I loved the creativity, the freedom to deeply explore topics and the ad hoc back and forth with a curious set of students that could erupt at any moment. Teaching is a wonderful profession: it is fast-paced, engaging and you will never have two days the same. But I left teaching 4 years ago to pursue a career in EdTech. Unfortunately, the technology landscape in education until recently was detrimental to not only the provision teachers can offer, but also the ability to keep up with the stringent bureaucracy that the profession requires. Watching my football team, Arsenal, can be bad enough most weeks - but when you have a pile of Year 9 books to mark that evening as well, that pain is tenfold.
Teachers are expected to: plan and deliver outstanding and captivating lessons; mark every student’s work with regular cadence, giving thorough and individualised feedback for improvement; regularly monitor pupil assessments and highlight areas for improvement moving forward - and this is just the teaching and learning aspects! It is also essential for attendance to be correctly monitored, incidents reported and parents contacted, both for negative and positive feedback. If I’m being truly honest, I can count on one hand the amount of positive phone calls I made as a teacher - there simply isn’t enough time for the luxury of calling up a pupil’s parents to praise them regularly.
Consequently, teachers are working harder and longer than ever - in fact, a study this year found that 22% of teachers said they would think about leaving in the next two years, with 52% of this figure saying their workload was “unmanageable” or “unmanageable most of the time”. This is up from 35% in 2021. It remains one of the professions with the largest amount of unpaid overtime hours. I’m so passionate about changing this and I’m confident EdTech can underpin a wonderful new age of Education.
This brings me to the “why’. Why EdTech? I’ve always loved tech - when I was teaching, unfortunately the schools I worked in didn’t have the capacity to give staff or the students their own devices. Subsequently, I bought the cheapest Android tablet I could find and set about populating it with apps to bring my classroom to life. The biggest impact for me came from parental engagement using the app ClassDojo - even though often the communications were just emojis or short messages, there was a newfound transparency that improved both behaviour and pupil outcomes.
I’ve always wanted to make a tangible impact in Education - that’s why I made the difficult decision to leave the classroom and pursue a career in EdTech. I felt that equipping other educators with the technology to eliminate or alleviate all the pain points I experienced myself was my calling. This is the reason I joined the team at Compass. Our timely entrance into the UK market is enabling us to design and iterate our product alongside the people who actually use it, to shape a sector-leading MIS that will not only alleviate the pain points of UK teachers, but will also foster a more efficient future for teachers. Ultimately, we want to ensure teachers can concentrate on the thing they excel at (and enjoy) most: teaching.
The Compass MIS simplifies the everyday management of the school ecosystem, making life easier for staff, students and parents through a range of unique modules within its all-in-one management system. Crucially, the system allows the school to designate differing levels of access to different stakeholders ensuring staff, pupils and parents are all appropriately and regularly kept informed on all the important information. Contacting parents is no longer a luxury, it’s a given. Monitoring data closely is no longer a chore, it’s a norm. Furthermore, the Compass MIS has all the back-end school requirements covered such as communications, payments and attendance to ensure the school runs seamlessly.
I left the classroom because I wanted to be somewhere I could help other educators excel; and I think I’m in the perfect place to do so here at Compass.