I Resigned Yesterday

I resigned yesterday.

I think I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in my 20s, I was picturing myself at nursery level or as a lecturer. I have always known I would end up in education. That kind of thing is in your blood, right? Or maybe I just like telling people what to do. Who knows?

As young as 3, I was trying (to no avail) to teach the dogs in my nan’s front garden. I know, sad. I had no siblings or cousins at the time, and life was rather uneventful.

Teacher at Heart

People started trusting me with babies from a very young age. I remember looking after my little brother when I was 9. He was not always a happy customer. Check him out in my aunt’s wedding dress! OK, that is not really ‘teaching’ as such, but grown-ups put their trust (and small human beings!) in my hands when I was quite young.

Doudou déguisé en mariée

As young as 17, I was tutoring and I loved every minute of it. There was something incredibly rewarding about the progress and increased understanding I could see session after session.

My teaching career started fourteen years ago as a fresh-faced language assistant in North London. I had no intention of becoming a secondary school teacher (ever!). Teenagers were definitely not my public of choice, probably because I remembered how hormonal and unreasonable I had been myself as a teenager. I had no patience and I could not see myself trying to teach teenagers, with their fiery tempers and unpredictable behaviour. Working with as a language assistant in a secondary school was an eye-opener. It proved me wrong. Teacher training was my next step… and this is what we got up to:

Teacher Training

I have taught hundreds of young people over the years. As grown-ups do, a lot of then now have careers. Some are plumbers, teachers, businessmen, pharmacists, hairdressers, shop assistants, bankers. Some got married, had children. One of them became a chef in a Thai restaurant, another one is a drummer in a band, a few teach and another one is training to be a doctor. They did not all have a passion for French, but I feel incredibly proud I had something to do with their education.

I have taught French, Religion, Computer Science, Vocational courses and Literacy. I have been on more school trips than I can remember. I have a lifetime of happy memories. There was laughter, there were days out and there were tears.

The fact of the matter is, with four children under seven, I cannot actually afford to work. How infuriating is that? I am at the top of the teachers’ pay scale, yet I cannot afford to work. Teaching is my vocation. I want to work part-time whilst my children are so little, so I do not miss anything, but I want to work. I want to contribute to society and help shape young people’s minds, yet the costs of childcare are higher than my salary. It saddens me deeply.

First and foremost, I will miss the children.
I will miss my colleagues, especially the ones who became close friends over the years. I will keep in touch with them, but I will miss not being with them at work.
I will miss the ‘family feel’ we have at school; the strong sense of community that kept me motivated even at the toughest of times.
I will miss my classroom. It has been my second home for the past twelve years.
I will miss the thrill I feel at the start of every lesson with a new class.
I will miss launching into a lesson with a group of reluctant students, knowing that at some point, they will enjoy my lessons (whether they like it or not).
I will miss being a Professional, a role-model showing young adults that a job need not be a chore, that if you choose the right career path, you can thrive.
I will miss helping 6th formers with their university applications and writing reference letters highlighting their strengths.
I will miss observing colleagues who really make a difference to children’s education.
I will miss sharing my expertise, my love of translation or syntax with young people.
I will miss planning lessons after getting feedback from my classes, adapting my teaching to what helps them learn best.
I will miss passing on my passion for French literature, music and cinema.
I will miss creating mock exams and assessments (how boring am I?).
I will miss sharing the intricacies of my beautiful mother tongue.
I will miss the incredible team of support staff we have at work.
I will miss Manny, our IT superhero.
I will miss Joan, a legend in the school, who used to make a fry up for teachers at break time every single morning when I started teaching.
I will even miss Elisabeth, the lovely Columbian cleaner, who speaks Spanish to me every day simply because I once mentioned I liked listening to Spanish being spoken. I definitely did not say I wanted a conversation in Spanish!
I will miss my breakfast and cup of coffee whilst checking my emails.
I will even miss the Frenchies’ moaning in our office (hi girls!).
I will miss planning my outfits and coordinating colours.
I will miss putting on make-up and trying to hide (more or less successfully) the fact I had less than three hours’ broken sleep.
I will miss the shy “thank you” I often get from students.
I will miss Jumpy saying, “You goin kool, maman?” (Are you going to school, mummy?)

