This wasn't in the script. However much we believed in fit2teach and its potential, we never saw this coming - not this quickly anyway. In the space of a week, we've received countless messages of support from teachers and headteachers around the world; our phones haven't stopped buzzing; and our users continue to increase in their thousands - absolute madness! We've also had constructive feedback - and a few damning reviews - all of which make us more determined to develop the platform to be the most personalised; closest-to-perfect fit2teach we can deliver to you. And - for teachers - it will always be free.
Yesterday, my little boy asked me about fit2teach - I think he was after a job!? I found myself drawing out the company; sketching Martyn, Austin and Daddy as stick-men; talking about partnerships and business plans - he loved it. He's replaced his usual pyjamas with Daddy's fit2teach t-shirt (yes - they exist!); and has slept in it for the past week - I should really wrestle it off him and wash it. Should our fit2teach fairytale come to a sudden end, then I can hold onto these precious moments. But it won't.
Events over the last week have forced our hand a bit. Already, Austin is coding like a man possessed; Martyn is working round the clock on our business model and legalities that I'm clueless about. The pair of them have been incredible; turning their own work-life balance red, in order to help you improve yours. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them - not just for their efforts and recent sacrifices- but for helping me to sing in the car again; to slide across the kitchen floor; and claw a little bit of me back.
Throughout the week, we've received messages and emails asking how we're funding fit2teach. There is no mystery backer; nor are we lottery-winners. Everything you see on screen, from the cost of site-hosting, coding, design and illustration is funded by us. But we love it. Already, we're scheduling visits to interested schools; and we want to be able to do this. A handful of users have suggested we try offsetting costs by adding a 'Buy us a Beer' button. We're not on the scrounge; it's our own crowdfunding initiative and quite common for websites offering free services. In time, donations from users, companies or anyone who buys into our vision will be used to help develop fit2teach; to reach out to a wider audience; and not at all - as the button name suggests - to purchase beer.
It's very hard to accept that we've only been live for just over a week - its been the craziest week of our lives. Already, we're building a community of teachers just like you; and we're only just getting started. We feel the same about you, as you feel about your pupils/students. We're far from the finished article. But we're committed to helping teachers and - in time - headteachers and teaching assistants, work towards an improved work-life balance; without compromising the quality and care in your classrooms.
Thanks for your ongoing patience and support - you'll never really know how much it means to us.
Matt, Martyn and Austin.