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Leaving Teaching to run a pub...

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by dovoro, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. Hi, I'm currently in my 3rd month of my EPD1 year. This year I'm in my 3rd school on a maternity cover and hating it - and I'm now of the mindset finally that I'm going to leave teaching. I find that over the past year, I'm caring less and less about what I'm doing. After a lot of consideration I'm moving out of being an 'employee' in a school and have decided to run a pub with my partner.

    This year I've taken on my own Year 11, 12 and 13 classes who are studying a BTEC course each. The kids I've taken over for the BTEC are fab, but they are taught by 3
    of us teachers. This has led to them comparing me to the other
    teachers, naturally. Since I have never taught it before, they tend to pick holes in my way of teaching and
    make passing comments to the other teachers, who in turn take this as a
    sign that it must be me who needs to adapt my way of teaching.
    It's as though
    everything that I've worked to learn and develop in myself and
    technique is now under potential threat daily. PerhapsI'm being
    precious, but it's worn me down the constant nitpicking of my teaching,
    even though my observations have had top results. I feel undermined, that because I'm new to that BTEC, I must be doing something wrong if the kids mention something. I know I have loads to learn, but endorsing the kids' slightest gripe isn't right. I'm asking lots of questions to make sure I'm coming from the right direction, but I am plagued with self-doubt daily now.this seems to amplify my apparent image of a guy who needs his hand held.

    My problem is that my 'spark' has died. I loved and adored teaching when I started, with resources being produced at a mammoth rate, but I just feel like I should have more passion than I do now. It has waned over the last year without my realising and it's now got to the stage where I really resent the 'sugestions' of how I could use other resources instead of my own that I've spent ages preparing, or teach differently , however nicely the suggestions are given by my colleagues.

    I'm an intellectual person (if that's not too arrogant), and yet I feel wasted in teaching. I know that I love to be self-reliant and hate others interfering and commenting on my daily work, however supportive and nice they're trying to be. This is why self-employment feels right. I can be my own boss and still work hard, yet not have that 'manager' in whatever form, above me, keeping tabs on everything that I do.
    I'm a person who doesn't believe in bringing work home with me,
    spending hours and hours of unpaid time which is supposed to be my
    wind-down time preparing lessons and resources. It's not that I'm not
    committed, or perhaps it is, I'm not sure, I just know that to keep
    myself sane and able to function, I need time for myself and this job
    simply does not allow that time. When I do get time to myself, I'm
    constantly feeling pressured (by myself) that I SHOULD be using that
    time for school preparation which is WRONG.
    Of course, running
    a pub would require my every waking minute in the early stages, but it
    would be MY work that I was doing, and MY business, with ME controlling
    the workload, which I can and have managed before. Somehow this
    makes it so much different and something that I would be passionate about because it would be MINE, my project and somehting to get my teeth into on my own terms. I like pressure and working to deadlines, but MY deadlines and knowing that I'm accountable to ME if it goes wrong.

    People will probably read this and say 'for god's sake, this guy's an idiot who needs to get his head out of his backside' , and reading this I can see why. But I'm genuinely a decent caring guy who has always wanted to perform 100% at anything that I do. I'm aware that it takes time to adapt to new environments, but my face just doesn't fit with teaching. I'm too free a person, who values his own life more than the school, the kids and the profession. I don't like to be accountable to a boss and realise that this type of person is not someone who should be a teacher as teaching demands your very soul.
    Bottom line, I feel that I should get out before REAL resentment and feeling trapped sets in. If I stay much longer then I will end up hating it. I am an extremely hard worker, but I need to care about what I do. Being so controlled and 'under the thumb' has destroyed any love I had for teaching. I now want a free life, where a job is my ow.