I will not miss feeling guilty for missing events that are important to my own children.
I will not miss marking and planning until 2 or 3 a.m. every working day to stay ‘on top of it’.
I will not miss going to school during the holidays because there is so much to do.
I will not miss the fact teachers are accountable for every single one of their students’ results.
I will not miss the fact things are looked at the wrong way round: surely the students should be held responsible for their own failure, lack of work or motivation, not their educators?
I will not miss the ever-increasing scrutiny of everything and anything.
I will not miss the bureaucracy for the sake of shuffling paper.
I will not miss the fact that 75% of a teacher’s time is spent filling in paperwork, writing plans, analysing data or marking books.
I will not miss the meetings that take hours but could have been summarised in an email and read in five minutes.
I will not miss the ‘new initiatives’ that will last a couple of years to be scrapped and replaced with different ones, suspiciously similar to what we were doing 10 years ago. Anyone remember ‘brain gym’?
I will not miss the changes in the syllabus, just when I am starting to feel at ease with the previous one.
I will not miss the stifling pressure put on teachers to ensure every single student passes everything. Not everyone is a C student. At school, I was an A* student in Maths, DT, Geography and English, average in French and PE but an E student in Science and History. It was fine. I accepted that, and I focused on my strengths. Had I been spoon-fed the Science syllabus and passed, I might have thought I was good enough to become a doctor. I would probably have made the wrong decisions. I would have failed later, when I was at university, when it really mattered.

I resigned yesterday and I am scared. I am excited, too. A new chapter is beginning.

The question now is do I give up my vocation, my passion and launch into full-on pro-blogging, or do I keep part-time blogging and doing some supply teaching to keep my foot in education?

What do you think? What would you do?

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Comments

  1. What a tough decision you’ve just made. I know when we were still in the UK and had our 2nd kid, we calculated that working 3 days a week was the best finance wise. Working full-time would have meant my whole salary was eaten up with childcare. It’s crazy. More financial help with childcare means more jobs being created in this branch and less unemployment… Easy, no?
    On your other question, I would carry on supply teaching as your love for teaching is fab! Would it be easy to organise childcare wise?

    • Arranging childcare is always the tough bit. We’ve figured something out for the youngest two from October, but I will still have to do school runs for Beanie and Crevette, unless I can find some sort of arrangement with another mum.

  2. As a teacher who has only moved recently into a permanent role pt from supply & a new mother I think supply might be the way to go as long as it doesn’t affect your income negatively otherwise.

    • Good point lovely. Is there an agency you would recommend?

      • Liv Hinton says:

        I’d go for smaller family run ones – the big ones just see you as a commodity and you rarely get credit or recognition for doing a good job. They are also less likely to stick to only calling when you’ve said you’re available which can be a bit disruptive at 7.30am and can be a bit difficult when you turn them down.

        • Thanks for the tip. I have no idea where to start looking, but I’ll give myself until October to find out more. My official last day at work is 31 August and my childminder is on holidays in September.

          • Which area do you live in? A lot of schools which have gone academy now prefer to employ directly so you could drop your cv in too. Maybe offer to do a half day for free as a taster?

          • That’s a great idea! I’m in Hertfordshire.

  3. Jeany says:

    I will miss you so very much and I know that everyone else will miss you! Please let’s stay in touch xx

  4. Blog! Blog! Blog all the way!!! Look how far you have come in a short time. You love it, are good at it and I feel it helps you “grow” as a person. You said you have met some very special people too. So Blog and … Sometime teach… That’s what supply was created no?
    Carpe diem ma belle !!

  5. Mel I appreciate this post so much as a part time teacher and part time blogger too. The line that hit me the most was about going in on weekends and working late ‘as there is just so much to do’. It’s so true. Teaching is such a high pressure job and I really don’t believe people outside the profession get it. It takes over your life and most people do it out of passion and love for it. But on the other hand your children are only young once. If you can, give them your time now. Teaching will still be there later on. Good luck Mel.

    • So true. If you’re not a teacher, you can’t possibly imagine all the background work that goes on. Don’t you wish you could just go in a classroom and teach, then go home and just enjoy being at home?

  6. Viv'maman_Bas says:

    Oh la la, je sais combien ton boulot te plaît et compte pour toi… L’éternel dilemme de la “working mum”. Je compatis, je comprends à 100 % et je partage ton sentiment. Cela semble la seule décision possible pour le moment. Quant au choix de garder un pied ds le système éducatif, ça dépend si tu souhaites t’arrêter temporairement et reprendre dans qq années ou si tu penses pouvoir être heureuse en te consacrant à ton blog. N’est-il pas possible de faire une pause ds l’enseignement et de reprendre plus tard quitte à refaire une ou plusieurs formations de remise en jambe ? Quelle que soit ta décision, ce sera la bonne. Je vais être bientôt ds la même situation et devrai prendre une décision que je redoute. Bisous ! Ton blog est top, tes enfants sont magnifiques, tout va bien se passer.

