Is Teaching Still A Vocation?


A job for life

When I was eight I knew that teaching was all I ever wanted to do and that was my path mapped out right there. From playing with my teddies and giving them children's names to having pretend registers and a chalk board made from card I really thought my life was all mapped out.

I trained in Birmingham at Westhill college in 1997 and loved every minute of fulfilling my life's ambition and training to be a primary teacher. Life was exciting and I couldn't wait for my first job!

My career began in a fabulous school on a 0.6 contract teaching maths and english to years 4 and 5. It meant that because I was not full time I could also do supply during my afternoons which really was the best of both worlds. I adored teaching and everything it brought to my life. I was doing the job I had always wanted.

I went from a 0.6 contract to full time in a different school one year later and was thrown into the life of year 5 class teacher pretty quickly. The class was extremely challenging and although it was stressful I was a young 24 year old with bags of energy, no children or reasons to not work every hour possible. My time in that school lasted 12 years and by the time I left I was completely burnt out. I was soon to be a mum of 3 children under 6 with many of the demands that come with that! I could no longer juggle all the plates.

I went on to do 3 years of supply which I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed..... no observations, displays, parents nights, assemblies; all the parts of the job that really are the most draining and soul destroying.

So what was it about teaching that really stripped me of my happiness and joy? To be honest for me it was the constant scrutiny and the never being good enough. The list was never ever complete and I was constantly chasing my tail. There really wasn't any job satisfaction anymore. The love of the job had gone which really was heartbreaking.

Life changed for the better when I completely left teaching and started a business which to date has 21 franchisees! I really was meant to start Popcat's Music Time and I feel extremely proud of not only the business I have built for me and my family but for the 21 women, the majority of whom have also left teaching, to have a fulfilled and stress free life.

Catherine Williams


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