    I'd really appreciate any comments that you might have. I know I sound arogant, but it's a cry for help as I'm very nervous about leaving such a long-term and secure profession...
  2. Good for you!
    I'm an NQT, my notice is handed in and I'm leaving at Christmas.
    I've no idea what I want to do but I just know it'll be something that doesn't require a 60 hour week and a whole load of guilt.
    Life's too short. If running a pub is what you want to do, go for it. And good luck!
    You should run a 10% teacher discount. (Don't worry you won't lose money, teachers don't have time to drink anyway).
  3. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    Good on you. Wish I could find another job that I want to do. Will be leaving teaching at Xmas too. [​IMG]
  4. surosa

    surosa New commenter

    Go for it and don't look back life is far too short!!! I wish you all the luck and really can empathise with everything you have written. Do what you want to do don't teaching is a job and not a lifestyle! All the best! Let us all know what you decide.
  5. Have you done any research or have any experience running a pub? There are very few pubs that aren't tied to breweries. These basically just make money for the brewery, not for you. So it is rarely as simple as you suggest. And if you are an 'intelligent person', do you really want to run a pub?? If you do go for it - get a good accountant and tax specialist. And either go for a pub that does food or one that is independent of a brewery. Sorry but my partner works with lots of pubs and there are so many going out of business at the moment it is not a good business to get into. Most people going into pubs fail because they don't have enough experience and just think they can do it cos they've been in a pub. Same as people think they can teach because they were a pupil at school. Thats said most of them do seem to be fairly stupid!!

    If you decide to go for it good luck to you.
  6. Thank you all for your constructive comments. I must admit to being in total conflict with all this. After a 'good' day at school, it's a terrifying thought leaving it all. Leaving before the maternity cover finishes will leave some fantastic students in the 'proverbial' and I feel so wretched at the thought of doing it to them.
    In the same way, I'm finding it difficult to get up in the morning without wishing I'd get ill or have some sort of accident to prevent me from having to go in. I just don't know what's best to do, so your comments are extremely valuable. Of course I will make the decision ultimately, it's just helpful to get other perspectives.
    My partner and I would be going into this together, fully aware of the strain it puts on couples. His 2nd cousins have been running pubs for 20 years and last year took on a pub for themselves on a lease/tenancy basis whereas before they'd only managed. We know that running a pub is no walk in the park, 8 hour days at least, 7 days a week and hard graft. We would be going into a country pub (not a 'likely to fail' city bar) on a lease/tenancy basis too and our only tie is to have to source our ales and beers from the brewery. Everything else is our own decisions, marketing, supplies etc. We both have prior experience of people management, running a cafe, stock control etc and accounts admin keeping, so no problems there.
    Pub-speak over, we can only be so prepared, the rest will be our learning curve and with the huge amount of research we've done we're hoping by this time next year to have made it a success.
    I just wish this decision wouldn't tear me in two so much is all. It would completely re-define my identity (dramatic, but how I see it) and it is a very scary notion. I love teaching sometimes, but the bad points just outweigh the good far too much and it's putting a massive strain on my emotional self-control. My confidence is shot to pieces and I'm convinced I'll fail each week, even though I'm told I'm doing great.
    Self-employment, however naieve I may be sounding here, offers me the chance to stand by my decisions, rightly or wrongly, without the feeling of needing to check if what I've done 'looks ok?' with a manage.
    It's still all very terrifying - decision will be made this week, I just need a dose of courage if I'm to do it. The question is...If I decide to bottle it...........??
  7. Try 18 hour days not 8. My husband manages a pub and it is a rubbish life, especially if you have a family to take care of.The pub itself is a free hold (not tied to a brewery) but it has taken 6 years to get it anywhere near turning over a decent profit. There's no thanks just a lot of hard graft to make it pay. Its not a case of just turning up and switching the pump lights on. Beer requires constant looking after and if its not kept correctly you won't get any customers (real ale drinkers are very fussy about their beer). Even though I am teaching I still find myself dragged in when staff don't come in or there are problems. Your life is never your own.
    Think really carefully about what you want to do before you commit yourselves because if it is brewery owned you could end up with a whole load of bad debts if goes wrong, breweries can be very crafty, especially in the current climate. Breweries also tend to put the lease/rent up after the first year of business.
    Sorry to pour cold water on your descision but if we had known the extent to which it would take over our lives before he would never have accepted the job. The reason I am teaching is so we can get out of the trade and have a normal life.
    hope this helps!