  7. I hope the right direction comes to you soon, I’d say keep doing the supply stuff, the fact that you are asking indicates that you are not ready to give it up x

    Good luck! #pocolo

  8. Louise says:

    Wishing you all the very best with this next chapter of your life Mel. I think you will be fabulous at whatever you choose to do whether it’s pro-blogging or part-time blogging with supply teaching. Your passion for teaching is something that really shone out when I met you and reading about your design to resign made me feel a little sad for you too – as you say, there are so many things that you’ll miss about it but also things that you won’t. Good luck with making your decision about what to do next x

    • How did I miss your message, sweetie? Teaching really is a part of me and I love it. I guess I will keep doing it, but in different ways. It could be exciting. x

  9. Oh my goodness Mel!! Such a cross road to come to! That was me last year, and resigning and setting up Intolerant G was the best thing I ever did! Follow your heart and your gut instinct, they will guide you well! Hugs xx

    • Your success is a real inspiration, hun. You are definitely doing the right thing, and something nobody has done before. Callum will be so proud of his mummy when he starts to realise just how much you do! xxx

  10. The Free From Fairy says:

    OMG!!! I would say that this is the best thing you could have done after our chat at the baptism. But I can totally understand how scared you are. The fact is you are already a pro blogger and a fab mum…so keep doing what you are already doing. Give me a ring if you ever need a chat x

    • Our little chat earlier was really nice. It made me feel less sad about leaving my career behind. You are so right when you say that taking sessions at BlogCamp is pretty much like teaching. I loved it in Birmingham!

      • The Free From Fairy says:

        I’m glad because as well as making a wonderful teacher you will be a fabulous speaker. I can’t wait to hear you at BlogCamp Bristol. You are very inspirational! Thanks for cheering me up too xxx

  11. It is really tough when you have to give up something so meaningful to you, that you enjoy so much, just because of childcare costs. I had to give up nursing when I had my twins as I couldn’t afford 3 lots of childcare, that’s when I started my 1st blog. I think you need to go with your heart, whether it’s blogging or supply teaching.
    Good luck x

    • I still feel really sad about giving up my job, and I’m really making the most of every lesson at the moment. x

  12. A big decision but well done for taking it-I can tell from your post that you have thought long and hard about it. My suggestion would be to hold off making a firm decision just yet. I’d spend the summer mulling it over-there will always be a need for someone with your skills and experience and passion. It’s a matter of where you wish to put those to best use for you x

    • A wise piece of advice, Iona. That’s definitely what I am going to do. For once in my life, I will give myself some time to think!

  13. Helene Compain-Holt says:

    Dear Mel,
    I am an old friend of Rose and I like reading your blog. I want to tell you that you have made the right decision, looking after 4 children is a full time job. See your resignation as a break rather than a final stop. If you want to have a professional connection to Education, you could always apply to work part time in the boarding houses in the many private schools in London. I look forward to read your next blog, I am sure you will find plenty of opportunities to use your time creatively.
    Bonne chance, c’est la bonne decision.

    • Dear Helene, thank you so much for your message. Feeling people’s support (and finding out there are a few readers out there!) is amazing. It really feels like I made the right decision, and I will keep my foot in one way or another. Merci!

  14. Oh wow, Mel, what a huge decision. I recall when I resigned how I felt on that very first day at home with Boo. Scared but excited, though my career had not been the vocation that you so clearly have with teaching. You’ve still time to think and decide what to do – only you know where your passion and enthusiasm lie. Best of luck with whatever you decide x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • It is the first time in my life I have resigned from anything. Any other jobs I had until this one were temporary, or had ‘an expiry date’ on them if you see what I mean. This is a big thing. I have a few weeks left of teaching at my dear old school and I will certainly make the most of it & enjoy every lesson!

  15. Oh hun, this made me cry, my mum was a teacher and uni lecturer and I taught too and still lecture sometimes but it’s tough going, the bureaucracy and pressure on teachers is ridiculous. I fear for our kids because great teachers like yourself, talented and passionate are being driven out of the education system. Things have to change x

    • They do! I never imagined in a million years that I would consider putting a stop to my career. How can you contribute so much to society, shape young minds and yet not be able to afford staying on the job? Tough…

  16. I’ve resigned from a few jobs, but only one can I remember wondering if I really should. Funnily, I was thinking of changing to teaching last year and just couldn’t make it work with family life, so I can understand where you are coming from. I hope you find a decision that you are happy with. Teaching does seem like a career that always has an open door to it. #WoTW

