Working in a supermarket and not going back to teaching

I share every now and then something that I see about teaching on my MTG Instagram account. Sometimes it's those joyous Gov adverts, sometimes it's a news article and sometimes it's just general teacher chat. I did one the other day and had so many DMs I couldn't reply to them all.

A while back I wrote a post about teaching and how I am currently juggling not putting Arlo in childcare. You can find this here

As I mentioned in this previous blog post we are not in a position for me not to work and I really like the security of a pay packet even if SBN would make enough teamed with my latest venture on the side The Boob Store- I am still not sure while the children are young whether I would completely quit my supermarket job. For now, I am going to try it.

So things have changed since I last wrote the post- quite a lot in fact. I took on the job while in the middle of my fertility treatment when the plan was to work it after this but it was taking too long and the mortgage well, ya know- needs paying and that. I applied for a supermarket job because I knew there would be evenings and having waitressed for many years since the age of 14 I decided to try something different plus I have retail experience from working in Goldsmiths and GAP. I passed the Waitrose tests and then applied for the local ones who had current vacancies. It wasn't as local as I wanted but it is a convenience one so opens late. So I work 5-10:30pm three nights a week. This is now not going to work with the twins and Arlo. I need to leave Ali with them and he doesn't finish work until 5pm. However, it would potentially be on a half day and the other day is a Saturday. 

I am still boobing the girls which means I now need to express for Ali and who knows how it will go but basically, Ali is fabulous with coping and I have such a rigid routine that actually they should be just fine. It will be me feeling blue leaving them one evening a week. So, that's what I am doing. Technically, I am still on Mat leave but they have kindly let me do KIT days all 10 on a Saturday night. For two reasons: 1. So ali can see how it goes by himself; look you maybe thinking what's the issue many do bedtimes on their own. Sure- but its three under three- twins who are still boobed to sleep and will continue to be for as long as I can and a mad toddler. So yeh, I think a one day a week trial is good. 2. So I can earn a little bit. 

Why did I choose Waitrose? Well, I have never even really shopped in there previously but I heard they treat their staff well. I haven't had any issues and I have found them super fair. The only thing is your shifts really are just that and I have heard other supermarkets let their staff switch shifts if needs be etc. I like the online system they have and I like the mix of customers. Reminds me of working in a private school a little- the mix of parents. 

Why did I decide to not teach? SO many reasons. I was an excellent teacher. The thing is as I have written before, I cared a lot about my children. I call them my children because that is what they were to me. Like my own little brood I looked after and supported through the year and then I let them fly the nest feeling like I had done the best job I could. Yeh, well that wasn't going to be the case with my own child and now three, nope I've learnt it is all or nothing for me personally. I am so creative in general and teaching my lessons- well I was pretty eccentric really and I would spend hours. If I hadn't wowed them in the day I felt crap about myself. This just wouldn't work. Then the holidays get on my tits- working into the ground for two weeks off to start back up again and spend a week or two getting into the groove to be utterly exhausted again etc etc. When one of you isn't a teacher in your relationship the holidays are pointless not "what wonderful holidays you have."  Also, it IS NOT a flexible job around children. I know teachers who miss their own children's everything. Now of course many parents do but literally I have seen teachers in tears because they couldn't be at their child's school for something.

I worked out income. I am on Main Payscale 6- no TLRs because I kept moving schools to find greener pastures but there weren't any. Grass, greener and all that and moved to go part time for my fertility treatment for 6 months due to my hormones not levelling out which I associated with stress- it was they levelled out after the Summer holiday and then I supplied but that also a load of turd I found for me personally. So I worked out that three evenings a week was just under the same for Arlo being in childcare with me teaching part time. Now with three, pah, no way could we afford the childcare. Plus, my earnings from teaching are the same each month. This way I can take on more shifts if needs be and run my business ideas which wouldn't be possible with teaching.

So, why would I go back to the stress of working "part time" when we all know it isn't for the same cash home as facing up baked beans and explaining the latest Indian Meal Deal to Eric.  This isn't dumbing down the job at all- there are times when it needs more brains but it isn't like teaching. Nope. not at all. No brainer for me. 

What about your relationship? Well, Ali and I are a pretty strong couple and we make time for each other. We are definitely not ships which pass because I try really hard to make time to go out as a family when we can and we try and have lunch together as he is at home for work and we have our Sundays. Having said that, it isn't easy but nothing is. We have a pretty good set up really. 

So businesses around part time work? Well, that is a whole different topic, but I make it work. I have nap times- still. Arlo will be starting nursery in September. I also have a friend visit once a week for four hours and Ali has a Tuesday afternoon off. Then there is Saturday and then there is the hour between post bedtime clear up and dinner time. Sometimes I work into late nights and sometimes I work on Sundays. Someone asked me is that worth it? For now, yes. I like that I am creative, dealing with my own customers and yeh I do take home some money from it because I am not paying for childcare and luckily people love my pears! Plus, The Boobstore, I hope eventually will start to make a little while pushing my all hail the tits approach. 

 

So, why this post? Because training to be a teacher feels like a trap. I did a BEd 5-11 three year degree. But what if you don't want to be a teacher? So many times I had this and I really did just want to teach. But, then I remember I taught 35 Year 5/6s for two years- some absolutely adamant they didn't want to be at school and they walked into secondary with above average and average results. I taught 30 Year 3s in Croydon whilst travelling up and had some of the best results in the school after being given they called it 'one of the most difficult classes' with one boy who was 7 and expelled to return to me to then be never seen by the headteacher again. I had hugs from parents, parents who really cared for me and I cared for them. I had a private school class where the head had that many requests for me the third year he was livid I handed in my notice to go to state sector. I have a lot of amazing stories to tell because teachers are really one of a kind and we really are quite amazing at juggling plates, keeping people happy. So actually- we can do anything we put our minds to. Sometimes our mental health and young families must come first.

When did I know I wouldn't step in the classroom probably again? I was pregnant on a course. A teacher rushed in and said: Gah what a morning! The supply needed this that and this. I don't even know what happened to my children this morning- just shoved them in the car and forgot most things. That was when I knew the stress of the job mixed with my own family wouldn't be for me. 

(Jess Cheetham Image)

So I just saying, if you are feeling lost. You're crying before work starts and feeling like you are trapped well- there is life after teaching. Will I go back- I really don't think so for now. Not for many, many years. My IBS is the calmest it has been in years. My mental health is the most healthy it has been on so many years. I am truly the happiest I have ever been.

Oh, and if you are new here and fancy helping to raise funds towards my next chocolate twist, Arlo's next muffin and the girls' next 10 bananas which will only last them a few days...then my pears can be found here. 

Lots of Love

Naomi x 
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