & can afford it, there are all sorts of jobs out there & you can take your pension early to boost your income. Don’t stay & wonder if you could – make it happen! 🤞💕
University – Admin job
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Well I went and did it! After 26 years in teaching and becoming increasingly disillusioned this year, I applied for several admin jobs at unis. Had several knock backs but today had an interview and felt I’d nailed it. Came out and chatted to the next candidate who said he was currently out of work but had worked in a similar job. Felt I stood no chance against someone who can start immediately and who has the right experience, but an hour later I got a call offering me the job! I’m so excited! I’m very grateful to Craig’s site and this group for so many ideas and for giving me the confidence to break away.
Local Council – Assistant to Commercial Executive
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I got a job! Assistant to a Commercial Executive employed by the local council. Basically, they have lots of projects and need someone to help make them happen! I can walk to work and have a work life balance! Yay!!!
As I was asked to share my success story here it goes, nothing exceptional though. I just think it was meant to be, the stars were aligned, bla-bla-bla…
I knew teaching didn’t feel right any more last year. It had been building up and the way the school was marginalising MFL didn’t help. I needed a way out so looked for any job I could take on. A maternity cover came along and I thought it would be either a stop gap or it would help me decide whether it was definitely teaching that wasn’t for me any more. As summer came along I thought I would start investigating and researching what else I could do. I looked at my transferable skills, what bits of my job I enjoyed the most, what my strengths were, what I did no longer want to be part of my life… Researching, planning, organising was what stood out for me. That simple step of envisaging myself doing something else than what had been my vocation for over 20 years kickstarted the whole process. I decided to look into project management and obtained a qualification to have additional concrete but more industry like evidence of all the skills I possessed. But looking at job opportunities it was obvious experience was required, even at junior level. So I broadened my search and accepted I’d have to take a bigger pay cut than anticipated. I looked at and applied for more administrative roles. I got through one round for one job as a PA to the CEO of a charity (the charity bit was my main motivation); I had to send a 10 mins video of myself answering questions. The questions themselves made me realise it wasn’t really for me as it was going to be mainly remote, however it confirmed I would enjoy this type of job. So I carried on applying for similar ones. The one I got is at our local Convention Centre. That sounded like an amazing opportunity. It is not PA (I actually mis-read it and applied as if for a PA role 🤣) but it turned out to be even better: Commercial Executive Assistant, so opens up lots of opportunities to get experience in project management, events organisation… it has made me realise that this is a start and not the end of the journey. Yes we are going to have to watch our spending, but my immediate priority is my mental and physical health. My ambition is to learn the job and add to my skills. If I love it and I am good at it, I am very hopeful I can get promoted. If it doesn’t happen, I will have gained experience which will open up more opportunities.
The moral of my story is:
1. Take a good look at what you can do, still want to do, are good at and what you would like to do. You also need to be firm about what you are not prepared to do any longer, because it is not a fatality, you are in charge of your happiness and well being.
2. Research the jobs that match your ambitions and cast a wide net.
3. Invest time in creating a LinkedIn profile; it really forces you to look at yourself from the outside and to bring up your strengths and what makes you stand out. Spend the time thinking about the wording of your CV, applications…
4. Be open minded and let your plans change as you go along.
5. Be yourself at the interview. Mine (first and second round) felt very informal so they knew what they saw was what they got and they liked it. If it doesn’t feel right it’s not meant to be and they are not people you’d want to work with.
University Job – Admissions Team
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I’d like to update this group with my experience of leaving teaching (quite long sorry!). In January a lot of things in my teaching life made me very miserable and with the support of my family I decided to put a plan into action. I’d always thought I’d teach until I retired, so it was quite a big decision, but I was determined.
I researched ‘secure’ local jobs, such as the council and civil service, found this wonderful website and group, checked out my pensions and how to complete applications, joined LinkedIn (didn’t really work for me), did a few mini courses (coding, which did not suit me, and Word, which I found really useful: mentioning both of these in applications showed I was keen to keep my PD up to date and I was willing to try new things) I also contacted a recruitment agency but that did not work out either.
I then decided to focus on jobs at a local university as the application process was straightforward and I really struggled to convert a teaching personal statement to the CV required in other organisations. I spent every weekend and holiday on finding a way out. I wrote a lot of applications, got an interview which wasn’t brilliant but the feedback did give me some hope.
I asked teaching and non teaching friends for advice with my supporting statements, which was invaluable. I had a few more unsuccessful interviews before finally practising my interview answers aloud with a colleague as we shared a lift home. This really helped as it made me think about examples of how my teaching and management experience could transfer into the new job.
I succeeded in getting a job in the uni and have now been there 2 months. I wouldn’t say I love it yet, but there are many things I am really now appreciating:
Evenings, lunch hours and weekends are my own and I can’t access my work email from my phone, so work is restricted to working hours. I love not being a manager any more! No more ridiculous meetings to give me more to do! Working from home several days a week means I can now pop out for appointments and do bits around the house. I’m only expected to do my role. I don’t get suddenly requested to do something really time-consuming in no time at all. Any extras are voluntary and I get time off in lieu. I can go to the loo and get a drink whenever I want. I am trusted to do my work. I can even go on holiday in term time. If I’m off for an appointment I don’t have to spend hours planning my cover. There are a lot of other roles in the organisation that I can try for once I’m more familiar with the system.
If you’re in the same place I was, work out your plan. Spend time on it to work out what isn’t right for you as well as what could be. Good luck.
Operations Coordinator for a Charity
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I’ve accepted a job as an operations coordinator for a charity! If there’s one thing teachers absolutely know how to do, that is planning and organising.
I had a load of help from my hubby who helped me “unteach” my CV and application to focus more on the skills used rather than the job.
There’s also a book called “how to interview like a top MBA” that I read. It was fantastic. There’s a chapter in it about how to handle an interview if you are a non traditional hire, along with loads of common interview questions with model answers. Worth a read.
Of course, Craig’s website was valuable too!!
Good luck everyone 🤩
NHS Mental Health Peer Facilitator
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Hello! Hope you all had a great Bank Holiday weekend. I have a job interview tomorrow on Teams for a mental health peer facilitator role for the NHS. It’s my first interview so super nervous. I’m using the national careers service and NHS website for interview prep, but of anyone has any further tips/advice then i would be super grateful! Thanks in advance xxxxx“
***edit*** I GOT THE JOB 🥳
Thank you all for your help and kind words xxxx
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It’s officially been a month since I started my first job outside of teaching. I taught computer science for 6 years and had worked my way up to head of department.
In school I was working 15 hour days during term time, I worked weekends and holidays and felt guilty for leaving the house instead of completing the impossible backlog of work I had. In December, I accepted a job as a software engineer and started after the Easter holidays.
My entire career had been in the classroom, so I was terrified…what if I couldn’t meet deadlines? What if my pace was too slow because I am still learning? How much overtime will I have to do to stay afloat? What will I do without school holidays?
My first day was just onboarding paperwork. My second day was just observing. At this stage, 1 month in, it would be perfectly acceptable for me to still be learning and observing…I have decided to contribute to projects because I am used to the workload of a teacher.
I start at 9 am. I finish at 5pm. These times are flexible, so I can attend appointments, take driving lessons and run errands as needed so long as I make the hours up later. My evenings are completely mine. My weekends are completely mine. My working time currently feels like a school holiday….I work normal hours and have the rest of the time to myself. I don’t worry about work over the weekend anymore. My mental health has dramatically improved, I am finally available to take driving lessons so I can get about more easily and I feel like I have my life back. The crazy steep learning curve pales in comparison to the workload I have lived with for my entire professional life.
If you are scared of leaving, remember that teaching has a workload unmatched by most industries… working at the pace you are used to in most other work environments would scare people! You won’t miss school holidays when you have evenings and weekends back…. you’ll stop wishing your life away.
