As a college student, when people would ask me: "Why in the world do you want to become a teacher?" I would always tell them that I was doing it for the kids, not for myself, or for the paycheck. I constantly had people telling me: "Wow you're so brave," or "you must have so much patience." That definitely didn't help convince me that I was going into the right field, but I just knew that my passion for helping children would get me through.
My professors always told me I was a natural in the classroom and praised me after each lesson and my family was proud of me. So who was I to believe?
Well, the year I graduated was spring of 2020 if that tells you anything about how my career began. I taught one year as a 3rd grade Inclusion Teacher in the #1 school district in Mississippi, near where I went to University, then my husband and I moved to South Florida for his job.
I then got a job as an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teacher for an elementary school nearby.
Those two years of teaching in a public school were some of the hardest most stressful years of my life. I was constantly stressed, anxious and exhausted. I had a caseload of over 50 children that I was supposed to see multiple times per week, attend their IEP meetings, write their IEPS, etc.
Seasoned teachers continued to tell me that this wasn't normal. Schools didn't used to be like this. They actually enjoyed teaching up until a few years ago. Don't get me wrong, I didn't walk around the school in a slum all of the time. I really did enjoy my job. I loved working with the struggling students and helping them grow. However, the job was impossible for one person and I felt continuously guilty about not giving them the legally required support. So what could I do?
On one hand, wouldn't I just be making the entire teacher shortage situation worse by leaving and pursuing another career? But on the other hand, isn't my life, my marriage, and my mental health the most important?
In March of 2022 I decided to tell my principal that I would not be returning for the next school year. I decided to start my own virtual tutoring business for those ESE/Inclusion children who are struggling and probably not getting everything that they need from the public school.
In June of 2022 I officially launched Inspired Tutors, and although it is no easy feat to start a business from scratch, I am working everyday toward something that I believe in and that makes it all worth it.
So far I have only worked with a handful of students, but I am continuously making new connections and putting myself out there to show parents and guardians that there is support out there for them and their children.
When you put all of your energy into something you wholeheartedly believe in, there is no way that it will fail.
So do I regret leaving the school system? Absolutely not! Although money is sometimes tight as it usually is with starting a business, my stress and anxiety are much lower. I get to spend more time with my family and work on YouTube videos and lessons to hopefully help a few struggling children out there.
Have you thought about leaving? Leave a comment and let me know!