From Whiteboard to Keyboard: My story

19 February 2024
This post has been hard to write. But I think my story is important to share, so here goes…

Transitioning from teaching to entrepreneurship has been a wild journey of self-discovery, growth, and new beginnings.

Like many other teachers, I poured my heart and soul into helping inspire young people, often at the expense of my own well-being. In retrospect, it wasn’t a great move! The demands of the profession felt relentless, and while I cherished the impact I was making in the classroom and remain to this day passionate about teaching kids the power of music, I found myself struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The tipping point came when the weight of my responsibilities began to take a toll on my mental health. The constant juggling act of lesson planning, marking, and trying to do the best for all of my students left me feeling drained and overwhelmed. I knew something had to change, but the thought of leaving behind a career I was deeply passionate about was pretty terrifying.

Amanda writing in a journal.
Photo by Amy at Fields Photography London

When I eventually decided that moving onto a different career was my best option, I felt incredibly mixed emotions. On one hand, there was a sense of relief knowing that I was prioritising my well-being and taking steps to address my mental health. On the other hand, there was a lingering sense of loss—a feeling of leaving behind a part of myself and giving up on a dream I had held for so long.

It was during this period of transition that I had a moment of clarity. Reflecting on my experiences as a teacher, I realised the immense value of school trips in enhancing students’ educational experiences. However, I also recognised the significant burden these trips placed on teachers—hours spent planning, organising, and coordinating logistics, often at the expense of time spent with loved ones, hobbies, and self-care.

This realisation was the catalyst for TripPA—a platform designed to streamline trip organisation and alleviate the administrative burden on educators of all kinds. TripPA isn’t just a business venture; it is a labour of love—an opportunity to give back to the teaching community and make a tangible difference in the lives of teachers.

As I delved deeper into the development of TripPA, I found myself immersed in a world of entrepreneurship and design—it’s a lot of fun but also daunting! The journey is filled with challenges, setbacks, and moments of self-doubt, but it’s also led to growth, learning, and resilience. More than anything, I’ve discovered that so many of the skills that I built as a teacher apply far beyond the profession.

Amanda with blue sky!
Photo by Amy at Fields Photography London

One of the most rewarding aspects of building TripPA has been the opportunity to collaborate with fellow teachers and those working with children in other industries. Their insights, feedback, and firsthand experiences have been invaluable in shaping TripPA into a resource “by teachers for teachers.” From the user interface to the functionality of the platform, every aspect of TripPA has been meticulously designed with the needs and challenges of teachers in mind.

However, the journey hasn’t been without setbacks. One particular challenge we faced was a setback in the User Interface (UI) design of TripPA. Initially, the app was designed using the latest Google design package, only to discover that Google hadn’t provided the template code for it yet! This unforeseen obstacle forced us to rethink our approach and ultimately led to a redesign of the app using an older version of Material UI. While this setback posed a significant challenge, it also provided an opportunity for growth and learning. It prompted me to delve deeper into the world of User Experience (UX) design—an area I had little prior knowledge of.

As I immersed myself in the world of UX design, I discovered a newfound passion and enthusiasm for the field. It was an eye-opening experience, and I found myself eager to learn more. I’m now working on a Google certification in the field—pretty amazing as a year ago, I’d never even heard of UX design!

I’m so happy to be on this path I’m on. While the future is a little uncertain, I’m completely committed to help other teachers achieve a happy work-life balance that I wasn’t able to. TripPA is just the beginning…