Yes, the notice period is long, but the right employer will wait for you. You may also be surprised to discover how proactive many other industries are when it comes to staff wellbeing…when you ask for help, people are equipped to provide it…not everybody is drowning under the same mountain as you outside of school.
If you are thinking of taking the leap, but are concerned about losing holidays or the possible workload/onboarding time of a new role…you can do it! Don’t stay in a position that makes you miserable because of the perceived benefits…school holidays aren’t time off if you’re working through them at home! You’ve got this!
Set up Copywriting/Proofreading Business
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I posted recently about advice around copywriting and proofreading. As an English teacher I obviously have language skills but had just lost sight of my transferable skills! I’m already doing a course but upped my pace and getting A grades. I also registered with an online work site and posted on social media (to friends) that I wanted to build a portfolio and get some testimonials for LinkedIn etc. I immediately had several messages including one from a friend who needs help with writing online content. I feel better already and am now in the process of planning to leave teaching this year. I’ve got a domain name, potential work, building a profile and will just do supply while I make the transition. I feel excited about my future for the first time in years!
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I had a Civil Service interview yesterday which went really well. 🤞🏻
I’ve been working as a supply teacher for almost seven years now (since I had my little boy) and to be honest, I love it. I have my regular schools who love me too. I just wish that there was some security and better pay. I’m too scared to go back to being a contract teacher, as I don’t want to sacrifice family time and I know it would be too stressful for me now. I need to move on. As a family, we don’t own our own house, we need a new car and we just have things that we would love to do and places we’d love to go. So I’m hoping for a new start. I will really miss the children and teaching, but I’m ready for a change now. Wish me luck!🙏🏻🤞🏻😃
Thank you so much for your good luck messages. They paid off – I got the job! 😃xxx
Set up Celebrant business
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I thought I would share my story with you.
I left teaching seven years ago – long story but I found myself in Spain for a year wondering what on earth I was going to do with myself after working full time all my life. Sitting watching weddings almost every day, I happened to catch an episode of Place in the Sun and there was an independent celebrant on the programme. I had never heard of one before.
For anyone who doesn’t know, we write and deliver bespoke weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies, vow renewals etc. A real alternative to the other options of a Church or Register Office. You can also opt to have a ceremony in any location of your choosing – field, beach, mountain top etc.
So, long story short, I trained and started my Celebrant business – it has been extremely successful and I continue to deliver weddings and funerals. All the transferable skills from teaching were so useful including being swan like when infants in the audience begin to shout! No bother at all for an infant teacher!
I was then approached, because of my teaching experience to help write a new online curriculum for a training organisation and taught adults this time (very different!) for 18 months. In January this year, my colleague and I (she is ex BA trainer and former Head of Celebrant Training) decided to start our own celebrant training organisation.
Becoming a Professional Celebrant really is a very good option to consider.
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Thank you so much to this group!
I got offered a job as academic mentor last week and can’t wait to start.
Still working with children but in smaller groups and less stress than full class teaching.
Teaching Dance Classes
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I have been observing for a little while now and finally had the courage to hand my notice in on Tuesday. Thank you to everyone on this page – you are all inspirational and have made me realise I am not a failure, I am just closing a chapter on my teacher life and opening a brand new one!
After 13 years, I am leaving to teach dance classes for parents and tots (EYFS is my passion) and also providing workshops in schools for my friend’s dance company (EYFS through to Year 6). I have also enrolled on a nail course – random I know, but another string to my bow!
Thanks again to each and every one of you. ❤️ I really hope I gain my sanity back. ❤️
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So after my Teams interview was postponed due to Microsoft issues, I had the interview last Friday instead and today I was told that I had been successful and was offered a full time, permanent role as an Employment Advisor…supporting people to find employment! Out of education and still helping people without all the extra things like planning, marking etc So there are roles out there!! There is life after teaching! Keep smiling through. Xx
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Well that’s me done with teaching handed my resignation in to finish at Easter after 6 years. Decided it was time for a change after realising I had very little energy left for myself and my own children. I managed to find myself two companies who were actively looking for ex teachers as they valued the huge skill set that we have. Both ended up offering me jobs which put me in a strong position to negotiate better pay and I can’t wait to get going!
Good luck to everyone in the same boat, if you have made that decision in your head to leave then take the plunge and go for it.
When I asked what they had gone into, they replied:
Education recruitment companies, I had a sales background before going into teaching so have been able to combine my two skill sets, both very keen to employ teachers but appreciate sales won’t be for everyone.
Freelancer (Trainer, Assessor, Consultant)
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I took the plunge and retired at 55 in September. I’ve had emotions from joy to fear, from happiness to feelings of guilt.
I now work approx 3 days a week setting my own work schedule as a freelancer. I work in 3 capacities, as a road safety trainer, an assessor for teacher training and a freelance consultant. I bring in about 30K plus my pension. I have no stress, everyone comments on how relaxed I am, how much younger I look. I’m taking the whole of December off to go travelling and again I plan on doing the same in May and September. I get help with my tax return, well worth the expense. I have never looked back. The time is now, your skills are sort after, the job market is flooded with opportunity I ended up with 7 offers and accepted 3. I was very focused on the job market in the month of June and that focused paid off. If you hold onto the attitude its worth trying and apply for all you fancy, you never know your luck. Happiness is not a given you have to grab it. I defiantly had my moments of worry but now I’m in control of my destiny. I have time for friends and family. When I work I find my experience teaching helps enormously to not sweat the small stuff and it keeps me on track in my organisation of juggling the different roles. You have to be prepared to pair back financially in the short term but now I breathe easier. I joined indeed, Google jobs, LinkedIn I was shocked to see so many opportunities. No regrets, I miss teaching but I’m discovering me again and that’s everything.
SEND Child Information and Advice Officer
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So I handed my notice in to leave my school at Christmas just gone. I was mentally exhausted- my confidence had been taken from me and I felt so guilty to be leaving the children I had been teaching. I was lucky I could have a few months respite – on Friday I had an interview for a SEND child information and advice officer for my local Council. This morning I was offered the job- amazingly! This site is brilliant- I used the advice on CV’s, transferable skills and STAR techniques. Thank you Craig for setting up. For all those sitting on the fence as such – please- life is too short- your health is too precious- you will not get your time back with your own family in teaching- make the move – if I can do it – I assure you – you can do it as well.
SEND Casework Officer
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Really pleased to say that my gamble paid off…I handed in my notice in May with no job to go to…had an interview at the beginning of this month for SEND Casework Officer and have heard today that I have been offered the job… They were assuming I wouldn’t be able to start until January, but having said that I can start sooner they were even happier! They’ll go with when I want to start between Sep-Jan – I just need to let them know! So relieved and can now enjoy my wedding next week and my last summer holidays!
University – Short Course Academic Developer
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For those of you struggling in a fog of exhaustion, self doubt and stress – it is possible to do a job without burning out.
Before Christmas I was signed off work with stress – new management, complete change of curriculum and massive increase in workload. I was getting around 3 hours sleep a night, I reached out to the mental health lead who brushed me off. The final straw was being told I was being put on an informal action plan with my NQT mentor to supervise. That mentor had destroyed my confidence over my NQT year and they are brought in by the Trust to get rid of teachers they want to push out.
I put my notice in two days after Christmas and got signed off until the end of my notice period. I collected my things from school when no one was in and stored it out of sight in the loft. The relief I felt was enormous. I gave myself a few weeks without looking for jobs so that I could recover, try to get back to sleeping better and eat regularly. I gave myself 4 weeks to apply for jobs that looked interesting then if I wasn’t successful, 4 weeks to apply for literally anything that would take me. Financially, we had no cushion so I HAD to have a job at the end of February.
I had quite a few applications declined and some rejections after interview which was disheartening but I kept going. I got an interview for an Short Course Academic Developer at a university. It was my last chance before applying for less interesting jobs (ASDA, admin etc). The interview felt like it went well despite some technical issues. Ten minutes later, my phone went and it was them offering me the job starting at the end of February!
