Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Gripped by the Guilt of Switching Subjects

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Gripped by the Guilt of Switching Subjects

Article excerpt

I had wanted to be a teacher for years and finally made the career change from industry to education just before I turned 40.

For the first few years of my new career, I taught a core subject. From Day 1, I couldn't believe the pressure and workload. However, I persevered, choosing to believe the colleagues who said it would become easier after the first two or three years.

But as time moved on, my every waking hour during term-time (and much of the holidays) was consumed with work. I came to realise that I would have to let my normally high standards slip just to be able to fit everything in and meet the seemingly impossible targets.

After four years, I was at breaking point. Early on in the last academic year, I resolved to hand in my notice at Easter.

Then, as luck would have it, an opening came up at my school to teach a subject for which I have a genuine passion and which is closely linked to my former career. I applied and got the job.

I was happy to have been successful, but still entertained doubts that perhaps the subject wasn't the problem: perhaps it was me. …

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