Expat Life Lately: Breaking Up With Teaching, Wedding Dress and Bunk Beds

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Warning: this starts off as a bit of a downer but it gets better I promise!

Teaching… Or Lack Thereof

While on the PGCE (teacher training program) about a year and a half ago I wrote this blog: An Open Letter: My Frustration with Teaching in the UK I finished the program (somehow with a shred of sanity left, more or less). Did supply for 6 weeks (lost all sanity). Had my own reception class for a year who were wonderful and I’m so happy I had the opportunity  to teach them; I’ll always cherish the time I had as their teacher however the crushing workload and a list (a LONG, LONG list) of bureaucratic factors have left me angry, frustrated, gob-smacked and just plain done.

The UK has lost yet another passionate educator; I’ve become one of the 44% of teachers who leave in their first 3 years in the UK and while I feel like I’ve been failed and I’m sad I won’t get the chance to do my utmost to inspire another class of amazing individuals, I feel like the system has lost more and quite frankly, deserves to.

I tried to write this blog a few days ago and it just kept turning into a furious rant which is exactly why I had to leave teaching. I don’t have any fight left for the particular battle that is fighting to be treated as a professional, and fighting to do what is right for the children in a robotic, data-obsessed, broken system. I am tired of ranting. So I did the hard thing and broke up with a job I loved because when a job starts to feel like an abusive relationship it’s time to leave. That is all I will say about that.

The up-side is that I feel like a new person, or rather, I feel more like the person I was before I signed up for that soul-crushing experience called the PGCE. I feel like my optimism has returned and feel like I’m falling for this little island all over again. No idea what I’ll be doing with my life so job-hunting, filling in applications and living without a pay cheque is its own challenge but I know I made the right decision for me. I’m thankful my husband has been so supportive throughout my decision to undertake teaching and also my decision to leave it to take care of my well being.

Maybe he’s just glad our living room no longer looks like a bomb went off in a library!

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Art we did in the last week of school that a parent framed for me as a leaving present. Adore this. Gorgeous flowers from another student. The next day I was given so many thoughtful things and enough booze and chocolate to last a whole summer. I know those little ones I got to know will go on to do amazing things 🙂

Moving/Wedding Dress

In other news we also traded in Wales for Kent (due to my husband’s job). I’m sort of getting used to calling him my “husband” :). The summer was super busy getting everything moved, deciding to go veggie, realizing this house is even smaller than the last (if that’s even possible), getting rid of way more stuff to the charity, spending 2 weeks on the East coast of Canada with mom and family, finding/buying my wedding dress, stuffing said wedding dress in our already-stuffed suitcase, according to our photos did a lot of much-needed napping, and came back to realize this place still looks a massive mess!

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Canada

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The upside though is we have a garden! *Hallelujah plays* I’m so happy that we have a garden again and already can’t wait for next Spring to get in the dirt. There are also some gorgeous seaside towns nearby that I can’t wait to check out; Kent is totally new to J and myself so that’s quite exciting.

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Yes, I’m the last human on Earth to still use a button phone.

Also, now that I actually have time for myself I’ve made some friends and we’ve been meeting up for tea once a week and going on little shopping trips. I’ve even had time to work on writing my latest novel and am hoping to pick up some of the many hobbies I’d put down for the past 2 years (guitar, singing, genealogy, ect,.) And I can now add metal-detecting to my list of odd hobbies. Yay!

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Bunk Beds

As we’ll be having a lot of family and friends visiting next summer for our official wedding we’ve been trying to work out how we can stuff as many people in our hobbit house as possible. One great idea I had was to purchase a bunk bed for our spare room and I found this double-double bunk bed! At a great price and made-in-England!

4ft 6 Double Double Bunk Bed – Strictly Beds and Bunks
double bunk bed

Now I use the term “made” lightly as I expected a flat-packed bed and a few screws however what came was a million pieces of wood and some marriage-testing instructions. It took us 3 evenings and about 8 hours in all but… ta-da!

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I also ordered their foam mattress which is surprisingly comfy! We decided to stay in here for a night to be guinea pigs to test out our engineering skills and loved it so much we stayed in the guest room for a week. I always wanted bunk beds as a child and let me tell you – they are just as fun as adults! I don’t know if it’s the smell of the wood and the close quarters but it reminds me of being on a cozy ship. It’s like having a holiday yacht in our spare bedroom. Yes, we’re easily pleased.

What did you all get up to during this sweltering summer? Also, for those working, what do you for work and do you enjoy it?

Goodnight all! It seems like a perfect night for another trip on our pretend ship.  🙂

 

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2 thoughts on “Expat Life Lately: Breaking Up With Teaching, Wedding Dress and Bunk Beds

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