I love my new job, the people are lovely and supportive. They listen to my ideas and give me positive feedback. My confidence is growing and they seem keen to help me find another job there when my fixed contract ends.
Most mornings, I get up after I would have been in school, have time to go for a run and have breakfast. When I have done my hours for the day, I turn off my laptop and have the entire evening off. At the end of the week, I am tired but not exhausted so we are able to go out and socialise with friends or go away for the weekend.
It’s taking some getting used to but it’s amazing to have a work-life balance for the first time in years!
If you are struggling to leave, take a deep breath and do it. After just a few weeks, I feel back to my old self and happier than I have been in years.
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So. Now it has all been confirmed, I am delighted to report I will be leaving teaching at Easter. I have handed in my resignation and make a new start in the civil service. Now, the role I have accepted may not be my forever role, civil service gives plenty of scope to move around to departments and branches, so I am looking at this very much as entry point to a new journey. I have also taken the opportunity to sign up to free OU Law courses to complete over Easter, with a view to exploring further.
I just wanted to say two things. Firstly, thank you to this group, Craig, [Member Name], [Member Name] being 3 that leap highly to mind. But all of you, thank you for your support and guidance and general hand holding.
Secondly, anyone who is thinking of taking the leap, yes it is scary, but you can do it. You are braver and smarter than you know. Look at it as the first job away from teaching. A stepping stone to something different.
Thank you all. 2021 is looking on the up and up.
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THANK YOU !!!!! To all of you on here from the bottom of my heart. Thank you Craig for setting up your webpage and this forum. Thank you [a Group Member name] for letting me know about the existence of the Employabilty Advisor as a role, and your advice in applying. Thank you all for the support to make the leap before I had something to move on to and helping me see leaving teaching is possible . None of this would have been possible without all of you.
I was offered a job today within half an hour of the interview and at above the minimum advertised salary. Keep at it, keep spending the hours on the applications and practice those wonderful STAR techniques. It works in the end. I’m really looking forward to a new role away from teaching. 23 years and a new start. Thanks Craig for helping me realise that outside teaching you’re not so old 😁😁
Youth Staff Entertainment
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Hi all… I left my art teaching role from a larger upper school in May this year. I had worked there for four years and reached a point where I was very anxious and unhappy with the job.
Like all of us I was scared to leave but reached a point where I had to for my well-being. Since leaving I have been able to work with art company’s teaching art to children in the school holidays and also holding art classes/ parties for adults. The best part is I have now got a job on a cruise ship as youth staff entertainment and will be leaving next month to work with Royal Caribbean.
I wanted to create this post to highlight how many opportunities and other roles there are out there. We just have to be able to take that first step and be open to receive the new opportunities. Take that needed leap! Things will work out and you will be ok!
Office Manager in a local surveyors
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No more teaching!! Finally got to the end of my loooooong notice period! So looking forward to life after teaching… Thankyou so much to everyone in this group for giving me the confidence to get out ❤️ xxx
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I joined this group when I was seriously considering leaving teaching. I took the leap in December determined to find a role I was passionate about…well, yesterday I had an interview for the role of Library Advisor and today was offered the job! I am so happy!!
It is a pay cut but it will allow me to do my masters whilst working with books…the dream!
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I never thought I would be leaving teaching but here I am… just been offered my first non teaching job as an Employment Advisor and accepted 🎉. This group has helped so much with the search and knowledge. Thank you for inspiring me.❤️
Next school half term will be my last and I’m so excited to start my new journey! 🤞 😁
La Jolie Ronde French & Spanish Success Story (2)
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Ruth Gibson’s teaching and family life was suffering so she jumped ship, but little did she know it was the start of an amazing new life for her.
Work now fits around family life and not the other way around – I do as much or as little as I want to and I love it!!!
As a qualified language teacher, specialising in French and Spanish, I taught secondary in Newcastle for many years. As demands changed over the years, I began to feel the frustration and pressure of the ever-increasing workload and as a result, I felt as if my teaching was suffering and as well as family time, so I left.
I am passionate about languages and didn’t want to give up my career completely. I needed flexibility that fitted in with my young family, plus I also wanted something rewarding.
La Jolie Ronde ticked all those boxes. The whole team there gave me the opportunity and the confidence to set up my own classes. I liked the fact that they are not a ‘one size fits all’, so there’s no massive investment, in fact, it’s quite low cost, plus there’s no hidden extras either. Foremost, the support is there to help you and your business to become a success.
They provide you with a proven structured programme and all the tools, resources and tons of lesson plans to enable you to literally start teaching straightaway – everything is already planned out for you, it’s a dream! They even guided me through registering as self-employed and helped with updating my DBS as well as sorting out safeguarding training.
Right from the start of my journey, I was always supported and I felt as if I was never on my own – they are extremely professional and everyone has their own mentor. Even now I know I can call them whenever and as many times as I need to, knowing there will always be a friendly person on the other end of the phone willing to give help, advice and support.
As demand increased for my classes over the years, I now have 6 tutors in place who help – 3 for Spanish and 3 for French – we are a lovely team of dedicated and passionate colleagues and between us teach over 200 pupils per week.
I also am an Area Sale Advisor for La Jolie Ronde and look after a great team of nearby tutors to offer support and guidance. The best thing about running my own La Jolie Ronde classes is the flexibility and freedom to be able to teach in a much more free and natural way with smaller classes and being able to tailor the classes to the children’s needs and preferences more easily. Plus, the building of wonderful relationships, not just with pupils but their families too.La Jolie Ronde UK | Work with us
La Jolie Ronde French & Spanish Success Story (1)
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Rebecca Miller was a successful Head of Languages at a top Girls Grammar school in Watford but fighting a losing battle. Quitting enabled her to “enjoy teaching again” and was the best thing ever.
I am a qualified teacher of German and Spanish, having obtained my PGCE at Reading University. I worked at various secondaries before moving to a Girls Grammar School, where I later became Head of Languages and introduced Spanish to the department.
There are several reasons why I left teaching; mainly though as a result of the way languages are now perceived in lots of secondary schools. Children are disengaged with their learning; there are barriers as soon as they arrive, as they haven’t had decent teaching in Primary schools and it felt as though I was fighting a losing battle. I decided that the way to go, was to inspire children when they are much younger and instil a love of languages in them, so that they want to study them at secondary school and beyond. I left my secure job.
I joined La Jolie Ronde and haven’t looked back! They gave me 100% confidence and bags of support to set up my own Spanish Club teaching local children. They also provided me with a mentor who is with you from day one, plus help whenever you need it from their Head Office staff – so you never feel alone.
I use their award-winning structured programme and love the flexibility and being able to take the necessary time on different topics/grammar points as well as being creative. I love watching the children having fun with languages; watching them progress and grow in confidence too. Hearing success stories at secondary school, when children, who have followed the La Jolie Ronde course with me, receiving special praise in languages makes me feel very proud.
Due to demand for classes I have also taken on an additional tutor to help and support classes…which is brilliant. Taking the plunge and setting up my own language club has enabled me to have the time to enjoy teaching again and allowed me to be creative and bring fun back to languages.La Jolie Ronde UK | Work with us
Set up Business Creating Resources
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In 2013, after being a teacher for 7 years in both secondary and primary, I noticed a gap in the market when it came to downloadable resources.
I wanted a serious route out of the classroom and I’d dabbled in a few business ideas before but they had not worked. I started Classroom Secrets with my husband Ed on the side while I tutored and did supply teaching.
I’ve learnt so much on this crazy journey – it honestly has been amazing and now I teach others to start and grow their own education businesses because I believe that teachers are very entrepreneurial inside.
MagiKats – “It’s a family affair”
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When Sarah answered a job ad in her local paper, she could have no idea that it would eventually lead to her running her own tutoring business.
Sarah worked as an admin assistant in her local MagiKats Tuition Centre, preparing work for the kids, answering queries from parents and assisting in the setup of weekly workshops. When the time came for her to relocate to Hove, she decided that she wanted to take the next step and open a MagiKats Tuition Centre herself.