  17. Oh Mel, I’ve just caught up with things. I feel sad for you giving up a job you obviously love. The decision for me to be a stay at home mum was kind of made for me in in that the situation with our childminder wasn’t working, the children were unhappy and so was I. That said, I miss having a paid career and going into the office and being around adults. There is no easy solution, if you enjoy teaching then keep you hand in, so that returning to your career when the children are a little older will be much easier. For now enjoy your children and full steam ahead with your brilliant blog. Sending hugs. xxx

    • I will definitely enjoy the little ones, and I think I’ll do some supply teaching or (and?) private tuition from October. xx

  18. Oh gosh it must have been such a hard decision for you and I’m sure you’ll be greatly missed by all. Wishing you all the best for the future no matter what you decide *hugs*.xx

  19. Alexandra Mercer says:

    If you enjoy blogging then why not do more of it? Whatever you choose to do I know you’ll make a great success of it because you have such high standards. It’s exciting starting a new chapter and I wish you the best of luck. X

  20. stella forni says:

    As someone who resigned over seven years ago to raise my children I can honestly say I haven’t looked back. What ‘they’ have done to the teaching profession is a hardened shame, so many wonderful teachers leaving for so many different reasons, I am not sure there would ever be a reason to make me go back to that. You however, are an amazing teacher and this is something you will always be. Just because you left that school won’t stop you teaching, whether it is ‘just’ your children for a bit, then onto tutoring, online video blogging, writing etc you will continue to teach and do a bloody good job of it. It’s who you are x

  21. Pippa Black says:

    A tough decision considering your obvious love of teaching and your students; but very good reasons. You will not have this time with your children again. I gave up work when my second was 18 months, mostly due to childcare costs, but also because I felt someone else was bringing up my children. I returned to work (one that fits more easily around the children) when my youngest started reception, and I still value the time I had for toddler groups, cuddles at random times, and visits to the park.
    Could you do tutoring to keep your foot in? Easier to plan in advance than supply?

    • You’re right, it might be a better idea to go for tutoring. I could still keep following the ‘latest trends’ in education and prepare students for their exams. I love the thrill of starting a lesson with a new class though.

  22. I have always wondered what you do, I imagined a teacher and I was spot on! For what it’s worth, you sound like a teacher most parents dream their children ends up having, caring and passionate, the profession will miss you greatly. Why not give pro-blogging a go? You’re already bloody good at it! All the best in your difficult decision. Xxxx

  23. Kim Carberry says:

    What a big decision….It sounds like you are doing the right thing for yourself! Scary but exciting at the same time….Wishing you the best for the future whatever it may bring x

  24. Oh that must have been such a tough decision – I felt like it was a huge decision to give up my job after I went back for a few month after my mat leave ended and I didn’t even like that job!
    I hope that you enjoy whichever path you chose to follow

  25. loraine x says:

    What can I say I never would have thought the ‘nice French girl’ in the classroom next to mine would be my friend for life! God mother to baby no. 3 a lovely friend with endless skills and gifts.
    You are an outstanding teacher… you can continue to teach outside ML2!! Once a teacher always a teacher.

    • I will never forget that you were the first person I spoke to on my first day at work. Loved you from the start. Never looked back!

  26. Victoria Welton says:

    This cannot have been easy at all for you Mel but it sounds to me like you have made the right decision. All the best in all that you did. I am certain that you will be fab! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  27. Only you can answer that, Mel – but whatever you choose, good luck in your brave new adventure! It’s such a shame that you have had to come to this decision, though. The teaching profession needs passionate, dedicated, talented people and it is such a shame that it does not provide you with enough income to allow you to continue. And how many of us have a job that we are as passionate about as you clearly have been? But I know you will have taken this decision with a heavy heart.

  28. Really scary to leave something that you have been doing for so long. Good luck on the new chapter. I am sure you will be okay =) #pocolo

  29. Hi Mel, I am sure that the right decision and that you will find your way to still get involved in education (maybe differently) and that other opportunity will arise. Good Luck!

  30. Ooh honey! You know your passion; you know your heart; you know your dreams. If you love teaching, teach… But that doesn’t mean it has to be your FULL time job 😉
    I hate when it feels that decision making has been hijacked from me.
    Your tomorrow can still be a billion times better than your yesterday <3
    HUGE HUGS x

    • Thanks, hun. Beautiful words of wisdom at the end. I will really miss the kids, but I have four gorgeous kids of my own!

