I am now a Little Learners Franchisee and loving every minute!
Working with children has always been a huge part of who I am and so teaching was an ideal career for me. Being career focused, I put my heart and soul into working in primary schools in many different roles. I worked in a truly wonderful school with incredibly hard working and inspiring staff (who I love a lot!). It was practically my home, a huge part of my world, and I always wanted to do my very best for everyone. Each morning I pulled on to the car park at 7.30am and got thrown out by the caretaker at 5.45pm each evening.
From the daily planning, marking, prepping and clubs to extra responsibilities like subject leadership, departmental leadership and senior leadership – I just kept going. I didn’t have a family of my own and so I would arrive home and fall asleep on the couch fully clothed and exhausted. Sometimes I’d work all evening and once I’d dragged myself away from my laptop at 1am, I would be unable to sleep. All the things to do and worry about would be going around and around in my head. If anything had gone particularly ‘wrong’ at work my stomach would turn and I’d dread going back in.
When my husband and I went on holidays, I would pretty much sleep for the first few days! Whilst away, I would be thinking of all the work I had to do and almost feel guilty for having time away from the endless jobs left back in school. The worry of that never ending to do list would keep flooding back to my mind and I never fully had ‘that holiday feeling’. I am not going to bad mouth the job of teaching here I am just going to say, and most teachers will agree with me, teaching has become increasingly demanding with an unnecessary workload.
Being a spontaneous, ‘in the moment’ and relaxed teacher was becoming more difficult for me. There were so many amazing, lovely and rewarding things about teaching little ones – mainly the children themselves! I’m talking about those little moments in class where you are all laughing together like a family or when there’s what I call a ‘lightbulb moment’ and a child learnt something new and were proud of themselves. Unfortunately, for me the other ‘stuff’ was detracting from the reasons why I was actually there and all the positive elements I took away from the job.
Meanwhile, my husband and I decided to begin our family and we now have two beautiful girls. On maternity leave with my first daughter, I felt confused. My whole life up to now had been career focused and my priority had been striving forward at school, but that all changed when that little person was placed into my arms. I now had my own tiny person who I wanted to be with and do my best for. How could I do both roles and give each one the 100% I know they deserved? When I returned to work, and I was lucky enough to be part-time. However, that still meant 3 very long and hard days and 3 very expensive days of childcare! At this point my more managerial role at school was very much admin and meeting based; I had less contact with the wonderful pupils, the best bit!
When it came to my second maternity leave, I was wondering HOW ON EARTH I was going to juggle two children and my all-consuming job? I knew that once I went back to work it was inevitable that when I was spending time with my little family my mind would be elsewhere worrying about work. I just wanted to enjoy having young children!
Having that feeling of such love and commitment to my girls, I had a ‘lightbulb moment’ of my own! TIME! Time with my children was currently what my life needed to be all about, ideally with a pinch of the passionate professional me thrown in. What job would be SO flexible that I could walk my eldest to and from school each day? (I have always wanted to take my kids to and from school and also wrap-around care was totalling up very pricey! And, unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of family help when it comes to childcare).
Would I find the answer or was I asking too much? I started to explore some options.
Then, through a friend of a friend, my husband heard about Little Learners franchising…As I Googled to find out more, I was almost peeping at the screen through one eye – it sounded too good to be true!…and I can tell you, there is no catch, it is completely true and it has given me exactly what I was looking for! Slotting perfectly alongside running my house and the school run whilst still creating me more TIME for my babies is my very own business.
A business which still allows me to teach.
A business where I can be driven and inspired.
A business where I can meet my passions of working with children and parents and developing early writing skills.
A business where I am both Mummy and Jen.
Yes there’s admin, prepping, plenty of mess (haha obviously!), it can physically be hard work, but all that can be done at a time that I choose, that suits my family. I even have the option to take my children to class with me!
If you are reading this and have desire for a ‘family-first’ life where you still have ‘something for you’ then I can’t recommend enough looking to see what is out there. You never know what is waiting for you, work-wise, that you can mould to suit your world and the needs of you and your family. I found it, so can you! Go for it!
Thank you Little Learners UK for the opportunity! I love LL xx
Jen – Mummy and owner of Little Learners Manchester North
Would you like a flexible job which fits around family life?
Would you like to run your own successful franchise offering award-winning messy play classes, parties and events in your local area?
Join us at one of our Franchise Discovery Days:
EDINBURGH on Monday 2nd July at 1.30pm
Spaces are limited so click the button below to book your space now!