Sarah’s plan to move included her sister, Holly, a primary school teacher. They discussed the prospect of opening a business together and, although it seemed quite scary, they realised that their combined skills and energy, alongside the proven model that MagiKats offered, meant the risks were much lower than if they went it alone.
Jump forward almost ten years and Sarah is now married with a gorgeous son and she and Holly operate their successful workshops from a permanent base in Hove. Sarah splits her time between being a mum and a business owner and she and Holly are still working happily together!
MagiKats – Repurposing teaching skills
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Working as a SENCO in her local secondary school, Kirsty saw first hand the difference she could make to the education of the pupils in her care. However, over time she became frustrated with working in a large school and began to consider her next steps.
Kirsty decided to join the MagiKats network in late 2019, but the pandemic meant that her training had to be delayed until the Summer of 2020, and then she opened workshops in September 2020, only to have to switch quickly to offering them online in January 2021. Despite the obvious challenges, Kirsty’s resilience and positive attitude towards future opportunities meant that her new business flourished and has built steadily ever since.
Changing from being an employee to a self-employed business owner is scary and exciting in equal measure – but teachers often have just the right attributes to make it a successful transition.
My first role upon leaving teaching was a project coordinator position with a small education charity. I was lucky in that, as they needed someone to look after programmes and relationships with schools, I didn’t need any specific project management qualification – to be frank, at entry level and with the right supervision and guidance, a lot of project management skills can be picked up pretty easily. 99% of it is very much common sense (this applies to most project management methodologies, such as PRINCE2 and APM qualifications) – you will just have to learn some terminology that is relevant to the organisation in which you work (business-related concepts, critical paths, floats, terms around risk management, leadership – so all pretty straightforward!).After a couple of years with this organisation, I discussed getting a project management qualification and agreed to pay for 50% of the costs of getting my APM PMQ certification, with my employer paying the other half. I skipped the fundamentals stage in order to get a higher level of qualification more quickly, which was slightly more expensive and needed more study time, but it was definitely the right option as I got more job opportunities as a result of this. In terms of which course or accreditor to go for, this is a really illuminating video:
My general guidance on this:
1) Short answer is that these qualifications are expensive and the right organisation will support you financially (many employers outside of teaching understand the value of financially investing in your development)…but a fundamentals qualification would really show your commitment.
2) Get up to speed with the terminology and concepts ahead of any formalised learning and use these in job applications.
3) Look into free online providers for introductory courses – I believe companies like Future Learn, Skillshare and some of the others that have free courses where you maybe have to pay for certification would be a good starting point even just to get your head around some knowledge.
4) I left teaching five years ago when numbers leading the profession were high but competition wasn’t as high as they are now.
5) Project management is pretty straightforward and a lot of the organisation skills you have as a teacher are incredibly transferrable – you make 5 -7 year plans all the time, you understand risks and mitigating factors, you understand time and resource allocations – but be open minded enough to be able to learn a new ‘language’ to start applying these.
I hope that helps!
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Harry Stachini got in touch with me. He’s a teacher and professional stand up comedian who was due to leave the teaching world in 2020 and go on to be a full-time comedian and writer.
The pandemic got in the way of that so he decided to start a podcast called ‘The Staff Room’, where each week he shares “anonymous stories from teachers who are overworked, underpaid and close to a mental breakdown”.
It’s a show where he and a guest dissect anonymous (and truthful!) stories from teachers. Since the release of the first three episodes, the podcast has been met with amazing support and an ever-growing weekly following.
As of March 2021, the guests featured have included comedians Josh Jones, who recently appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Jack Carroll, as seen on Live at The Apollo and multi-award-winning Jack Gleadow. Future guests on the line up are Brennan Reece, Chris Washington and Lauren Pattison.
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Someone posted this comment in the Thinking of Leaving Teaching? group. I have added links to help.
I had a Civil Service interview yesterday which went really well.
I’ve been working as a supply teacher for almost seven years now (since I had my little boy) and to be honest, I love it. I have my regular schools who love me too. I just wish that there was some security and better pay. I’m too scared to go back to being a contract teacher, as I don’t want to sacrifice family time and I know it would be too stressful for me now. I need to move on. As a family, we don’t own our own house, we need a new car and we just have things that we would love to do and places we’d love to go. So I’m hoping for a new start. I will really miss the children and teaching, but I’m ready for a change now. Wish me luck!
The following week she posted:
“Thank you so much for your good luck messages. They paid off – I got the job! xxx
When asked what she did to find the job and prepare for the interview, she replied:
I subscribed to daily job alerts on the Civil Service website. I set my preferences only by city and salary. I looked at all departments and all jobs that I was interested in. At an open event for HMRC I talked to lots of different Civil Service professionals. They were all very encouraging because of the diverse range of skills I have as a teacher. This gave me a real confidence boost (and at the time my confidence was at an all time low).
My advice, if applying to the Civil Service is – take a lot of time on your application. Follow the guidelines given – they are very clear. Study the Civil Service Behaviours and Strengths. Write down lots of personal examples to evidence your skills. Use the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) – this is also very important at interview. If there are tests, take your time. Do them without any distractions and do the practice tests first. If you get to interview: take a lot of time to prepare and practise.
As teachers, we have so many transferable skills. It took me a while to find the confidence to realise the skills I have, but if I can do it, you can too.
Set up diddi dance for pre-schoolers
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Diddi dance began as a single class in 2003 in London. As interest grew in 2006, Anne-Marie Martin, the founder, looked into franchising the concept, so she furthered the format of her classes, which guaranteed new dance styles. These were launched every half term, over a two-year programme, aimed at keeping lessons fresh and fun but not losing the security of enough repetition to help the children grow in confidence.
After producing a few diddi dance pilots between 2006 and 2009, franchising was officially launched 11 years ago. Since then, diddi dance has grown and currently have over 40 franchisees covering over 50 territories of the UK. Franchisees are in business for themselves but not by themselves. It gives them the flexibility to work around family life, provide valuable support to their local community and create a rewarding business. They also have the valued support of Martin’s experience and her support team to help guide them through, especially in this challenging year, more than ever.
If you’re passionate about giving children a great first introduction to being physically active then this is the all-singing, all-dancing franchise opportunity for you.
Set up SEN Business
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When I was completing my PGCE, it was the most stressful thing ever & I quickly realised that I wanted to focus on working one to one & with SEN. I always felt like the odd one out that I wasn’t throwing myself into finding a teaching position. I spent over a year in a secondary school working as part of their SEND team (I’m primary) learning as much as possible & carrying out interventions & teaching small groups. I set up on my own at the end of last year teaching & tutoring children with SEN, anxiety, home educated etc. I also go into a local primary & do one to one interventions with vulnerable children. I am still teaching but it’s on my own terms ?
Set up Adventure Group
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Hi everyone, I wanted to share a bit of my plan for leaving teaching or maybe becoming part-time.
This year I was diagnosed with complex PTSD and OCD along with long on going diagnosis of depression and anxiety. 2019 I had left my tile of head of department and assistant head (both running parallel across two schools) which had sadly very much contributed to my CPTSD). Although I had done both roles very well the results don’t lie, I didn’t fit with the new academy chain that had taken over (neither did any members of slt in the end – we weren’t a failing school but our head wanted to take the dive and join a trust as we were a small school and he thought that was the future) In the end I did actually whistle blow on some of their practices as it was truly horrendous. I had, had a stint of being supply (I was never out of work a single day) and then offered a post at my current school. The thing is I love being in the classroom and I thought going back to just teaching without added responsibility would be a way forward.
But for me it’s now tarnished. During that time from 2019 I also got divorced and set up and adventure group for people like me who wanted adventures but had mental health illnesses and felt alone with no one to do them with.
This is now hopefully going to be my new career. I’ve lots of work to do on it but it’s been successful in terms of I’ve taken people and completed the National 3 Peaks, organised weekends away etc and used my teaching skills to organise group activities. I’ve still a long way to go to get my dream but for the first time I know what I want to do. How I can leave teaching and still feel fulfilled.
