I was asked recently "Was I torn/unsure before I took the leap with my business" and I've been asked another question which needed more space to answer then a comment box, so here is another 'Ask ReeRee' blog! Complete with cheesey photo of course!
"I'm just on my final placement and I have my first teaching job and I am excited (well a little bit) but I just cannot see myself as a teacher for long. And it is driving me crazy. I'm worried that if I give it up I will disappoint people around me (including myself) but I just feel so demotivated by teaching and the idea of becoming a teacher. I've thought about what I'll do if I'm not a teacher but I just don't feel like I'll receive much support. I know you were a teacher and left teaching, what was your final straw? I wanted to speak to someone who has been a teacher and left, because right now I feel that no one understands."
I completed a 4 year teaching degree, so the initial investment into my career felt pretty large! Most teachers still follow the path of a one year PGCE, which although it's intense is at least compact. I had never planned to do teaching forever, I wanted a new career, and I wanted to travel - teaching is a great ticket to being able to work around the world.
I completed my degree, and I'd travelled teaching during my studies (Kenya, India, Arizona and New York) and got my first teaching job. I stayed there for 2 years, and enjoyed it. I got promoted, and had a good career path mapped out. I guess it just turned out that I didn't want it anymore. It didn't suit where I wanted my life to go. I had no clue what else I could ever be good at. Teaching was safe, as I was good at it.....what if I quit and just didn't succeed at anything else?!
I ended up taking a sideways step, looking for a new challenge. I got a job as a librarian in a secondary school and I was in charge of creating a new library. It was such a great year, creating the vision I had to create a space that enabled non-readers to realise that books could be for them too. However, I soon felt those itchy feet again, and after the year passed and the library had been created, I wanted something different again.
Teaching is a great experience. You develop skills that will help you succeed in any other field you ever go forward to. If you're a good teacher you're confident, presentable, a great public speaker, able to command attention, able to think on the spot, adaptable, creative and you've met such a variety of people with a range of experiences. Even being a teacher for a few years is still such a valid and worthwhile experience, and changing your path shouldn't be seen as a failing. We no longer live in a world where you need to pick a career for life.
What was my final straw? I finally left the world of education and I suppose it had been building for a while. It didn't satisfy me anymore, but I still didn't know what else was available to me. I got a part time job in the evenings/weekends and that started to show me a path that could lead me away from schools. I had been blogging, working in cabaret, and talking out loud about what I wanted to as many people as I could! The final straw was such a small one, as it had been building for a few months, it wasn't out of the blue, but the final nudge that confirmed I was ready to leap was a new management team, and a new dress code. I had been proud of my work wardrobe, I worked hard to dress in a way I thought was appropriate for working with vulnerable teens. I read the words "no unconvential jewellery or hair" with the added note that teachers would be sent home to change (!) and I just knew I was ready to leave.