  31. Oh Mel! What a wonderful post, sad to say goodbye, but SO exciting to be moving on hopefully to fabulous pastures new. I made a very difficult decision to step back from my own business a year ago, it took me a year to make the decision and you know? It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. They only problem is, I’ve filled every single minute of the day and I’m not sure where or when I used to fit in time to do the day job! I am so excited for you, for whatever you chose to do. Well done for making the move and what happy memories to cherish xx

    • I know it was the right decision, but it was such a tough one to make. It must have been even harder for you to step back from your business, sweetie. xxx

  32. Gosh, what a dilemma. You can tell that you clearly love teaching, it’s been a part of you for so long and you’ll clearly be missing so much. Then again, pro- blogging could be fabulous, working around the children at a time to suit you and doing something which you equally love and are brilliant at. On a practical, political note it’s so frustrating that in this country that women are squeezed out of the workplace because of the cost of childcare (I know this impacts on some men too, but it’s mainly women!). As you know the cost of childcare in France is a Euro or more a day. But on an emotional level this is a whole new chapter for you and I know you’ll embrace whatever you decide to do next
    Best of luck xx

    • In France, working three days per week would automatically be allowed as a teacher, until my youngest’s 3rd birthday, and my salary would still be more than decent (you work, therefore you get help to pay for childcare)! They really encourage women to have a career there but also give them time with their children. You get help from the government, and you contribute to society in return: fair enough. It is one of the few things I think are better managed in France.

      Here, I cannot afford to pursue a career I love. Are those decision-makers not aware that they should enable women to spend time with their children but also thrive in their professional life? Sad!

  33. Awww mel! Mixed emotions reading this, from all the way back when i was in 6th form it was so obvious you were born to teach, this will be a huge loss for your students! On the other hand, as someone driven out of the profession myself, I completely understand and personally i haven’t looked back! I’m much happier and healthier out of teaching, no stress, more sleep and a life outside work! I really enjoy your blog so if that’s what you want to do, go for it! Tutoring is also really enjoyable i think, you still see the progress and as it’s only one student you have more time to connect with them and really tailor the lesson. Good luck with whatever you decide, i’m sure you’ll be great! Gros bisous! Xx

    • Thanks sweetie, I had no idea you read my blog from time to time. It is such a shame to feel ‘driven out of the profession’. Surely things are not the way they should be; people who enjoy their job should be encouraged to stay. Being able to afford to work would be a good start! It is your class in Y12 that made me think I could maybe teach at secondary level. Did I ever tell you that?

  34. Wow, a brave move! So many people are leaving teaching because of the reasons you describe, it’s a real shame. I admire those who decide life is too short, and go for it. In terms of what’s next….supply teaching sounds good as a safety net while you set yourself up as a pro blogger, then you can stop once it takes off! Best of luck, lovely xxx #WotW

    • It’s a real shame, but I am also looking forward to getting a glimpse of what it’s like in other schools through supply work. xx

  35. travelingchristie says:

    Mel you are an amazing blogger, but I bet you are an amazing teacher too. Its so hard isn’t it because bureaucracy overshadows the job we are meant to do as teachers, the paperwork is unbearable and unreasonable I so get your dilemma, a lovely honest post x

  36. adeline says:

    Mais tu dois continuer à enseigner de la façon qui sera la plus propice avec ta famille mais tu es une prof génial tu ne pas être juste une femme au foyer c pas toi c pas possible. En fait avec tes 4 petits ilvfaut que tu reviennes en France puis tu retourneras en GB!!!!;

    • Je sais, je ne me sens pas “femme au foyer”, mais comment justifier de donner £140 par jour pour faire garder mes enfants quand je rapporte £93 par jour en enseignant?

  37. adeline says:

    Mais quoi que tu choississes je te soutiens à fond du moment que tu sois heureuse.xxxxx

  38. Katy (What Katy Said) says:

    Oh how exciting! I do one week of supply just to keep my foot in the door and actually it is great! All the best bits of teaching without the rubbish bits that ruin it for all teachers! x

  39. Mel, it makes me so sad that as a mother of four you cannot afford to also be a teacher. It’s the reality of how it is here though, and it is so wrong. I completely understand why you have made the choice to resign. It’s so sad saying goodbye to your beloved vocation though – I know that. I left journalism because the hours/stress etc weren’t something I felt I could manage anymore after having children. Slightly different reasons, but still, it’s heartbreaking leaving the job you love. That said, you are a professional blogger, you clearly love this job, and you are brilliant at it. You can always do the odd day of supply here and there to keep your hand in things/keep in contact with teachers/get a little bit of teaching back in your system/have a little regular money – however, I’m sure you will be a huge success as you continue as a blogger. You’ve already achieved so much – I’m constantly inspired by you. Good luck lovely, you’ll be brilliant xxx

    • Kiran, your comment means so much. Until now, I had never ever thought I would leave my job. Once or twice a year, we buy a lottery ticket. I have always said that if I won the jackpot, I would keep teaching, probably on a voluntary basis, but I would not leave the profession. It saddens me that there is nothing in place to ensure women who choose to work and have children can afford to keep working. I saw a TV program not long ago in which they said teachers were better off than 77% of the population. 77%… If I can’t afford to work, who can?