Maybe I’ll stay part-time who knows but right now I’m filled with hope. The photo is one from Monday when I completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks with a friend in prep for my group doing it next year.
So here’s to RED Adventures going from strength to strength x
Set up Photography Business
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So, I did it.
I left teaching during lockdown and took my photography business full time!
It’s been really busy so far! Headshots, family shots, confidence sessions and businesses restarting their websites.
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Hi everyone, I have a bit of a mad story that has led to me leaving teaching this summer, after 9 years of teaching science and joining the BBC as a journalist, going back to university and being commissioned by BBC Sounds to make a podcast series!
Last year, I took part in the BBC local radio “New Voices” competition. I had a minute to talk about a story to capture people’s imaginations. I spoke about my beloved Bury FC. Eventually, I got through to the final 6. I didn’t win but I my interview I pitched a podcast about what happened and the fans making a new football team.
They loved the idea and BBC Sounds commissioned it! Through making it over the last 12 months, I realised this was my chance to take a leap. I applied and was successful for getting a place for an MA in Broadcast Journalism at Salford Uni and then somehow was successful applying and getting through an interview for the Journalism Diversity Fund to pay for the fees!
I have a 19 month old son, my wife has also just left teaching and we are currently looking at no income coming in but if we can keep going and keep the faith, I’m sure something will come of it.
As for the podcast series, Out Of Our League comes out on Wednesday on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts. Here’s the trailer and I’ll hope you’ll join me on my 10-part series mad journey!
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… mainly I just wanted to add that if you aren’t happy then life is too short. I wish I had got out 4 years ago but I stuck it out because I needed the money and because I was scared of the unknown. But boy do I feel great having left! Just do whatever makes you happy…
When asked what they did, they replied,
So first I worked out exactly how much money I really needed to survive. By that I mean literally the bare basics – no unnecessary direct debits, no meals out, no holidays etc…
Then I worked to pay off any remaining debt so that nothing would be lingering financially that was urgent to pay.
As soon as I knew I would definitely leave I saved every penny possible on payday, then at the end of the month if there was anything left I put that away too no matter how small. That meant that by the time I left, I had money to cover me until I found something which really took the pressure off. I always used to feel that I had no money left to save but once I set myself that goal it was really easy to work towards and it added up quickly with us actually saving a lot more than I had aimed for.
Then I just looked for things that I fancied even when the money was pants or the contract wasn’t great.
I used my summer hols to start working in a museum which I LOVE despite pants pay. Then I picked up a few extra little jobs to supplement it all. All of the little jobs don’t pay much and we can’t afford many luxuries but honestly I’ve never been happier. Also, at some point I might get something more substantial and then we can have luxuries so it doesn’t need to be frugal living forever.
I think the main thing that sucks teachers in is the holidays and the constant pay- once you quit you don’t really need all those holidays because you aren’t stressed and down all the time and a lot of the stuff I spent money on was to make myself feel better and I don’t really need to spend that anymore because I don’t need to feel better if that makes sense??
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I’m officially leaving!!! I got a place on the PQiP* course to train to be a probation officer!! So happy! Thank you for your support. This is my 9th year teaching and I’m just done. I cant turn up to work any more and face the imbeciles that call themselves SLT swan around and do nothing while the school crumbles around them.
I did apply for the police and am still in the application process but it was taking too long. I saw this and thought it was better.
After the course you are qualified and can apply for probation officer roles which start at £29000 which is decent wack. And you’re paid whilst being on the course obviously.
(*The PQiP is the professional qualification in probation and is specifically for the probation service)
Edit/Proof-Read Learning Resources
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I left this April after 10 years and so far, it’s the best decision I’ve made in years! Got a new job that I’m really enjoying and no evening or weekend work ?
I work from home for a company that gives instant access to inspirational lesson plans, schemes of work, assessment, interactive activities, resource packs, PowerPoints and teaching ideas. I edit and proof-read resources before they go on-site.
I applied through their website. They are recruiting qualified teachers regularly. The pay isn’t as good as a full-time teacher wage, but as I was working three days after returning from Mat leave, I didn’t notice much of a change in take-home pay. Although I swapped back to working full-time I actually work fewer hours now.
Product Manager for Exam Board
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I started googling jobs in education out of teaching and came across some in larger cities. As I live an hour away from London decided to go for it. Lots of transferable skills, but I’ve also learnt so much in a year – lots of development which is great. I’m now a product manager for an exam board – lots of ex teachers work in the company. Work life balance is now the best I’ve ever had. Main skills that are transferable are: Project Management (do that all the time in teaching) Thinking on your feet, organised, creative, team player, emotional intelligence, IT literate, working under pressure!! The list goes on – Sooooo much experience drawn from teaching.
Teaching English Online
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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.
Set up Coaching Business
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At times I wondered whether the stress was going to kill me, as my life seemed to career out of control.
Shattered, stressed and fed up with the demands of 3 young children, a teaching career and managing a household, I felt totally overwhelmed and had no idea what to do about it.
Why was I feeling like this?
Because I felt like I was juggling everything….badly!
I couldn’t remember birthdays, couldn’t think more than 1 day ahead of myself, was meeting deadlines at the last minute, throwing beans and toast at the kids (not literally, though tempting sometimes!) had a never ending list of tasks to do and was working till past 9pm most nights.
For someone who used to be in control, this felt horrible!
I felt stuck, but I was too busy and too stressed out to think straight
I tried various methods of improving my situation.
Setting rules around work/relaxation times, writing to-do lists, ripping up to-do-lists, signing up to productivity emails, (then getting stressed out because they were filling my inbox), forgetting about everything and drinking copious amounts, meditating (or should I say trying to….?) and various other methods.
While some things worked for a wee while, others just annoyed me (group meditating is NOT for me!); nothing was actually helping me.
I was still stressed out and overwhelmed.
I am sure I was not alone, but it felt like it
I knew that my teaching colleagues were struggling with stress at work, but we never really discussed the stresses that having a family added to that.
Eventually I realised that something had to give, or my mental health was going to suffer badly, so I looked for other options.
After training, I started my own bookkeeping business and cut down to a 0.4 contract.
I absolutely loved the bookkeeping and shutting myself away, in a quiet office, with a pile of paperwork was bliss! However while it solved the stress, the guilt and work-life balance, it meant that we were considerably worse off than we had been. This led to me feeling stressed and anxious about money instead!
That then led me on a personal development journey and into the world of coaching. I then retrained as a life coach and money coach and I love the benefits that coaching has had for me as well as for my clients. I am now so much happier, more focused and very rarely stressed about anything (apart from trying to stop my 3 teens from leaving stuff lying about!!).
A lovely bonus is that I really love teaching again, because I can enjoy all the great things about being a teacher, without having to work myself to the bone.
As I improved my own situation, I realised that the things I had learned would be valuable to many other teachers too. I now help other teachers to become happier, healthier and wealthier, through my wellbeing and wealth coaching.
As part of this I have developed a teacher wellbeing programme, focusing on 3 areas: helping teachers to live a life that makes them happy, creating a better work-life balance and simple steps to financial security and happiness.
I hope that, by taking control of their life and their finances, more teachers will be happy in their jobs and will be able to enjoy teaching once again. However, for some, it might mean leaving the classroom, choosing a different profession, or starting their own business, and basic support for this is also included in the programme.
Regardless of whether people stay in teaching, or leave teaching, I am on a mission to help thousands of teachers to feel happy, calm and financially secure.
Set up The Reading Doctor
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In 2012, after 19 years of teaching, I made a decision to leave the classroom behind and actually teach again! School had become an overflowing stream of initiatives, targets, inspections and unrealistic demands which found me questioning their purpose and value. I never wanted to be that moaning teacher in the staff room, so, decided to do something about it!
