Those That Can- Read Eve’s story here, how an unforeseen redundancy forced Eve to re-think her career options:
Like many teachers, I knew very early on what I wanted from life. At the age of 7, I had already set my heart on becoming a PE teacher. In July 2001 I graduated from Loughborough University with a joint honours degree In English, PE and Sports Science and a Secondary PGCE. I spent the next 10 years doing the only thing I ever really felt that I was made to do. I loved my job; was a well-respected, hard-working teacher; and was good at what I did.
Whilst I was on maternity leave with my second child, I received an email which turned everything I had ever known on its’ head. I was, at the time, a School Sport Coordinator, and Michael Gove had cut the funding to the school sports partnerships. In short, I no longer had a job to return to. I started to panic and immediately jumped onto the TES Jobs website… as the only place I had ever looked for a job; it seemed the best place to start.
Whilst scrolling through the all too familiar job adverts, something started to niggle at my subconscious. Teaching had changed dramatically during the time I had been doing the job, and a full-time teaching job with 2 children under 3 was exhausting. A little voice in my head started to question whether there might be another way…. I just knew I had to look at things differently.
I had never even vaguely considered running my own business before, but 2 days after being made redundant, I set up Dancing Days, running preschool dance and movement classes. I also started to write a teaching resource and training programme that taught Primary teachers how to teach dance.
Slowly but surely, I began to see how my skill set that had once felt so narrow in focus, was hugely valuable across a range of settings including educational consultancy, product development, training development and delivery, copywriting, and marketing.
I was also setting my own hours, taking my children to and from school, and whilst life was still incredibly hectic, and my income was sometimes lower than it had been previously, I had a better work life balance, and was much happier.
In 2015, I made the decision to try and franchise Dancing Days. A university friend introduced me to Holly Woodford, founder and owner of Move with Peppa. Holly had already achieved the incredible; and secured the brand rights to Peppa Pig from Entertainment One for a children’s activity programme. She was looking for advice from someone with a teaching/dance background to develop the existing programme content further, and I needed licensing advice. What started out as a meeting to share ideas, became a fantastic partnership, and I am now Creative Director of the company.
Move with Peppa is now a licensed, National programme and has just taken its’ first steps into International licensing. Holly, myself and our Non-Exec Chair Chris Brindley are incredibly proud of what we have achieved to date, and are excited by what the future holds.
As we continue to expand across the UK, we are finding that many of our licensee applications are from teachers. Whilst there is the obvious surface level similarity between teaching and the class delivery element of our business, the teacher skill set offers much more than just the ability to deliver sessions day to day.
Teachers are used to parents’ evenings, so are great with customers who are all parents and grandparents. Teachers are used to being organised, methodical and systematic so they cope well with the administration side of the business. Teachers are generally very creative; so, they thrive in our fun, flexible environment.
As an ex teacher and working Mum, one of the favourite parts of my current job is my role in licensee support. I work closely with licensees on a daily basis, helping to empower them as they discover new uses for their existing skill set, new levels of confidence, and find new ways of making their family life work.
If you’re a teacher and are looking for a change, please feel free to get in touch. Whether you think a Move with Peppa license might be of interest, or you just have questions about life after teaching; I am always happy to share my experiences. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and say hi (you never know; I might even be able to save you a mistake or two along the way if you decide to take a leap of faith and make a change)
Running your own business is not for the faint hearted, and it’s certainly not an easy option, but for me, something that for the first 31 years of my life didn’t even cross my mind, has become the answer to a life better lived.
Maybe it might be yours too.