Does your teaching day go on until bedtime?
How many hours did you take off last weekend?
Are you tired of meeting students as you go about your private business?
Is there Life After Teaching?
Yes, there is, and I’m living it.
I taught for 29 years, and from year 15 I was wishing for a way out. Unfortunately, wishing was all I did: I failed to work on Plan B.
What’s Your Plan B?
You do have a Plan B don’t you?
Then you are in the right place to make a start on planning your teaching exit strategy.
Retirement is not an exit strategy. Will you still have your marbles then? Given that stress is a known killer, what state will your health be in if you work until retirement age?
Most teachers plan to retire as soon as they can live on their actuarially reduced pension. A pension should definitely be a part of your Plan B, but if you are below the age at which you can opt for early retirement you need another income for at least a few years.
If teaching has made you ill then take full advantage of the ill-health benefits that teachers have. In addition to the very generous paid sick leave entitlement, teachers can also apply for 2 years unpaid sick leave. Stop feeling guilty if you are sick and take days off; it is the system that has made you sick and you are entitled to the time off.
Marking exam papers is something that many of us do for the extra cash. The rate per hour is not that marvellous, but it is still worth doing because you can carry on after leaving teaching.
You can earn £30 an hour as a private tutor and earn a full time income, but only for 3 or 4 months a year. It is definitely worthwhile to build up a tuition business while you are still teaching because many parents phone the school to check that you are really a teacher there.
We spend our days writing, on boards, in books, on computers. Writing is a skill that many teachers are happy to use to earn a replacement income. Writing offers many channels that you can go down: You cold become a blogger, a writer of website content or a novelist.
If you have any interest you can almost certainly turn it into a business. If you can draw then you could find people online who will pay you for your work. If you are a gardener, you could start a gardening website, run courses or grow rare plants.
What’s Your Plan B Going to Be?
You are intelligent and can see how your colleagues look more tired the longer they are in teaching. The same will happen to you. You should start work on an escape plan in your 30s, putting in the background work, market research and contact building while you still have a regular income.
If you start your escape plan early enough it will be generating a decent income by the time you are ready to hand in your notice. Oh, how I wish I had done that!
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Do you have ideas for your own Plan B? What side-job do you have? Please share your plans using the comments below.