All passionate educators understand the importance of children becoming literate. As a reading recovery teacher, I became aware of the barriers to success and developed a range of tools, resources and strategies to ensure every child I taught learned to read. After leaving the classroom, The Reading Doctor was born. I used my experience to launch a home tuition business coupled with school consultancy work to raise attainment for the lowest achieving students.
Seven years later, there are five Reading Doctors, each with their own thriving businesses. Ofsted have recognised the success of the programme and The Reading Doctor is going from strength to strength. On a personal note, I have rediscovered my reasons for becoming a teacher and see this through the success of Reading Doctor pupils every day.
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I gave up 4 years ago after 25 years of teaching. I retrained as a Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist and have not regretted leaving one little bit. I’ve not missed it either even though teaching was all I ever wanted to do from the age of 8! I’m still teaching but now I’m teaching people how their brain works, why we suffer with anxiety etc and what we can do about it!
I now help people to reduce their anxiety and improve their sleep. All my clients are given a relaxation recording to help them to improve their sleep. If we get enough sleep (between 7 and 9 hours for adults) then we can cope with stresses of life much better.
You can read more about Janet’s work, including a free copy of her relaxation recording in my section on Sleep Deprivation and Stress.
Independent Private Tutor
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I was made redundant in 2016. I had just under 30 years of teaching experience and had spent at least 20 of those years involved with SEND, as a SENCO, LEA support teacher, a specialist teacher (dyslexia) and finally as Manager of a Peripatetic Teaching/Support Service.
Stress-related shingles and a lengthy recovery finally put an end to any thoughts of returning to full time teaching. Reluctantly, I took early retirement and faced the prospect of selling my home and downsizing to make ends meet.
I took a 150 hour TEFL course while I was recovering from shingles and completed it with a 98% grade. Three years on … I’m an independent private tutor, teaching English and Maths to children 6yrs+ and English as a Foreign Language to adults.
Still in my home and able to continue paying off the mortgage. I am studying for a Masters Degree in Special and Additional Needs with UEL and ICEP. I couldn’t be happier.
With 14 regular students and demand for tuition growing, I have a certain amount of security and I can enjoy teaching again.
I’m not surprised that so many teachers are leaving. A short stint as a supply teacher demonstrated how difficult the workload is for the ordinary classroom teacher. Even supply teaching is difficult to find and the uncertainty drove me to self employment and private tuition.
It’s not for everyone, but for me it has sent me on a totally new path and I’m feeling optimistic about my own prospects as a 58 year old in the field of education.
Blood Donor Carer
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I now work for the NHS as a Blood Donor Carer Driver. Earning less money but you adjust. No stress and no working at home for hours on end.
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I’m now a regional trainer for a private Company working with students and delivering training to teachers in schools.
The Body Shop at Home
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I left teaching two years ago. I now work for the amazing company that is The Body Shop at Home (since Feb only) and an now on half the ‘salary’ that I was on as a teacher but I’m not spending half my salary on before and after school club, extra baby sitters for appointments etc. I work the hours I chose, it’s my business. I’m my own boss now. You can do it and believe me, it’s such a better quality of life….
Teacher in a Pupil Referral Unit
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I left mainstream and now work at a PRU. I’m so glad I gave teaching a second chance as I really couldn’t be happier. Of course the kids are challenging but it’s much more like I thought teaching would be. Relationships come first over data.
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I have been asked by this page to explain a little further about my job as an online tutor due to the amount of interest in it. Firstly, please understand this is my own experience, I am not a salesperson and just commented to help someone who was asking for suggestions! After leaving full time teaching in 2013, I chose to be a supply teacher. I did this until early this year. I did mainly emergency cover because I found once I took on longer contracts it was straight back to all the planning/assessing/parent’s evenings etc.
Last year one of my friends asked if I had heard of online English teaching. I hadn’t and she sent me the details. I was very interested in what I heard, I completed the TEFL qualification over the summer holidays last year and started tutoring in October 2018. At first I was still doing supply as I gained confidence (mainly with the technology). However, I found I really enjoyed it and took the plunge in February to go self-employed and now work online pretty much full time.
There are many other companies out there that employ online English teachers. Some teachers work for several but I prefer to stick with the one. (I was the same as a supply teacher to be honest). I got the position through a recruiter.
You will need a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL qualification. I did not do an expensive qualification, I think I paid about £30 for it. It was an online course, I found it pretty interesting and not at all difficult. The company accepted it without issue. I believe there are other places you can use to gain this qualification as well. I am not going to be commenting further on this. I hope I have covered everything. I am very happy doing this job, I enjoy teaching Asian children, I don’t mind the fact there is a time difference (they are 8 or 7 hours ahead depending on our clocks!). The flexibility, the fact there is no commute, and the ability to work 7 days a week, all year round if you should wish to do so (I don’t!) makes up for it.
Civil Service – Higher Executive Officer
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I left a UPS2 tlr2b job in April. I have (hopefully, pending clearance checks) secured a new job where I will be earning approx 500 a month less. We worked out that the unpaid hours I did as a teacher didn’t even cover the £500!
I made sure before I made the decision to leave the profession that we were financially ok but ultimately my own mental and physical health was more important.
I worked out that I had so many transferable skills for the HEO (Higher Executive Officer) jobs and just applied via their website. It took a couple of goes to get the hang of it and I had 2 interviews which were very steep learning curves.
Set up Tutoring Business
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I left an assistant head post and set up a tutoring business so I could pick up my kids from school and still have the holidays. Depends on your financial situation. Am on a third of the wage I used to be on but so much happier.
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I left teaching at Christmas – I was on UPS3. I took some months off, did a coding bootcamp and am now working as a Software Developer. I am so much happier. My kids are teenagers so I don’t need the childcare, but this is the first summer holiday that I haven’t been with them all the time. However, I could truly relax and enjoy the 2 weeks I had on holiday with them without worrying about exam results or how my timetable for September was horrid. I am now less stressed and tired overall which means at weekends and in the evening I can spend time with them and enjoy it rather than being grumpy. They will appreciate you being happier and less stressed.
Outside of teaching there are so many jobs you can do where you can work flexitime, work from home etc. For example, my eldest got his A level results and I wanted to go with him, so I booked the morning off (just in case we needed to go through clearing) and worked from home in the afternoon.
Set up Emotional Wellbeing Business
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I was a secondary teacher working with teenagers with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Whilst trying to teach main subjects, like maths and English, I realised that the pupils’ health and wellbeing was the upmost priority. How do we expect young people to learn when their emotional wellbeing is not being addressed first? I decided to leave teaching and set up my own business called Mind Marvels.
I now deliver emotional wellbeing sessions in both primary and secondary schools and nurseries, working with young people to give them ‘skills for life’. The sessions focus on emotions and calming strategies to self regulate their feelings. I always loved working with young people but find my work even more enjoyable now I am teaching skills for life.
SEN Social Work
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I am happy to admit that teaching nearly broke me but I was also brave enough to break free. The hours & pay are unbelievable and the daily micro-management in an environment petrified of Ofsted was too much. I believe I was good at the job for a time, but I realised that I couldn’t continue to be one ongoing and I felt that I would ultimately let the students down (was an SEN teacher). I have moved into SEN social work and love it; parents appear to largely admire that you have a background in SEN and tend to be more open with you more quickly as they see you have an understanding; the new role is stressful too but I take home the same money as I did and my evenings and weekends are mine. I respect those that continue the fight and stay in the roles but for me it was too much in a challenging environment both as an employee and as a frontline member of staff.
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I’m doing a bit of work in primary schools directing plays for a literacy festival and trained to be an ante natal teacher! I miss the money of UPS2 but it doesn’t even compare to the time I now have with my kids, the lack of stress and evenings that I now have back!
Set up educational business
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Once I had my little boy a lot of things fell into perspective. I didn’t have time even for myself before he came along so how on earth was I going to do it and spend the time I want to with him and that he deserves!!