  8. I really appreciate the feedback and i'll be very careful with the brewery. We're lucky to have family already working with this brewery to hopefully avoid problems like that.
    However, I know that if i'm doing a job for me, I'd work 20 hours a day if needed to make it work. MY problem is working within this environment. I'm a pawn to be bossed around and someone to be squeezed into a mould of what is expected. call me selfish, but I have more self respect than that. Having worked in other industries before teaching, I've never encountered the level of stress that this job has put on me mentally. I feel so low that I could be sick between lessons at the moment.
    We don't have any children and don't want any in the future so there's less potential difficulties there. we do own an apartment which will be let out for more than the mortgage etc payments per month, so we know we always have a home to come back to.
    At the end of the day, I'm a fully qualified teacher who's passed induction and so would hopefully (as a very last resort) be able to find supply at least if it all went wrong. but I can't afford to assume that the worst is going to happen just because it did to other people, if I worried about what was ahead too much I'd never step outside the door.
    If it works out, it works out. We're going to put our life and soul into the pub to make it work. It may be that we fail, but at least we tried. If I stay here much longer I'm likely to crack and have seriously considered going on long-term sick while we sort things out. For me to even contemplate doing that goes against every moral I've ever had when it comes to time off, but I simply cannot go on like this,
    Today I received some subtley disguised smarmy comments from my HOD (who has suddenly turned this week) that I can't challenge without creating hostility (I've been genuinely sick for a week). I deserve better, I've done my best but it's nowhere near good enough for this place. I don't deserve, nor do I intend to accept being treated like that. Another rant I'm afraid!
    What is the minimum notice that a maternity cover must give to leave their position? My next step is supply for the next few weeks until the pub is ready for us, or sick leave. Whichever I do, I need to do this week. I feel like a real traitor...
  9. "My problem is that my 'spark' has died. I loved and adored teaching when I started, with resources being produced at a mammoth rate, but I just feel like I should have more passion than I do now".

    If you do quit, I recommend that if you can afford to, do some part time supply or something else less stressful, just for a while. You should be wary of making any hasty decisions until you have had time to allow all the angst and stress out of your system. You may be surprised how much teaching has robbed you of your self esteem, energy and health.

    Your statement that you feel your spark has died suggests that you are currently feeling depressed, and if that is the case, it is not a good time to make any big decisions about your future.

    I do wish you all the very best in the future, whatever you decide to do.
  10. Have you any pub experience? Are you expecting to serve food?
    Even the most basic pub roles require upto 48 hours a week work and the majority of GM/Landlords I know work a minimum 70 hours a week!
    In addition to this, the chance of an independent pub being successful is so so low and it would be a huge risk - one which you would have to be committed to put hundreds of thousands into.
    Are you planning on buying a business already in service? Although often more expensive it is often the best bet but I would be wary as the majority of independent landlords/GMs have decades of experience in chain management as well as independently and have insider knowledge which is so hard to pick up.
    I have worked in an independent country pub and the gentleman who ran it was an extremely extremely experienced manager who'd worked in the industry for over thirty years and even he was struggling due to the current climate.
    I'm not sure it would be a great idea in the current economic situation, especially as almost every chain company (with their competitively low prices/country-wide standard food) are suffering losses.
    If it is your dream go for it, but if its just another idea...I'd be cautious :)

    Hope I don't sound too negative - I would love to run my own pub and it used to be a dream of mine (my partner is a chef & has worked as a kitchen manager for the past 10 years) but its something that just isn't feasible unfortunately

  11. Hello
    I do feel for you. I have been teaching for 11 years and left one school due to overwork and people expecting too much only to take on a job that has stressed me out in one term!! I am handing my notice in when I go back and then I'll decide what to do. I have a mortgage and kids but my health is suffering and I need to go. Last minut observations as I walk in on a Monday, lessons swapped for last minute observations, last minute requests, constant display changes, not enough support staff, children constanly having interventions etc etc. I feel sick at returning. I will work out the year just for my class and then see what happens. It sounds mad but I can't sleep thinking of returning in Jan!
    My son in law is a publican and it is hard work but at least he's his own boss. If the pub doesn't work , then do supply. I did for 2 terms and we all ate and the mortgage was paid. Then I tried full time work again and it was even worse. So at least you can do supply if it goes wrong and work out what happens next as you do supply. i have always worried about a regular wage etc but now realise life is too short to be stressed and unhappy. Go fo it!
  12. Hm, I realise that my response is rather late but that's teaching for you~ it's the only time I get to read the forum!! Anyway, I'll cut to the chase and say please don't do it!! We've been (and still are to some extent) in the licensed trade for 15 years and things have got considerably worse over recent years! We've tried all options; managers, tenants and eventually bought our own free hold but it's still a very difficult business to be in! I'm sure that you've considered all your options and if you must do it I'd have to say please keep your options open eg, don't sell your home to buy the lease! Go for a managed house; guaranteed income regardless of trade or a tenancy on a run down (low turnover) pub that you can put your own stamp on! Food is a must and rooms to let help to pay the bills. However, be warned, as soon as the brewery think you may be making a few bob your rent will increase drastically overnight!! Free-trade is definitely your best option and you have something to show for it if the business goes belly up! As we know all too well; the smoking ban and recent recession has been the final nail in the coffin for public houses and regardless of what a super licensee you may turn out to be; you've got to be seriously amazing to compete with 3 boxes of bud for £20 from Tesco!

