2 Years On

The world of self employment

Kate Friedwald  |  Nov 2019

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This month marks two years of self employment for me.  I always knew I would love working for myself as I crave flexibility and autonomy. Education however isn’t really the typical industry to make this happen.  So what is it like being a one man band in the teaching and learning world?

Business has always interested me and besides thinking I was too young straight out of high school to go into teaching the thought of running my own one day was what led me to a business degree. The top less ceiling of having the opportunity to create my own income be it as big or small as I please is exciting, but more so is the ability to lead my path in any direction I choose and be able to structure my days, weeks, months and years to include more of what I am passionate about and less of what I am not.

Most (read virtually all) of my income currently comes from PLD facilitation which is funded by the MoE.  This gig keeps me working in schools, with teachers, and with students. So basically doing what I love.  Sometimes facilitation is with a full staff at an after school meeting or teacher only day. Sometimes with a team either after school or during the day, sometimes 1on 1 and sometimes in classes with teachers and their students together.  The cool thing about how MoE funded PLD works is that it is pretty much 100% tailorable between the school and the facilitator. I work in the areas of Digital Fluency, Digital Technologies (the new curriculum), Learner Agency and Innovative Learning.  I am practical in terms of ideas and solutions for using in the classroom. I can, and do present, but I much prefer to get down and dirty finding out what’s going on for teachers/students and working with them on practical ways to enhance learning.

This is me, Kate.  I am a little bit crazy, but then who isn’t.

 When I’m not physically in a school I am doing 1 of 3 things.

  • Carrying out the admin involved in facilitation which includes supporting funding applications, booking PLD sessions, planning sessions, completing feedback and invoicing.  Also staying up to date with curriculum and pedagogy.
  • Then there is the admin involved with being self employed including accounts, gst returns, income returns etc.  I actually love this stuff too.
  • Thirdly, I run my fantastic website (www.sharewithus.co.nz).  It is my 3rd baby, and goes completely in the direction I and my members drive it.  I’m on a mission to save teachers time and this is how I’m doing it. This part of my work life involves searching for resources for collections, maintaining a facebook page, free facebook group and members facebook group.  Working with an awesome NZ company that supports the actual running of the website. Working with resources provides to arrange deals and giveaways and generally anything else I wish to make a part of it.

I don’t run a 9-5 work day, in fact I am writing this at 9pm on a Thursday evening.  This means often my few days “working from home” are split up with daycare runs, groceries and washing. So much washing!  I have two kids (4yrs and 1yr) who keep me pretty busy. I love it this way. I can work from my couch, bed, local cafe or at the beach.

Like every job and every career self employment has its ups and downs.  I love making my own decisions about where I will be each day, what work to take on and what isn’t really me.  I love being able to be there for my kids and take time off when I like. I love the freedom and the ability to create whatever I like for the what the immediate and not so immediate future holds.

I miss the commandery of being part of a staff, I miss the coffee runs and after school/work drinks.  I miss seeing kids succeed over a long period and really getting to know them. I am thankful that I still work in the industry I am passionate about and can’t see that changing anytime soon.  Do I think I will go back to teaching/school leadership? Well that is a whole other blog post, that if you are interested in I will happily write.

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