Career Break Diary: Update & Term 2

Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since I had a Career Break Diary post, so I thought I’d update you on my career break so far.

November was mental, I was working with Science Foundation Ireland, helping to review and plan changes to their existing ideas and lesson plans. Lots of great ideas were shared and I can’t wait to share them with you when they are finished. Watch this space!

In the middle of my work with SFI I was working with two third level institutions. Thanks to Gina from Teacher Ladder for pointing me in this direction. This is part time work but on top of subbing and SFI it proved to be a very busy November and I was square-eyed from Zoom. Looking back it was preparation for Term 2!

In Term 1, I was fortunate to have lots of subbing and blocks of subbing in different settings. It began with individual days here and there, then a block with Senior Infants. I loved being back in infants again. Then I had a block with ASD classes, I covered two different classes during this time, with the majority in a Junior ASD class. It was challenging and I learned so much more about myself but I did enjoy the experience. It definitely taught me to appreciate the small things, every step is an achievement.

I finished in early December and had some subbing opportunities in other schools but overall it was a very busy Term 1. Looking forward to Term 2, it started out as a ball of anxiety with school closures but special classes opening to a full closure. I had been asked to sub in January for a school and I am so fortunate that the arrangement still stands. It has been such a relief. I am visiting the school this week for a handover and to get started with remote learning.

Looking back, this time last year I returned to school after Christmas break with a heavy heart and very mixed emotions. I was unhappy, yet I didn’t know what I wanted. Explaining this to my principal wasn’t easy, but she was so understanding and my career break application came from there. Do I regret it? I can honestly say, I don’t! Yes the fear of school closures and lack of work was always going to be there and it was very real last week for me, but my resilience has grown so much and I was ready to apply myself to something if I needed to (having saved for this eventuality also had helped).

So now, I begin Term 2 and a new adventure in this school beginning with remote learning and who knows from there. I have enjoyed my career break so far, it has given me the time out I needed to figure out what I wanted and where I want to go from here. I have had amazing opportunities working with children with additional needs and part time work with third level institutions which I wouldn’t have had if I stayed in mainstream.

So if you are at a crossroads yourself and trying to figure out what you want for yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for support, get professional advice and try something different. It has worked for me. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Stay Safe

Aistear Múinteoir.

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