  40. Je crois que tu peux blogue, tu est très douée ! Il faudra que tu me donne quelques conseils 😉 Tu as réussie beaucoup des choses en très peut de temps !! Tu pourras toujours revenir à l’école! Tu est déjà make ton rêve de devenir enseignant. Maintenant une autre aventure t’attends ! Go for it 😉

  41. mel,sorry to hear that you quit your loving job. but life is box of chocolates, who knows what awaits you in the future. and it doesn’t mean you can never teach again. just put your mind at ease.

  42. Mel I will miss your infectious enthusiasm. You are wonderwoman!! Keep going and keep in touch xx

    • Oh Emma, I had no idea you even knew I had a blog. I have to make a vlog this week: I thought about you when I was asked to do that! How are you, lovely lady?

  43. Laura Vitty says:

    I definitely can relate… I don’t have children yet but the thought of trying to juggle everything really scares me. I find it difficult enough finding time for my dogs while teaching full time! I completely agree that students should be allowed to fail, it is a very important life lesson. I do a lot of private tutoring through http://www.firsttutors.co.uk, its a necessity for me to be able to pay the mortgage on my own, but I do love it. It also means that I actually earn more over school holidays than I do when I’m at work! I would love to quit and do it full time but the hours would be too unsociable. Loved this post x

    • I had never considered tutoring during the holidays! I could definitely do that, as Hubby is a teacher and he could look after the little ones then. Thanks for sharing the link my lovely!

  44. Linda Gifford says:

    Hi Mel, I think you should go into ful time blogging, peters daughter Jo has an online business and works from home struggling with fibromyalgia and Endometrriosis. She has done very well with this!Check her blog out Dexterous Diva, she teaches how to start a business and make it flourish etc. xxxxxxx I love your blog!

    • Oh Lynne, thanks so much for your message. Jo looks like a real inspiration! I’ve just subscribed to her blog. xxx

  45. Hey gorgeous lady, I’m breaking all my holiday rules here by leaving this comment (I have 5 mins of internet to check some reference numbers) All I can say is WOW! You amaze me, inspire me and just wow. As others have said, you already are a Pro-blogger and a very fabulous one at that. You’ll make a success of anything you end up doing.

    The resignation seems sudden and very much not sudden all at once. Can’t wait to have a proper catch up once I’m home. Let’s organise another park meet asap. Lots of love hon, hope you’re ok xxxx

    • You naughty, naughty girl! I bet A. doesn’t know you were reading blog posts during your holidays! You are so, so right about my resignation. That is exactly what it was: sudden and not sudden. I sort of expected I would not be allowed to work 2 days only per week, but I was really hoping it could happen. I will miss it terribly. World of supply teaching, here I come!

  46. Do you know what Mel – I never even knew you were a teacher! But it makes sense – I can see what a brilliant teacher you must have been – with your passion for your language and country too. It’s so sad how teaching is pushed and pulled around by the various governments over the years – everything does go in circles too – from heavily exam-based o’levels to coursework based GCSEs and back – from “it’s too hard/ not good enough results, make it easier” to “it’s too easy, too many people drifting into higher education when they aren’t academic enough – let’s make it harder/add huge fees”. I can see why people want to get out of teaching but feel so conflicted as it is a vocation and something to be proud of and passionate about.

    I reckon you could do supply teaching and make a success of your blog at the same time – look how amazing your blog has been From.Day.One. I have to admit I was a bit gobsmacked and jealous when your blog first appeared on the scene but I quickly realised that it is a reflection of you – you’re a perfectionist – I’m lazy in comparison, I’m not afraid to admit that! Do it all Mel – you’ll be a success I’m sure of it! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout and good luck with whatever decision you do make. xx

    • Your comment means so much, Sam! I will be at work until the end of August, so I have a bit of time to think it through. I’d love to get to know you more, my lovely. We have to have a proper chat at BritMums Live.

