In 2011 I left the classroom!
I did not leave teaching, but I did not realise this at that moment. With dread, fear and a massive sense of grief and loss, I made the hardest decision ever. It was not a choice but a necessity for my family and me. With two young children and a loving husband, I bravely moved forward, landing a retail job in Marks and Spencer’s.
The irony was not lost on me as, on many a stressful day in the staffroom, we had wistfully dreamt of our dream job for this prestigious retailer. It was a positive move, but what I did not factor in was the feeling of loss. Standing at the express checkout, serving the bustling lunch queue, smiling, thinking this is freedom; I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. This was not why I went to university; this was not how I was going to make a difference, and this was not how I could share my valuable thirteen years of educating young people.
It was with a heavy heart in January 2012 that I left Marks and Spencer’s. I could have stayed, and I did consider it. The financial side was not a priority, but I must confess the wage that I received was a real shock to the system. I walked away with complete respect for my retail colleagues.
In February 2012, I began my journey back to the classroom. After training as a Secondary School English teacher, I knew that I could not go back to this, and that I needed to find a new path. The decision to enter the Primary Sector was born. I was missing the children and all the good parts of being a teacher. I needed a new sense of purpose and so I bravely stepped into the unknown. That first day, stepping into the Primary School that my children attended was both comforting and terrifying at the same time.
I remember standing at the window on the top floor, with my temporary Year 4 Class and looking across to the Nursery playground where my son was playing.
This was surreal.
The children in my class were welcoming, helpful and keen to learn. It was going to be okay. I could do this. I just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. That first day led to many more and as the following years unfolded, I worked across multiple primary schools in the city. I describe this time as the best training ever! I learnt each Key Stage, Phonics Programmes, Mathematics Programmes and so much more… I was still a teacher, and I could still make a difference.
I worked for multiple examination boards, and I loved being a Supply Teacher, with all the flexibility and opportunity this presented me with.
In March 2020, the Pandemic hit! Lockdown! No More Supply Work.
I once again looked for another way to work. I started my time as a “Bodyshop Consultant”. This was new and exciting. I learnt to market products and I started to photograph and sell products online. I bravely entered the world of “Facebook Lives”.
I was not fulfilled, and my husband suggested that I made use of my years of teaching experience by setting up my own Tuition Business. I realised that I could make a difference from my home and my online business.
And so, “VB Tutoring” was born.
All that experience was valuable, a new chapter was beginning. I began to remotely tutor my first GCSE student. It felt amazing, I was going to make a difference. My student was lovely, and I discovered the power of one-to-one, online tuition. Many more students joined, and I can proudly say that all my GCSE students passed their GCSEs.
One year on and I have a successful Tuition Business. I have once again entered a new world and I have met so many Business People, Tutors and Teachers, plus so many other inspiring individuals. My journey as an educator is not over and I am so excited for what the future holds.
Life is a journey, and we are meant to embrace it with gusto. I intend to!