When Things Come Together

Ooh another Kazakhstan section, but you’ve turned down the job, what could possibly be happening now I hear you ask. Well, 4 days after declining the job offer in Kazakhstan, the international recruitment lady contacted me to suggest the same job, for the same group of schools, in a different city, in the same country, where I would be able to find accommodation allowing dogs, and as it’s a rural city it pays more (counter-intuitively).

s-margot.jpg

Though I would have to re-interview for the role with the staff at the new school. I now considered myself experienced with these interviews having completed one before with great success, so I thought, Why not and signed myself up for another Skype interview.

The interview seemed very much more a token interview this time. They seemed to have decided that if the previous school in the big city had wanted me then it must be their lucky day to get me out in the sticks.

After a little deliberation I decided to accept this job offer.

Team teaching grade 10-12 physics only, class size a maximum of 12 students: it sounded like a the most idyllic job I could have ever imagined.

s sketch tewkesbury

Then came the logistics. This is one of the main things about being a grown-up that I hate. Admin. Insurance, documentation, notaries, visas, vaccines, flights, council tax … and so on and so forth.

Plus I still had to get through the rest of the school term; though as the year 11’s had gone on exam leave my timetable was significantly improved and summer time on a narrowboat is wonderful, I especially enjoyed my mini veg garden.

Many of my colleagues were both envious and confused by my decision. Envious as I was leaving before what looked to be a difficult year, and confused as Kazakhstan wasn’t really an obvious choice. I don’t know the precise nuances of each of their situations, but I do believe people are rarely as trapped in their jobs as they think they are. If they really wanted a change they could do it, it might be difficult or uncomfortable but I don’t believe impossible.

I was due to start at the beginning of September alas the paperwork side of things slowed things down considerably to the point that I wasn’t entirely sure it would all come together, but , spoiler alert, it did, and I’ll tell you more about that in another post.

So here is where the real tale begins, as I start my journey towards teaching physics in Kazakhstan.

s boat & margot

Quitting My Teaching Job!

At the start of these tales I was a 29 year old physics teacher in the UK. I lived happily on my narrowboat on the edge of the Cotswolds with my lovely dog Margot named after Margot Leadbetter (The Good Life). Getting to this stage had involved many spur of the moment decisions based on whims and impulse and I can’t say I regret any of them. Maybe I’ll tell you about some of them one day, but I feel I have to start somewhere so here’s as good a point as any.

cirencester market sketch

Quitting

I hadn’t always been a teacher and knew from the start I wasn’t going to be a teacher for long. As much as I enjoyed working with my colleagues, conditions in British schools are not conducive to an enjoyable career. So after a 1.5 years teaching I handed in my notice, I’d say it was on a whim, but I’d been thinking about it for a while, I was just waiting for January to pass so I could be sure it wasn’t January blues talking.

I’ve found that once people know you’ve quit they all have some variation of the same question:

“What are you going to do next?”

I didn’t have a clue and this seemed to confuse and concern them. They couldn’t grasp the idea of just quitting, it didn’t make sense. I must do something, I would need a job surely, wasn’t I worried about that. I wasn’t really. I’ve always kept an eye on my finances, lived carefully and saved a good percentage of my income. I would never have allowed myself to quit if I wasn’t confident I could support myself. I had my boat, my mooring and my savings, plus no mortgage, no kids, no partner and few bills, I was accountable to no-one and pretty much sorted.

Of course, inevitably I did do something and next post I will let you in on some of the myriad of possibilities I considered.

night docks