  47. Love From Clueless Mum says:

    I can relate to a lot of this, and think it’s a shame that a career that requires so much work has to be given up for anything like the cost of childcare and lack of work-life balance. I’ve spent some time tutoring and supply teaching (not at the same time). I’d say tutoring is rewarding in working with the same pupils regularly, and would likely be easier to work around childcare. I much preferred supply teaching directly with the schools rather than through agencies. I emailed all of my local schools my CV and worked almost full time from there, although it took a little while to build up. It meant better pay, a nicer working environment because I got to know the staff and pupils and they’d be more likely to ask me back even if I was already booked one time they asked – with agencies I felt like I always had to say yes to get any work in the future. I hope you manage to come to a decision you are happy with and enjoy more time with your family. #effitfriday

    • Until tonight, I would never have thought of emailing the schools directly, but you’re the second person who’s suggested it. I will definitely do that, as working locally would make things easier for the time being. Thanks for taking the time to give me some advice, lovely!

  48. Frances Heaton says:

    People don’t realise all the work involved in being a teacher.
    Such hard work and so stressful!
    Wishing you good luck in your new venture.

    • So true, Frances. People don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes. It’s a demanding career, but I think it’s a real shame to be driven out of it because it is not affordable to work. What world do we live in?

      • Frances Heaton says:

        I agree, the cost of childcare should never be a barrier to working. Do other countries fare better than ours regarding the funding of childcare, or is the UK lagging behind?

        • France is really different. They are trying to encourage women to have children and also to keep working, so you get quite a lot of help with childcare, and it is a given that you’re allowed to work part-time until your youngest is 3. I think most European countries are pretty good with working women. Sad that it is not the case here.

  49. moderndadpages says:

    I can understand why you are feeling the way you feel! I to had walked away from a career and unsure how a self employed life at home was going to affect me! It’s all been positive for the most part 🙂 Thank you for linking on #effitfriday

  50. I think the pressure on teachers these days is incredible, so many continue because like you they see it as a vocation and the kids outweigh the negatives. There is only so much pressure that people can take and something needs to be done about this.

    Ooh off on a tangent. I think you should mull it over, i thought you were a pro blogger! Supply is a great way to keep your hand in and you can always say no if it gets too much.

    Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

    • You thought I was blogging for a living? He he, I never really imagined making any money out of my hobby until I realised I might have to give up teaching. x

  51. Mel, what an amazing career you’ve had as a teacher, and what a shame you can’t hold on to it because of the ever-present issue of childcare costs exceeding (pretty decent) salaries. It is a preposterous situation and I’ve been there myself.

    That said, it does sound like there were a ridiculous amount of political issues that made being a teacher (as it is being a nurse) a chore. All of the reasons you chose that career in the first place are overshadowed by things that suddenly take a lot of the pleasure out of the job – and that sucks.

    At the time I resigned, I didn’t look back or think twice. I had been in a fairly niche role, and the thought of doing nursing in a ward environment on a bank shift basis was soul-destroying, not to mention equally as taxing on our family life.

    Fast-forward 18 months, and now I could really do with some contracted work, even just a tiny bit, for the purpose of bumping up our mortgage-borrowing ability. The earnings I make freelance would be plenty, if they contracted, as they would count now. That is my only regret, if I even have one, of resigning and not looking back.

    I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that I love writing (blogging) and I can totally tell that you do too (you’re amazing). I suspect that you could launch into a pretty successful pro-blogging career fairly quickly (if you’re not already there), and would be able to maintain that whilst not forking out a fortune for childcare in the meantime.

    I also suspect that you love blogging just as much (if not more) than your teaching career. After all, this is your very own creation, filled with everything you. People love your blog, they (like I) have warmed to you and you could take blogging wherever you want to go with it.

    If you really have an itch to teach, then do a little bit part-time to keep in touch with it and keep your foot in the door. But this is a chance for you to flex your creative muscles and let your other talents shine. So I reckon just grab this opportunity and do it (blog!). And before this comment turns into an entire mini blog post in itself, I’m going to grab another coffee and sign out for now.

    Now, please email me some dates for meeting up. We had this planned for March, and I know that I’ve been snowed at this of life! Much love to you honey xxx

    • I do love blogging, but it’s not the same as teaching, being around teenagers and feeling like you’re making a difference… I hope I don’t look back. It’s quite scary! I’ll email you dates now. xx

  52. Wow Mel! I would say you should take a few weeks to decide on what you want to do, whether supply teaching, tuition or pro-blogging. When I finished up at work to go on maternity leave, I was involved in a really interesting project and the thought of handing it over to someone else was awful. Now I’ve been home for 11 months and have recently made the decision to stay at home till Sept. 2016, when the baby turns 2. Even thought I enjoyed my job a lot, I have got so used to mothering, homemaking, gardening and blogging that I want to make the most of it while I can. My two older boys are thrilled that I am home more.
    So, don’t make any rash decisions. Take a bit of time. And whatever you do, don’t give up this fabulous blog!
    Fionnuala

    • You’re spot on my lovely! I’ve decided to give it time. My husband always says that when you have to take a tough decision, the best way to deal with it is to do nothing. Things happen for a reason and there’s usually something positive coming out of a seemingly negative situation.

