Why I Decided to Quit Full Time Teaching

I was working really hard, almost too hard. I had:

  • Two babies;
  • A full time job at a boarding school (six days a week teaching AND boarding duties);
  • A husband who often worked away;
  • A bed and breakfast to run; and
  • A large Physics Department to lead.

I didn’t have any hobbies and kept telling myself that I didn’t have time to socialise or exercise.

Do you know what the ridiculous thing was?

I would still spend hours making resources for my department to use. I would still make bespoke worksheets or powerpoints for every class. I spent my summer holidays making schemes of work from scratch. I was constantly re-inventing the wheel.

Why did I work so hard?

I don’t know really. I suppose I felt that I had to. Let’s be honest, the world would have still turned if I had calmed down a bit.

I am pretty conscientious and really wanted to make a difference in the department. I found it really difficult to draw the line in my list of priorities and, as a result, I spent hours and hours working.

I’m not the only one who feels the pressure to work like this:

The struggles with time management, illness, pressure to perform constantly highly in an outstanding academy are constant.Physics Teacher, Nottinghamshire

The trouble is that most conscientious teachers will do this because it is too time-consuming to search through the internet and find a reliable, high-quality resource that fits their syllabus exactly.

I didn’t like buying from the exam boards. The resources never seemed to be written by physics teachers.

Here’s the Life-Changing Decision I Made…

I quit my job. I was sick of trying to balance a ridiculously time-consuming job and raising two babies, I was sick of being “too tired” and I was sick of the high expectations of teachers without useful and modern help to ease our lives.

I start Guzled.

I wanted an online community that would make life easier for Physics Teachers. I don’t want us to have to use our summer holiday to write resources and schemes of work. Term time is hard enough – especially with the increasing admin and pastoral demands in teaching.

But I knew that I couldn’t just start a this online community for Physics Teachers without being an active part of it. So…

  • I still teach whenever possible.
  • I tutor a lot – this is how I stay afloat financially
  • I am a Trustee for Dynamic Earth
  • I am an IoP Teacher Network Co-ordinator
  • I am a Practical Advisor for AQA Physics A Level

I use Guzled resources for all of these roles in my life.

You will probably find Guzled resources useful too – whether Guzled resources are a starting point for a lesson plan or a complete scheme of work for the whole department. Even if it just allows you to go home a bit earlier and see the kids before bedtime or meet friends in a pub for a drink.

Personally, I took up hillwalking.

Sally Hillwalking

The Irony?

I work way harder now than I ever did in teaching. It is important to me that Guzled is as inclusive as possible. I don’t run the site to become a millionaire! Far from it – I haven’t paid myself anything for three years and I exist on tutoring wages.

But I believe what I’m doing is a good thing and I’m motivated to keep going. Luckily I’m partial to cheap wine and have never been one for fancy restaurants.

Thanks for reading this.

Sally Weatherly Signature

 

 

Connect With Me on LinkedIn

P.S. I’ve just climbed a fairly well known ridge in the picture above – brownie points of you can tell me which one it is in the comments below!

About the Author

Sally

Facebook Twitter

Sally is the Guzled founder and, more importantly, a part-time physics teacher at Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh. She led a large and vibrant department for 7 years, after training to teach in London. She is a Trustee for Dynamic Earth, an IoP Teacher Network Co-ordinator, a Practical Advisor for AQA and guest lecturer for Stirling University.

Comments 6

    1. Post
      Author
  1. Hi Sally,
    I’m taking phased retirement in September, giving up my Head of Physics and Head of science Faculty responsibilities, and form tutoring, and coming back 3 days a week as a classroom physics teacher. Really looking forward to it, after 37 years as a physics teacher, including over 30 as HoD and HoF. Still love the teaching, but all the admin etc??!!

    Jane

    1. Post
      Author

      Congratulations on such a long and successful career in teaching Jane. You’re right about all the admin – it often takes priority, leaving the creative elements of teaching at the bottom of the list.

      I hope you enjoy your new regime three days a week. My new post is now full-time, but there is no admin. I simply turn up, teach, write reports and do marking. It is much more manageable and enjoyable.

      Thank you for replying on here – I appreciate it.

  2. I was a HoD. I stepped down 7 years ago to focus on my Physics teaching. I re found my like of teaching. I admire anyone who is brave enough to step down and re focus on the job. I also took up distance running. I recommend all people do what Sally has done and refocus and take up exercise or a hobby

  3. I was a HoD. I stepped down 7 years ago to focus on my Physics teaching. I re found my like of teaching. I admire anyone who is brave enough to step down and re focus on the job. I also took up distance running. I recommend all people do what Sally has done and refocus and take up exercise or a hobby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *