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Advice greatly appreciated

Discussion in 'English' started by anon8315, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I'm really not happy at all at my school. I joined as a second in department just over a year ago and unfortunately it isn't for me and it's starting to make me very unhappy. I feel really sad at admitting it, as this was meant to be a positive move for me (my previous school was very rough) but whilst most of the students are really lovely, some are not and I have started to feel as if I am being held responsible for the poor behaviour of some. In addition to this, it's a fifty minute drive for me to get there and back, and I'm feeling the strain (so is my car!)
    The problem is that for various reasons (none sinister) I've had a number of changes in my career and this is actually my fifth school (I've been teaching eight years.) I was really eager to settle somewhere for a while but now I'm starting to wonder if it might be more sensible to find a school I do enjoy working in rather than grit my teeth and stay in this one. Since I'm a second, I should be looking at head of department posts I imagine (I was a ks coordinator in my previous role which I started in 2008.)
    What I'm really wondering is if this is a bad move and if it would reflect poorly on me, or whether it would be OK. My other dilemma is that I'm in my early 30s and will be hoping to start a family certainly within the next three to four years - if I'm looking at changing my school then I'd obviously miss the enhanced maternity pay and benefits. I don't mean that's a reason exactly but it's a consideration. But most importantly, I'm just desperate for a fresh start.
    I'd really appreciate your thoughts
    BG x
  2. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Perhaps you might give yourself a bit more time to settle? It's difficult making such a move, and maybe you feel like you've got more ciritics than allies at the moment, but nobody will really hold you responsible for behaviour if you are doing your best to manage it. Teens are notoriously difficult at times, and if you are feeling 'blame' it's probably a misinterpretation of frustration. I know I went to managers often in my last school in a bid to deal with behaviour and I'm sure that, at times, my delivery came across as accusatory, even though it was not meant to be.
    Is it just the behaviour and travel? If you have a supportive HoD and SLT, then that would be worth hanging around for, because it sure ain't so everywhere. Schools with 'good' reputations can often be dismal places to work, and I found one of my most rewarding experiences in an academy that had horrendous behaviour issues, but a completely supportive staff that were 'all in in together' and found ways to get through to the kids.
    Ultimately, moving around so often will not reflect well, but, without a doubt, your sanity is more important. Only you can make the decision, but I suspect that finding ways to deal with your situation will be more productive, careerwise and psychologically, than moving on. Think of adding tools to your kit - challenges can turn into lessons and you would feel an enormous sense of achievement to have faced this one and, not only dealt with it, but developed too.
    You sound pretty unhappy so I hope that whatever happens, life gets better.
    PS Don't underestimate the maternity aspect if you are in a position where you could become pregnant. You do only need to be there for a year though...

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