    Sorry to be a misery but the forecast for the licensed trade is unsettled at best! Having seen many people follow their dreams and take the plunge; I am yet to see any happy endings! Feel free to prove me wrong ~ Good luck!
  13. Well it's been a month since my last post and I"d like to say thanks to all of you who left your helpful messages, both positive and warnings.

    Following an uncle's advice, we decided not to take on a pub. He's seeing 50 pubs a week close and his advice was to steer well lear of an industry which has its head on the chopping block. It wouldn't be a case of if we might fail, but when.
    Suprisingly, since my mind became set on leaving teaching, I felt a lot stronger in the environment, dealing with my colleagues and my workload. Once I felt in control of my destiny, the workload stress decreased dramatically. I was initially very despondent at giving up the idea of the pub, but then felt that I needed to voice my problems with my HOD. We had a very honest conversation in December , where both of us were very direct, although extremely nice about what we said. I got all issues off my chest and so did she and we both realised that we had been rubbing each other up the wrong way since September, both misunderstanding the other.
    The idea of having this conversation was not one that I had relished before we had it, as I was convinced that I would be seen as an incompetent person who was simply whinging, using the theme of 'not being supported' as an excuse for not being on top of his work. As it turned out, the converstion was very amicable and both of us admitted afterwards that we were sorry that we hadn't been correct with our opinions of each other.
    I've now been asked if I'l stay until the summer and after saying yea, my HOD was genuinely pleased that I was staying. Since our chat we've got on much better and I've not been afraid to speak my mind. I might sound like some kind of cowardly chicken, but as the new guy I wanted to make a good impression, so speaking up in front of such a strong respected person as my HOD was harder than I thought initially.
    As a knock-on effect, I feel I have total ownership of my workload, which I now get on with as my own projects, rather than second-guess everything I do. I don't feel swamped as I've changed the way I work.
    Before, my priorities were: prepare something, then do it, then check if it was right. This set me up to fail from the start as it was not only an arrogant approach, but it didn't keep my HOD or colleagues with loads of helpful knowledge in the loop. Now my priorities are: take my initial plan and check with my HOD that I'm on the right track (not for everything, but to check it fits with the way the dept works), then take any advice and build it into my development of the initial plan.
    If this can help anyone who feels like they're not respected or valued in a dept, or that their colleagues are irritated by them, then my advice would be to look at how you're working and whether you're shutting people out to try and be seen to not need any help. If you are, open up and let people help, whilst still taking control of your work.
    Ironically, this is how I used to work, but I let the stress of starting in yet another school deflate me and felt I had to look superhuman, which alienated me ultimately while I shut myself away increasingly.
    Thanks again for your advice - I'm planning to stay in teaching for now and assess thing again in the future. I'd still like to be self employed eventually, but in the meantime, I won't let that ambition convince me that I hate teaching.
  14. Well done you! I'm delighted for you on both accounts; firstly NOT taking on a pub and secondly sorting out your current issues! Hope it all works out for you = )
  15. It's great to hear of a positive conclusion to this long standing dilemma. Thanks for the post relating how you resolved the problem satisfactorily and good luck for the rest of the year.
  16. I'm so glad that you've decided not to run the pub. I think the ups and downs of teaching in the first few years can make you contemplate all sorts of options. The other night when I was a bit down in the dumps I found myself imagining myself leaving teaching and becoming a police officer! I would be rubbish! I've convinced myself that thinking positively will see us all through in this profession - I hope that you can manage to turn things around and begin to enjoy the job again. We make a difference to the lives of young people every single day... and we don't even harm their livers in the process!

  17. KNW


    After a long, hard day in teaching which started bad and then got worse, your suggestion of a 10% discount for teachers in the pub really cheered me up.

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