  53. Hi! You’re an amazing teacher and I’m going to miss your lessons and all the advice you’ve given me over the years! It still feels unreal that I’ve finished with school but as you said it’s a new chapter! Your strength is definately in teaching as well as blogging! I’ve seen your passion for teaching when you’ve taught me especially at A levels and I don’t think you should lose touch with it! Maybe you should try tutoring as part time if the hours of supply doesn’t work out? You’ll be amazing at it! Best of luck with the blogging! You’ve come so far with it and we’re proud of you! x

    • Merci ma belle, tu es un ange!

      It’s because of students like you that I love teaching so much. You make it fun, interesting, rewarding. You’re right, tutoring might be another option. Yesterday, I was leading a session at another bloggers’ conference and I loved every second of it. Public speaking could be the way forward, although I would miss the continuity and getting to know my ‘students’ (well, audience).

      Thank you so much for the present you and the girls gave us. You could not have chosen anything more perfect. That shows how well you know us.

      We’ve got to keep in touch, sweetie!

  54. Hey Mel! Waaaow that is a big step but I am happy for you because for as long as I remember you had that decision in your heart after the birth of your girl.
    All I have to say is that you were an awesome superheroe head of department always on top of the game and ready to help the kids to acheive better. I am happy you have made my life as a head of department cause you never sleep you always want everything to be spotless. I appreciate you as a person.
    As you see even after resigning you can’t help yourself blogging! Ggggggggg

    • Thanks you sweetie, your comment means a lot! You’re right: I still don’t sleep, he he! Blogging is loads of fun, but I will miss those teenagers (and the French girlies!) so much!

  55. Hannah says:

    Hi. I just found your blog today and I love it – good work, a real inspiration.
    I read your article about quitting teaching via the TES twitter feed, I really admire your motivation as a teacher but to post the question “How can it cost me more to pay for child care than I would earn by teaching” is surely ridiculous. You have four kids under the age of 7.
    I’m so sorry you’ve had to quit a job you really love and looking at the comments here you are really clearly a loss to the profession. But we talk to the young people in our schools all the time about making choices. You haven’t been forced to quit, you chose to have a big family.

    • Hi Hannah, thanks for your comment. I know, I did choose to have four children. I love them more than you could ever imagine, but I wish I could keep teaching a couple of days per week. Leaving the career you love is a scary thought, but such is life.

  56. I have also come to this via the TES and don’t understand how you can make the claim that you can’t afford to teach. You have implied you are on at least the equivalent of MPS 6, so would still earn a reasonable amount working 0.5 to 0.6. Government provided or funded child care is more generous now than it has ever been and you appear to be a dual income family with two adults who could share the school runs etc.
    Have you really done the maths? There are plenty of women, including single parents, with young children who teach and juggle the realities of child care with their work. If you really want to carry on working, teaching part-time should be a viable option. If you want to be at home for your children, that is perfectly understandable.

    • Hi Kate, I have really done the Maths, and wish teaching part-time was a viable option, but my youngest three are not at school yet (one of them is at preschool three hours per day) so they are with our childminder full-time.

      My little boy, in Year 2, still needs someone to look after him in the mornings and afternoons as well as walk him to/from school as we all leave home by 7.15 a.m. at the latest to drop our children in two different places so my husband and I are on time for school (7.45-8 a.m. start for him, 8.15 a.m. for me). We try our very best to collect them by 5.30 p.m. but with after-school meetings, it is not always possible.

      If having an au-pair was an option, I could definitely afford to work, but we only have two bedrooms, so the house would be a bit crammed.

      What do you mean by Government provided or funded child care? I might not know about that (it would help a lot if you had more details!).

  57. Hi Mel
    Go to http://www.gov.uk for details – hope it helps. All 2 – 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours a week free childcare with approved providers, including childminders. You could also look into Tax Credits.

  58. Oops…just tried that link and it doesn’t work!
    Let’s try again: http://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs

    • Thanks a lot for that Kate. We do get childcare vouchers, and they really made a difference when I went back to work at the end of my first maternity leave. They were covering over half of our childcare costs with one baby. It is a brilliant scheme.

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel