Yes as I write this blog I am now singing the classic 80s song by Europe but the reality is that I am on the home straight of my deputyship and my ‘guaranteed’ income with it coming to an end this Easter. That means leaving a school I began life in as a fresh faced NQT and climbed up the ranks and leaving behind many friends, let alone amazing children.
But the reality is that lockdown 2020 let my partner and I into reconsidering life somewhat and a relocation was on the cards. The daily two hour commute has been quite a task and reflected in the huge big bags (more like sacks) under my eyes and that wont be missed after Good Friday. A lot will though so it isn’t like leaving with joy, I love the school I work in but I am looking forward to a new venture.
So that’s how tuition came about and I am equally excited in my partners’ opportunity to build and run her own pre-school activity centre. This is where you kind and supportive people come in too. Being new to the field I have turned to the generosity of others in talking about how to establish myself, what to do, when to do it and to ask whether I am mad in doing this? You hear the market is saturated, you hear of those problem parents when agreeing lessons and even payment and you hear about those who charge £2 for a group session, half cutting you out of opportunities. But there is such a positive side to everything and I have genuinely had welcoming conversations with fellow tutors, been given great advice and mentoring and I am benefitting and learning every day.
The hard task comes when working full time as a deputy (plus that long commute) yet wanting to set up a small business. I know many have managed but life hasn’t been so kind in this respect and I have a lot to do. But with constant research, the drive to want to be successful and the mentoring from others I feel like I can get there. Hopefully this will lead to connections, collaboration….and clients and I can build my small business.
So what have I done so far? Well aside from building connections and friendships I have done a heck of a lot of research. Building a business plan, helping my partner establish her limited company and get registered, work with a close friend to build a business website, get a Facebook page up and running and start building ready for sessions to start. I have some of the hardware that’s needed and getting recommended some great software and behind the scenes sorting the necessary DBS check etc so things are happening. But like with teaching there is always something to do and I know that I will be constantly focused on getting some clients and doing the job to the best of my ability. The internal pressure of wanting to ensure everything is ‘perfect’ for a session will exist and whilst confident in my teaching ability I feel it will be validated over time.
Therefore, what’s next? Well working on building the outbuilding to eventually have on site tuition in addition to online. Developing a client list and gaining some income and engaging with the online tutoring community more – which I have been waiting to be a bigger part of. This is exciting, this is scary, but the one thing I know is that support exists out there and the time is now for us to try the small business route. Thanks for reading and following the blog, let us see what the next chapter brings….
Steve Eastes is one half of the Dynamic Deps and launched Happy Owls Tuition in April 2021. He is documenting his story for the Tutors Learning Network as part of our Teacher To Tutor Journey. You can catch up with Steve on his Facebook Page or right here on his Tutors Learning Network Directory listing!