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Another one bites the dust

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rachelcg, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. rachelcg

    rachelcg New commenter

    I posted a month or so ago about my work situation. NQT in final term at a new school, to be told that I wouldn't pass my NQT year (despite being on track at my previous school). The situation led to me being put on sick leave due to stress, anxiety and major depression. I had already involved my union at this point. The school agreed to let me have time to think about if I wanted to continue at the school.

    I've now made the very difficult decision to resign from teaching (my area union rep is confident that we can negotiate an early release as it's in both mine and the school's best interests). I'm already feeling more relaxed, even though I know I have a hard slog ahead of me as I don't have a post to go to. I'm hoping to take a break from teaching and find a short term retail post (I have 7 years retail experience). I would love to go into museum education work, but I know that I need to get more experience in museums (voluntary work seems the only option).

    Reading recent posts on here makes me believe more and more that this is the right decision for me. It's shocking how many people are buckling under stress and leaving the profession, but I know that I'm better getting out sooner rather than later.
    indusant, lanokia and FolkFan like this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh how sad to read of yet another person deciding to leave one of the most important professions.

    What a waste of training and enthusiasm, which if tackled in a supportive way by management could lead to more people staying. After all they all came in wanting to make a difference. We are losing too many teachers and what will happen to those children? Many will survive but for others a succession of 'supply teacher's will not help develop them and help them settle.

    I want to cry.(Where's an icon for that? I miss some of the old ones!)
    grumpydogwoman and ScotSEN like this.
  3. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    It's a courageous decision, especially if you've invested a lot of time (and money) in getting to the point of doing your NQT year, to walk away from it.

    It might be that you could complete the last term of your NQT year before it times out, once there isn't any pressure on you to do so - that's a decision for later when you're feeling less stressed by it all.

    But for now - well done. You may be able to find some retail work in the run-up to Christmas and the sales season if you do get an early release - and yes, explore voluntary museum work... you may find this link useful:

    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I am glad to hear that having made this decision, you already feel calmer and better.

    Very helpful post there from @monicabilongame - do consider the possible completion of the NQT year once you have got tired of using all your John Lewis staff discounts!

    Very best wishes for a peaceful Christmastide

  5. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    I'm in a similar position except I have completed the NQT year. Teaching is unnecessarily stressful these days and it was starting to take its toll. I kept hearing that it gets easier, but it never did. I have also been around lots of schools on supply, seen many unhappy faces and sensed the massive pressures and demands that teachers are faced with. I have known hard working and good teachers breakdown and go off with stress. I could feel myself going the same way and decided that it is no longer worth it. I also thought that with the way things are, if I don't get out now I'll probably be forced out in 4-5 years time anyway (I have no desire to climb the greasy pole). By then I may be trapped with a mortgage etc so it's best to get out earlier. It's sad that teaching has become this way. I may have to take a job that pays a lot less, but I have come to realise that you can't put a price on a sense of ease and well being in life. Well done on making the decision. A happier future awaits.
  6. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I now work in the charity sector - still with people with their own challenges and quirks - but it's nothing like the stress of teaching.
    ilovesooty likes this.
  7. rachelcg

    rachelcg New commenter

    Thank you all for your support.

    I would like to complete my NQT year, but at the moment I don't see myself ever returning to teaching, especially if it continues to progress as it currently is.

    I've been in contact with the careers advisors at the university I trained with, who have been very helpful with exploring my options and updating my CV (I haven't had a proper one for the last 3 years or so!) Here's to a restful Christmas and New Year.
  8. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    For what it's worth, it used to be a great career.. Great lunchtime discussions about our departmental subject, great school trips, relaxed and friendly staff rooms, proactive a ear more self directed, less moany students. 15 years ago, I felt I had autonomy and control over things, just basic things, whereas now, the students and parents can pick on a teacher and the results can spiral...or a line manager or HT can do the same. So I think you are doing the right thing, and I'm sure you'll carve out a fantastic, rewarding career! Go get 'em!
  9. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yep, I felt this way around 1997/1998. Hard to explain how good it was back then. The kids were far more independent as well. Because THEY were much more responsible for their results, THEY were more accountable, not that the teachers weren't, but the balance was more equitable.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    @rachelcg Wishing you all the best.
    Let's hope things settle at some point in the future and you can return. Meanwhile enjoy whatever you move on into.
    rachelcg likes this.
  11. rachelcg

    rachelcg New commenter

    My grandad keeps telling me this. He took early retirement in 1997 from his primary head post. He thinks he left when things were at their best and tells me that he couldn't imagine going back into teaching these days.
  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Well done.

    One of the best decisions you'll ever make

    Good luck.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  13. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Hmm, wasn't that when Ofsted were more supportive, spent time at schools (a whole week), watched whole lessons & talked with staff? Data wasn't King, SATs results weren't used to judge schools, pupils were more than numbers, and staff (at all levels) worked together for the children.

    What went wrong? What was the catalyst which led to today's dreadful situation?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I certainly remember when inspectors were there to hep you 'improve practice' and were supportive.

    Re the 'paper trail' of results, we always kept records but they were based on a knowledge of our children to inform our practice, as opposed to 'reaching / failing somebody else's expectations of what children should be achieving.

    Yes we stood together as staff - a united front to the children (with private disagreements kept private) and I believe what we did was always in the interests of the children.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  15. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    i never encountered ofsted i that way ........bu then it was 1991 plus before i met them. The old HMI's certainly offered advice and support when they saw you in class.
  16. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    I'm not sure whether there ever was a real Golden Age. I remember getting through 2 litre bottles of Bacardi over 4 months as I sweated over the countdown to an Ofsted Inspection in 1993. There were also massive unfairnesses and inconsistencies, with quite a few lead swingers who let the children down and couldn't be dismissed. Now, of course, everyone is treated as workshy by being excessively monitored and we are kept on a constant Ofsted footing. It's a question of different circles of hell!
  17. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    The 1980s wee a lot better than the 'age of OfSTED' IMHO...
  18. birmanmum

    birmanmum New commenter

    It is the usual swing of the pendulum... many of the people who are now making the decisions were in schools who could not sack teachers who were not interested - and if they were not, because they went to Eton, etc, they probably heard tales from those of us who suffered.

    I had the teachers who went home as I did, we literally had to wait for their cars to leave as we wanted to get out of the gate. I had the teacher who did not realise that I had not done a stroke of work all term, it was my parents who showed my blank, unmarked books at parents evening.

    One of my teachers had a habit of getting us to copy out phone numbers from the phone book, then put them into numerical order... that was the years maths lessons. Actually, no, we also counted cars going past, and did five bar gates, but only if it was sunny.

    I went to one primary school for five years - and the history topic for four of those years was the Romans, because every teacher picked their own period.

    I ended up at an indy, because I would not have got a single exam pass had I stayed where I was - and teachers that cared made all the difference.

    I guess that the current situation is the backlash, and the result of the current micro management will be a return to a situation of too little control.

    Maybe one day we will work out a system where things can stay in balance, a reasonable balance between the rights of staff, pupil and parent.
    userunknown likes this.
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Ofsted were never 'supportive' in secondaries (I wonder if those with a rosier view were in primary?). Before Ofsted was invented in the early 90s, HMI inspections were extremely rare (I never experienced one and I started teaching in 1981), but were aimed at supporting improvement rather than finding as many faults as possible.

    But once they hit on the idea that they could use data, rather than spending a week in a school observing, discussing, etc - they got into their stride and have never looked back.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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