I am Angela, a full time teacher since leaving uni at the age of 23, who is married with no children.
I teach infants mostly and always have done. I’ve been teaching for nearly 25 years. I started my teaching career in England and have been teaching in Scotland for 16 years now.
What do you love most about being a teacher?
I love working with the wee ones and seeing their reactions when they realise they can do things.
What do you find most difficult/frustrating in teaching?
All the paper work and the constant changing of goal posts. The fads in teaching. Since I started teaching we’ve gone from teaching through play based activities to everyone sitting at a desk and being talked at and all doing the same thing at the same time back to play. I might add some of us did buck the trend and continued to teach through play based learning when all around thought it madness, because some of us knew it was the right way to go.
We are about to suffer ‘teach all first level/ all second level children together. It doesn’t matter how old they are or that there are 100 children in an open space with 3 teachers and 2 learning assistants. Of course it’s safe and every child will be on task and engaged and why are you worrying about noise. This is the new thinking and the way forward’ . These things frustrate me because these are children’s lives these people are messing about with.
Tell us about how else you make money, apart from teaching? When did you start this and what inspired you to do this?
I’ve been making cards now for at least 12 years. My mum got me a card making kit for a birthday and it exploded as a hobby. Within a very short time I had lots more card making stuff. My husband asked what was I going to do with all of these cards as we only had so many relatives. I then noticed an advert in the local paper for a craft association and asked to join. That then led to attending the odd craft fair. And so it continued. I now attend 10 to 15 fairs a year, plus I keep a box in school, I have some people who contact me and ask for cards.
I have a Facebook page and my husband created a website for me. I’ve yet to sell anything through the website, which is currently being updated. All my sales are through fairs and word of mouth.
I don’t make very much money selling but then when you are only selling things for a few pounds you are never going to make a lot. By the time you factor in the cost of the table for the fair, traveling to the fair and the cost of the materials you barely break even. Hence why I call it a self funding hobby. I set up a bank account for the card making money and I add about £25 to it every month, which keeps the bank satisfied and it gives me a float of money to pay for fairs. Anything I make from fairs goes in there. I can then use that money to pay for fairs and buy more crafting materials. You can never have too many crafting materials!
What do you love most about it?
I love having the time to be creative and making something. The same feeling as when I bake. I can do something that isn’t school work and I find it very calming. So when I am stressed, I make cards and it helps.
What do you find most challenging about it and how do you overcome this?
I find not having enough time to do as much as I would like a challenge. So I try to craft a few nights a week. I just don’t watch telly.
Also from a selling point of view I get frustrated when people say ‘oh £3 for a card, that’s expensive. I can get one from card factory for less’. I catch myself thinking, ‘ fine , bog off then with your Costa takeaway coffee and go to card factory’. But I smile sweetly and point out that it’s an individual handcrafted card which could have an name added but if they would rather send a mass produced piece of cardboard then that is their choice.
Not actually selling enough at the fair to cover the cost of a table is challenging. The tables can cost between £8 and £45 depending. It can take a lot of cards to cover £45 tables and there is nothing you can do about it.
For many, the retirement age is now 67 or 68. Do you still see yourself teaching at this age?
I hope not. I had planned to retire at 60 but that plan was made before my husband was made redundant and ended up working for himself. This means we are a one income family at present and the mortgage getting paid off by 55 is not likely so retirement at 60 is fast becoming a dream.
I am exhausted at the end of every day now and I’m only 48. I have friends who are 68 and they say that there is no way they could still manage to teach now at their age.
What does your ideal retirement look like? At what age? What do you see yourself doing?
My ideal would be to retire at 60 and be able to spend my days gardening and crafting and attending lots of craft fairs and not worrying about if I do this fair then when will I manage to get the housework fitted in and the washing and ironing.
What plans do you have in place to allow you to live this ideal retirement?
I thought I had planned it well and had my AVC’s topped to the max and ready to pay out at 60. The mortgage was to be paid off by 55 so we’d have 5 years of me working and no mortgage to worry about. So much for planning.
You see Angela’s work by visiting her Facebook page or her website.
Please feel free to join my YMS group which is designed to help women live the life they choose, through helping them to make the most of their money.
To see how I could help you to plan your ideal retirement please check out my Your Money, Sorted for Retirement course
I am Eileen Adamson, a Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women, helping them to develop a better relationship with money. By gaining an understanding of how their personality affects the decisions they make, I can help them to implement changes which will allow them to feel calm, positive and confident that they are in control and making good financial decisions. I can then support them to put into place simple strategies that will allow them to manage their finances effectively on a daily basis and create a stable, secure and exciting future for themselves.