I instantly felt a weight lifted from my shoulders when I left teaching. The stress and pressure gone away. It actually gave me the motivation to start my own business to I could create a flexible career that fits around family life but still doing what I love – teaching.
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I left teaching at the end of the summer term after 23 years. I’ve been in my new non teaching job now for 6 weeks. It’s a whole new world and still one I’m pretty unfamiliar with but my life is no longer ruled by my job. I am sad to have got to this point after so long but enough was enough…
I was a primary school teacher, firstly in KS1 but the last 13 years have been in EYFS which I loved. After having my first child I went back part time, this was 8 years ago now. Even part time meant missing out on so much of my family life – hours and hours of evidence for Learning Journeys and assessments plus the usual planning and paperwork etc. I spent my ‘days off’ working as well as evenings and weekends and also went in to school on days I wasn’t actually teaching. I was earning really good money despite being 0.5 as I had been UPS3 for quite some years.
Now my job is 20 hours a week term time, reducing to 10 hours a week in holiday time. I get paid the Living Wage which is obviously a huge salary drop and I’m lucky that we could afford for me to do that. So far it’s all working out and I’m spending more time with my family. I’m basically an administrator doing anything that’s needed! So it’s basic office type things (phone calls, emails, letters etc) but also banking money, paying wages, managing client fees, booking out rooms in our building/generally managing the building (including maintenance type things). Still very much learning everything but have quickly got the basics mastered! Some very transferable skills from teaching there!
What I’m not doing is taking hours of work home every day and worrying about how I will ever get it all done 🙂
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My advice is not to think about it, just do it right now. Get the hell out and then start rebuilding your life. You will find yourself enjoying life once again and wondering why you wasted so much of your life putting up with all the stress and associated nonsense involved in the profession.
I wasted fifteen years teaching, I now earn more, I have more time for my family, more energy, far better mental health, my customers really appreciate the work that I do for them so there’s plenty of job satisfaction, I am my own boss so no line-manager hassle and if I don’t like someone I don’t work for them.
I would happily trade in my worthless Master‘s Degree in Education to get those fifteen years back. Don’t put yourself in that position.
(In response to the question, “What do you do now?” Nicholas responded:
I‘m a multi-skilled craftsman, I run my own construction business. This is pretty much the same as I was doing before I went into teaching construction at FE colleges and PRUs. Having said that whatever your background or previous experience all teachers should be able to diversify and adapt to other work/life situations. By the nature of the work you are all intelligent people who have enough self-awareness to know your own capabilities and to identify business opportunities. I know that the biggest hurdle may be self-belief, but you can do it and the rewards are high all round.
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I left teaching in July this year. I had adrenal fatigue and was at my lowest point. I’ve spend the last 18 months requalifying as a Business Coach and NLP for Business Practitioner. It took 2 years before that to find out what I wanted to do but I knew I had to do something different. Teachers have the most unbelievable skill set and I now fully understand how transferable our skills are. I feel better than I have done in years. I’m loving setting up and exploring my new skills. I’m building up my client base and networking. You really can leave teaching if you are determined enough. I’m going to start doing some supply work a few days a week and I’m looking forward to walking in, doing my job and walking out. This time next year I hope to have enough clients to give up supply completely. You can do it! Believe me, you can.
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I felt like that after my NQT year 15 years ago, so did supply for a year and it suited me. Supply is where I found my niche as I did a lot of SEN supply. Became a permanent full time SEN teacher, teaching small groups and one to one in mainstream for 8 years and all the rest that comes with special needs teaching. A much more rewarding job. Now I’m an advisory specialist teacher for the LA and teaching Braille to VI students. Of course I’ve had to do some training along the way but couldn’t be happier.
Otherwise if I hadn’t have gone down that route I would have left the profession.
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Ok so I left teaching in March 2016 for a variety of reasons which I won’t go through now because the article captures the feeling of persecution very well, as well as the liberal use of the word ‘support’, which I just found to mean ‘bully’. After my headteacher told me she wouldn’t want her child in my lesson I had what can only be described as a panic attack that night and sacked it in. But again, my story is nothing new.
For a little while I was playing poker full time, a surprisingly versatile game with transferable skills out the ears, many of which I developed while teaching. These are many but the main ones are: patience, dealing with difficult personalities and the need for a sound, logical approach to things.
Eventually this got wearing and wasn’t making me rich as I had initially hoped so I went back to my interest in education and in September 2016 I started an MEd in ‘Autism in Children’ at The University of Birmingham which I completed in August, with a merit. 🙂
Since then I’ve been working for a charity called Resources For Autism, we provide tailored support to young autistic people either in ‘clubs’ we run or on a 1-1 basis. It is exceedingly rewarding and while their behaviour can occasionally be challenging this is rare, and we are trained to deal with it in a myriad of different ways anyway. It will also be nothing new to anyone who was a teacher anyway.
I get to work and the service users are pleased to see me. I get to work and their parents are pleased to see me. My manager messages me to ask how it went and is pleased and appreciative when I confirm it was all fine. I take no work home with me. There is room for advancement. I don’t start until like 10 in the morning at the earliest, leaving some room to pursue poker on a recreational basis. I am decently paid.
A couple of the students who were in my year 11 form two years ago have asked me to come for a drink with them in a couple of weekends (they are 18 now) to celebrate one of their birthdays. They are a testament to the fact that I was not a failure really, only made to persistently feel like one. Getting out of teaching was extraordinarily liberating and I promise it can be done successfully. Although I now occasionally suffer from anxiety and still have disturbed dreams about it, for the most part, I am just happy that I got in and out as quickly as possible.
Education Welfare Officer
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I was a secondary teacher for six years before I decided on a career change. My reasons for this were twofold. I am from Belfast and after teaching in Manchester for six years I wanted to move home as I missed my family, my friends and my home town. Northern Ireland is an extremely difficult place for a teacher to find a permanent job at the moment, the thought of coming home and doing supply work for years did not appeal to me. I wanted the security of having a permanent job as soon as possible to enable me to have some financial security and stability. I found the job incredibly stressful also. I always thought, “Maybe it’s not the job, maybe it’s the school?” and was convinced that if I found a great school I would enjoy the job more.
I did find a great school though and my latter three years teaching were spent teaching there. I enjoyed my time there very much but still had a niggling feeling that the job was maybe just not for me. I did know that I wanted to continue to work in education. I had heard of but had not had any direct contact with education welfare officers and decided to research more about the role. EWO’s work closely with families, helping to support young people to re-engage with education. This seemed like such an important and worthwhile role. As someone who enjoyed high school and valued education it made me feel disappointed to think that there are so many young people who are unable to engage in education for a myriad of sometimes very complex reasons. Education Welfare Officers are social work trained to enable them to build up the knowledge and skill base to work with families who may be experiencing a lot of difficulties that can leave young people unable to maintain good attendance at school.
After returning to university to study for an accelerated two year social work degree I got a job as an EWO and thoroughly enjoy it. I feel having both a teaching qualification and a social work qualification makes it easy for me to empathise with and build relationships with both school staff and young people and their families. It’s a very worthwhile and rewarding role and I would encourage any teacher who is thinking about doing something else in education to consider it.
Driving Instructor (1)
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I left teaching at Christmas after 23 years and a term. I have gained the first two of the three qualifications to be a driving instructor and my own driving school goes live at the beginning of next month. (You can instruct for six months while gaining the third qualification – the experience helps.). It took investment: the cost of training, studying whilst still working full time last term, a period with no income and now setting up the business. And I am sooooo much happier!! I never hankered after running my own business but I simply couldn’t carry on giving every minute and every ounce of energy to teaching, and still feeling I should give more. I have a life. I sleep well. I socialise. I create food, poetry and cards. I feel fulfilled as a person again. Good luck: find a path and do it!”
(In response to this post) “As her spouse, I’d just like to add I’ve got my wife back as opposed to the hollow shell she had become.
