2014 seems to be the year of change for me.
It started off with getting engaged last summer and then married this past April. Having David move in with me, and starting our lives together, counts as a pretty big change, I think!
We also decided to move closer to the town that he works in- Ware. So we started looking, and found a great flat (to rent) right on the High Street. With views towards the river, and right near the library, and pool, we quickly agreed to take it. Moving means that David won't have to bike miles and miles each day to work and back, and it also helps give us a fresh start. A place that we can call our own, that we picked out together, and doesn't feel like it belongs to one of us (as our currently flat still feels like "mine" and not "ours"). I'm excited for a new place to live and move to a town that has such a great reputation.
A while ago, I also made the decision to not return to my current school next September. David and I had talked about moving close to Ware, and through those discussions, amongst other reasons, I knew that the best option for us would be for me to leave my position at the school. For a while, I thought about doing supply and short term contracts, but another thought occurred to me: I could go back to school as a student!
For a long time, I have wanted to pursue my interest in Psychology and continue my education in that field. I love teaching, and working with young people, but it is not something that I could realistically do long term. Being on my feet, carrying boxes of books, and the other physical requirements of classroom teaching is very hard on my spine. As many of you know, I had a spinal injury whilst at university and have been left with bone, muscle, disc and nerve damage. While I can deal with this now, I cannot imagine being able to lug books around when I'm in my 40s, or 50s, when my neck will mostly likely be much worse than it is now.
Teaching anywhere is a difficult and time consuming job. Teaching in the UK, is almost an impossible job. The ever changing curriculum, constant check ups (because we aren't trusted to do our jobs), OFSTED and the way the system is set up, means that teachers here face an insane amount of pressure. In fact, one of the reasons that there are so many teaching jobs across England, and why there are so many young teachers, is because teaching here is very stressful. While I've not reached that burn-out stage yet, I don't see the point of waiting around until that happens, and staying in a profession that will likely make me miserable (and not because of the actual teaching, but because of everything else the system throws at you) doesn't make sense.
Since taking some Psychology courses in the past, I have entertained the idea of becoming either an Educational Psychologist, or working as a Counseling Psychologist. I have always fallen into the role of listener, and been the person that others confide in, so it seemed like a path that would make sense for me. By taking a MSc in Psychology, I will get the foundation that I need to specialise further and start a career in one of these fields. Within these jobs, I can still work with young people, but just in a different capacity. And, if all else fails, I can go back to teaching, or tutor part-time, to earn some extra income.
Because we were moving, and I was planning on moving jobs anyways, we figured now was the ideal time for me to go back to university to get the qualifications I need to shift careers. Getting accepted into the MSc Psychology course at the University of Herfordshire meant that I could make this dream a reality.
So while getting married, moving, leaving my job and starting a masters programme are all big life changes, they are all ones that I am extremely excited about.