At a crossroads as a Tutor/ Teacher. Help & advice needed please


I’m looking for some help and advice please…

I’ve been at a crossroads for a couple of years now…

I’m currently teaching in an independent school, full-time with a 2 hours daily commute. I also teach privately with a mixture of pupils (primary to mature) around 10 hours per week, spread out over 7 days a week.

This year and past couple of months have really been tough on me. I’ve never felt so tired, drained and burnt out. The problem is, I just can’t risk going all in teaching private yet but I would like to leave my independent school role.
Has anyone else been in a similar position or have any suggestions? I don’t feel I can survive another academic year.

Thank you :slight_smile:


Hi there. I have seen this at 12.45 at night - just about to go to bed but could not do that without replying. Everyone’s situation is slightly different but the way you are feeling right now is very similar to there I was in 2014-15. You say you cannot risk going private, let me pose another question - can you risk NOT making this move. This isn’t private and others will read this so I am not pouring out my life history here - one example will do - I told my head to her face that I would be better off dead than staying at the school where I had served for almost 25 years. But this isn’t about me what I want to offer you is HOPE, the belief that life does not have to be like it is for you right now. Five years on I have never been happier - so what does the road out look like? Firstly its not an either/or - look at other options that can dovetail with tutoring but my advice is outside of education. Yes you will be working minimum wage but you need to open some doors from the cell you are now in. I tried several things, some looked promising and had hidden problems or simply did not work for me. The least promising temporary stop-gap I stayed in for five years and would probably still be doing a little of if it wasn’t for COVID. Again snapshot - Silverstone British Grand Prix - F1 controlling the gates into the pits - saw it all first hand - did it again the following year, pop concerts - Rod Stewart - Michael Ball - V festival. The point is you have TRANSERABLE SKILLS WHICH HAVE VALUE OUTSIDE OF EDUCATION’. Not least ability to communicate and manage awkward situations - we all do that in teaching. Even now I have a Saturday job, run the village garage shop, only me there, we are on a canal so refuel canal boats as well as forecourt sales. In short - diversify. Necessity is the mother of invention - get your CV updated and walk out into a sunny day. I never thought I could do this - I could and did.
Good luck and do let me know how you get on


Oh I feel this so much!!
I left teaching and went into supply work. I panicked and ended up doing supply, retail, tutoring and working on markets selling books.
I hated day to day supply, but I did two long term supply jobs and it was perfect. No pressure, any marking I did was a bonus, no daft meetings, no parents evenings etc. I did that for a while and I felt like a new person. I then worked as a TA in a primary school for a bit, to see if that environment was a better fit for me. It wasn’t, but it was great experience, and I built up my tuition business while I was a TA. The pay is disgracefull, but it meant I could always pay my bills and wasn’t too tired to teach in the evenings. Then I went to full time tuition. After a little while I raised my prices, then again when I was confident enough to. I’m 3 years into tutoring (from when I started as a teacher) and I am earning significantly more than I was as a teacher. I’ve gone from being in debt to buying a house with my partner with my previous debt paid off.
It was scary, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
Feel free to message me if you want to talk about it at all!

I have a son who recently completed his masters in Psychology and is now considering getting qualified to work as a secondary school teacher.

The question I can’t answer for him is …would he be restricted to teaching his University subject ? (First degree also in Psychology) or are things more flexible than that?

Can someone help us here ?

PS we live in Scotland - we are very much aware that many things change at the border.

It can be flexible, but it depends on his experiences in other areas. Did he do any other courses at uni? (I did English in Aberdeen, but I did History and Divinity and History of Art too, so I could branch out into those areas, if I had enough knowledge in them).
Basically, he is probably unlikely to get a job outside of Science, unless he has real experience in that role, and has enough subject knowledge. Also, teaching styles will be different between certain subjects.

Hi Philip,

Things will be more rigid in Secondary School but have you considered an independent school? Things will be more relaxed in subject specialism as I currently teach a range of subjects, in addition to my specialism of Music. He would be able to start out teaching entry levels and then as he grows in confidence and subject knowledge, consider teaching higher levels. In a mainstream school, the expectation will be to teach your subject specialism unless it’s for cover. Hope that helps.

Thanks Heather and Lucid for your replies. Not the situation we were hoping for but it is what it is…