Driving Instructor (2)
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(In response to the Driving Instructor (1) post)
Wow! I also left teaching at Christmas after 23 years. As you say – I couldn’t keep giving what I was trying to give to teaching. I was so demoralised with it no longer being about the children and far too much stress because of unrealistic targets.
I have also now started training to be a driving instructor! I’ve had to pay for the training and up to this week had no income. However, I now have a part time job while I continue training. I also feel I have my life back. I no longer wake up with that feeling of dread every morning. I have time for myself.
Giving up teaching was the scariest thing I have ever done but I have never doubted it was the right decision.
You sound like you have done amazingly well so far and I wish you the very best of luck with your business. It was reaffirming to read your story.
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I left 4 years ago after teaching for 14 years. I looked at council job websites. I now work for Public Health. Absolutely love my job. The transferable skills allowed me to get the job and I have had lots of on the job training. I really love it. It took about 6 months to get used to the fact I had my evenings and weekends back.
Children’s Support Service
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I’m leaving teaching after 22 years to work in the CSS, one-to-one with students who need reintegrating back into school. I’ve had enough of the disrespect from government and public, enough of the marking workload, enough of the pressure for results (the predictions for which coming from machines, treating students as little pieces of data and not people anymore) and every years new ‘fad’ and new strategy: HIT lessons, stretch and challenge, differentiating for 3 or 4 different types of learner per lesson. I loved teaching and I knew I never wanted to be anything else since I was 14. But teaching isn’t the respected profession it once was and I feel we are being blamed for all of societies ills. Enough.
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I have just started working in the private sector…..pressure is different, but paperwork is significantly reduced and the support is amazing.
Stress = gone”
Manager of a Vintage Shop for a Charity
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I taught for 27 years. During that time I took NPQH, ran a nursery school, was on SLT at three schools and was also an advisor. I worked so very hard, seven days a week fitting my life around my job. It became all consuming. My social life went as did my hobbies, allotment and time to spend with my family.
It got to a point where working like a slave to the job wasn’t enough. I physically and mentally could give no more. I was losing weight, sleep, confidence and my ability to function as a human being due to stress and pressures of a role I used to love. Constant moderation, planning, assessments and endless paper work and data.
So I woke up one day and said no more, within three days of making this decision i had found a new job. It was a lot less money, but it was zero stress and was something i excelled at. It gave me back my self esteem and confidence and proved to me that I could do anything I set my mind to. Whilst doing this role I thought about what my ideal job would be where I could do something I loved. I’d always wanted to run a vintage shop.
Well a year and a half since leaving teaching that is what I now do ! I have a job as a manager running a vintage shop for a charity. I run the shop how I wish, make things to sell and get to meet lots of lovely people whilst also making money for the charity. Money is very tight. We have had to make a lot of changes to how we live. However, I am now happier, healthier and have time to relax and be with my family.
I gave 27 years of my life to teaching and in that time the profession has changed beyond recognition. My advice is, if it is making you miserable, having a negative impact on your wellbeing and that of those you love then make the change. If I can do it after 27 years anyone can. There is a whole big world out there where it’s ok to have evenings and weekends work free. Be happy and take care xx
IT and Finance Roles
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I left teaching about 17 years ago and after about four to five years my salary was up to the same level as I earned as a teacher. I have worked in various IT and finance roles, always employed and never self-employed. Definitely possible – but you have to retrain and avoid teaching-type jobs in my experience.
I got a break by temping. I took a fairly low paid role in something I had no experience in. No risk to the company because when temping, they could just tell me not to turn up tomorrow. I ended up staying at the first company (where I started as a temp) for three and a half years. Ironically I am now still in education (working for a University but not involved in any way in teaching) but that first role was in IT/finance at a large bank.
When asked what kind of retraining he did, Matthew replied,
Initially, my employer paid for me to take evening classes in vocational courses related to my role. I was producing Management Information so I studied Oracle SQL and other fairly esoteric training. However I have always worked for large organisations since leaving teaching (i.e. with thousands of staff) and taken advantage of any staff development available, including PRINCE2 (project management), accountancy,/bookkeeping and a variety of management and leadership training. Top tip – get a job in a big organisation (however junior) as this will give you access to the company’s staff development programme and the ability to apply for internal jobs.
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If you want similar security then you need to look at the public sector. I went back to my old career in pharma. I am much better paid than I was as a teacher. The pension is not the same and I do not get 13 weeks holiday a year.. then again, I am not overworked stressed and knackered. A former colleague went from head of dept to HR exec in a supermarket.
Set up web design business
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I earn more running my own company of writing and web design.
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I’ve recently left teaching and had to take quite a drop from M6. I’m tutoring apprentices for a training company – but absolutely not expected to take work home, so I definitely have more of a work life balance.
Online Health and Wellness Coach
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I have been a primary school teacher for the last 16 years. I’m currently working part-time in Year 4. I have felt increasingly trapped in the profession which has really affected my mental well-being and I have fallen out of love with teaching. I can’t do it until I’m 68 but, until recently, I couldn’t see a way of being able to leave without taking a huge pay cut and working hours that didn’t fit around my children.
So, last October I took the opportunity to become an online health and wellness coach. I wasn’t sure if I could do it but I needed to get something. I partner with an amazing company who launched their coaching opportunity in the UK last October and I support people to get fitter, healthier and happier.
It isn’t a get rich quick scheme and does take some effort (nothing like teaching – I basically post on social media) but I can see that if my business continues to grow the way that it is I could leave teaching within the next 3-5 years. It has massive potential in this country and it has given me hope that there is a way out of teaching.
I absolutely love it and because it has given me something else to focus on teaching hasn’t become the be all and end all anymore.
Do you have to have a fitness background? No
Do you have to be physically fit yourself? No – people will be inspired by your journey.
Do you need to know a lot about business building and social media? No – I didn’t but the training you receive is incredible.
I am so pleased the lady who told me about it did so because it has honestly changed my life in the last year. My mental and physical health has improved and I am building a brighter future for me and my family.
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After 29 years, I quit in December 2015. I had loved my job, which over the years had been mainly ks2 based, but was also ks1, a PRU for ks4, part time advisory for two boroughs and 4 years teaching teachers through NoF/ APU. I was in the fortunate position of not having to maintain my salary, as my children had left home and we have no mortgage. Plus, I was just within the TPS limits so could get my pension based on my final salary once I get to 2024. At the time though, none of that mattered. I was crying, having panic attacks and feeling awful… My work was often held up as a good example in my school, but couldn’t sustain the marking, meetings, displays and record keeping and felt unsupported by management… not so much my ht, but others who did not lead by example.
I had two interviews, one for Gatwick in security, which I was offered and would have been customer facing (my son was doing it at the time and liked it, but I’m not sure I could have done the shift work) basic salary £19000 plus shift allowances which made it up to about £26000 … and lots of days off! My second interview was more of a chat, with a local company who sell AV. As ICT coordinator I’d kept in touch with them from my NoF days and they took me on to do order processing, coordinating deliveries and engineers for installs. I now write their bids for larger contracts. They are lovely people, and I really appreciate the lifeline they gave me when I was so down.
It’s 9-5, sometimes I do more but I generally get my weekends and evenings. The salary is approx. half but I pay less tax and do 5 hours tuition a week… I’m not spending money on classroom resources either, which saves a bit. I often wake up dreaming I’m back in the classroom. I look at the ads, I speak to friends and colleagues in teaching who tell me it has got worse, but then offer me jobs. I miss it. I intend to retire from my current job in three years, when my husband retires, but I’d like to go back and do some supply work then. Maybe just to prove to myself I did the right thing by leaving…. or maybe to give me a chance to prove I had the best job in the world for nearly 30 years. I miss the creativity, the buzz and the “wow” moments that I spent time planning for, or better still, just happened.
My family won’t ever let me do it again full time… I really didn’t comprehend the impact it had on them. Like many teachers, I was probably my own worst enemy. The more I did, the more I was expected to do. There are jobs out there for teachers without retraining, but they are, in my opinion, jobs, not vocations.