I think many people will relate to the story of juggling responsibilities of work and home. Mine began with the birth of my son Joseph in 2015 and at that point I threw myself into motherhood and enjoyed the bonding time of maternity leave. But as they say all good things come to an end and soon enough it was time to go back to work. In fairness I was looking forward to using my teaching brain again and I missed the pupils, so I arranged to go back part-time into school, and I was full of hope for the new academic year.
But the demands of parenthood, of keeping a house, and of work soon began to take their toll. I felt I was neither doing a good enough job in the classroom nor at home, and the high standards and expectations I had of myself were causing sleepless nights, arguments and stress. It was my husband who suggested I quit. “I don’t mind going into work in the mornings, but I can see it in your face and hunched up shoulders you don’t enjoy it. Just leave Carrie, everything will be okay.” Knowing I had his support and with the solution put so simply, I knew what I wanted to do.
I took a deep breath and handed in my notice and left at the end of the summer term. The long, relaxing break I used to enjoy so much became daunting- what if I couldn’t find any students? How was I going to manage if I did find them? The unknowns were endless, but for once my husband was right and everything was okay. With patience, common sense and a resurrection of my latent sales skills, I was at full capacity by the beginning of September of that year and I my services have been in demand ever since.
I adore the time I spend time with the children I tutor and their families are so supportive and appreciative. At the helm of my own ship I have more time to creatively match resources and strategies to each child. Lessons are expertly focused and I’m no longer distracted by the once invasive thoughts of meetings to attend, administration to complete or bureaucracy to negotiate. Above all, the swift progression the children make (academically, socially and emotionally) is still by far the most satisfying element of the job.
Nothing’s perfect (yet), but having the flexibility to manage my workload, being able to implement my ideas and feeling valued by pupils and parents are all huge benefits to the role. My house is tidier, my health is better and my purpose in being a provider of education is clearer. Like my son in the picture above I’m glad I’ve taken that leap of faith.