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Sarah Peters

Sarah Peters Journey From Teacher to Instructional Designer

What were you doing before Instructional Design?

I was a high school math teacher for 10 years. I really loved the people I taught with, the district I was in, the school I was in, and I had a great experience. But, Covid burnt me out. So, when all the teachers and students went back to school, I had a minor freak out, like, “What am I doing?”

What was your experience like in Applied Instructional Design Academy?

I joined at the end of January after doing the free workshop and it was THE best decision. I was in the January 2022 cohort. I was about 28 weeks pregnant when I joined and spent every waking hour working through the program and learning all I could before baby.  I had a ton of motivation to get the program done as fast as possible. I was working on it nonstop. I knew I wouldn’t do it after I had the baby. I finished it around the first week of April. The baby came April 17th, and then I had my first interview with my current company three days later. I got the job sometime in May. 

What are you doing now?

I Had my first interview with an amazing company four days after having the baby, got the job and start in about three weeks (they even let me have my full 12 weeks maternity leave even though they really wanted someone to start right away.) I haven’t even started yet and have been amazed by the difference between this job and my teaching role.

I feel like my job is a little bit different than the traditional instructional design role. I’m working for a software company, and I’m in charge of their training system and creating their training videos to teach our clients how to use the software. 

Some people have asked about the isolation of working remote. I really struggled with that when my school district went back to in-person school after Covid. I had a kind of different experience where I always said I would never sit at a desk all day. I think I messaged multiple people in the AIDA program to talk me off my ledge a little bit. I just had to go about it realizing there’s ways to be interactive while working remote.

My company uses Slack and so you can message people all day. I think I posted in the Facebook group and a couple of people started a Friday lunch zoom where you could get on and just meet other people in the program that are also working and just have lunch while you’re on a Zoom with them. Also, I just go out and take a walk sometimes just to get up and away from my desk. You just have to find ways to do other things during the day.

How has your life changed? 

I would say the biggest impact for me so far would be the stress. I don’t think that I have been stressed out even one time since starting my job, which has also had a huge impact in just being able to be there with my family, and be present, and want to do things at night and on the weekends. I’m just overall feeling much better about everything.

I have a lot of flexibility in my day. I have two little kids that were both sick all week and home all week. They couldn’t be at daycare because they had fevers and I was able to work with them here. My company’s pretty flexible with when we do our hours and things, but I would just put my slack status as “away” for a little bit and go put the five month old down for a nap or make them lunch or whatever. And then I just worked another hour or whatever I needed to after they went to bed. So there’s that flexibility too. And I didn’t have to do any sub plans either or any of that.

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