I did say I'd do some pros and cons of leaving teaching so here goes:
- I got my life back.
- I feel a lot more relaxed.
- My holidays are now real stress free holidays. Despite having less days off, I feel like I have so many more. Teaching stresses aren't in the back of my mind.
- Other jobs are so much easier.
- No planning.
- No marking.
- No (education based) staff meetings.
- This could have been a Pro for me but I can see how for most people it is a Con: money.
- I have so many teaching dreams.
The money issue has come into play even more this year as I've been ill. I had to leave my gardening job and take an easier job physically, but that was too much for me as well. So I have taken (yet another) drastic step and become a professional artist. That way I can work from home and if I'm ill it's a lot easier because I'm sitting down all day.
I haven't earned much yet because I'm busy building up my portfolio. It takes me two months (about 300 hours) to produce one painting so it's slow going. If it works and I start to make a living it will be a dream job.
But at the moment we are living on one wage and have had to cut down our spending yet again. Luckily this has fit in with our changing views on consumerism and the fact that it is not a sustainable way for people to live. We hardly spend anything on consumer products now and we feel a lot better for it. We're both still really happy with our lives despite the numerous bad things that have happened this years.
Christmas is looming and we've cut our budget down to £10 for each other. It's been great because we've had to be really creative and choose a lot more carefully. It's the thought that counts so what we've done is look for and research music and films that we'd like to give each other. Then we can listen to the albums on Spotify for free and the films we'll get from Lovefilm and they end up costing us £1 each. Some presents we've made in a Good Life type of fashion. It all feels so much more satisfying. (If you'd told me that five years ago I would have probably looked horrified.)
Have I got any regrets about leaving teaching? No. It sounds like it's getting worse day by day and the Academy system sounds so corrupt and about making money for a few rich people rather than education. But that's the Tory way. Educationally, it sounds like we're going backwards. I'm so glad I'm out of it.
If you're wanting to get out, find a way. Any way. Good luck.