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Another one... in need of reassurance.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by fiveyearsteaching, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. fiveyearsteaching

    fiveyearsteaching New commenter

    This is my fifth year teaching and I want out.

    Although I consider myself lucky to have worked in two good schools with supportive HOD and SLT I am totally lost. I've got myself into such a state I feel sick and anxious about the thought of going to work and teaching my more challenging classes I've started to have some physical symptoms of stress such as tummy problems and trouble sleeping. I sometimes feel like an OK teacher but never like the amount of effort and mental energy I expel on school gets me anywhere. I think about work all the time and it is having an impact on my relationship. I look at the road ahead and I don't see myself being a teacher into older age (currently late twenties). The thought of being able to have a family of my own whilst doing this job seems totally ludicrous.
    I worry that if I did turn to another line of work I would still feel the same- at the moment I can't imagine ever feeling happy at work.

    Something which is worrying me is that the teacher I have replaced when I started was off long term sick and I know it was an incredibly difficult situation for the department / pupils who had lots of cover (which I think ha contributed to some of the behavioral difficulties I am experiencing now) . If I were to leave this year it will just mean another new teacher. It seems totally wrong to leave before the end of the school year in terms of damaging my future employability and causing a huge problem for my HOD to sort out. But the thought of leaving just feels me with huge relief despite the guilt. When is too soon to tell my HOD I want to leave teaching?
    Also I would be leaving to a totally blank canvas, financially i'm not doing too badly but the thought of being unable to find something else that I enjoy and pays well is quite scary.

    I guess I just wanted to vent and would love to hear from anyone who has been through or is going through something similar. I'm distraught something I wanted to love doing just hasn't worked out.
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Before leaving teaching, have you thought about changing the type of school you work in? Sometimes that can make all the difference.

    If you are determined to leave, you are now committed until Easter (unless you resigned before 31 October, or your HT let's you go earlier). In that case can you see it out until the end of the summer term, which would help the school and give you let longer to find another job/career...And you'd be paid until 31August...
  3. fiveyearsteaching

    fiveyearsteaching New commenter

    I have worked in 2 quite contrasting schools... one with very high achieving very well behaved pupils another much more mixed. The feelings I've got are quite the same.
    I don't think I would be brave enough to leave at Easter even if I wanted to. I think the best time to leave is the end of the school year and hopefully get through the year until then...
    Thanks for replying
    FolkFan likes this.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    In fairness, if you make that call now that you are going to go, then you may well find that the stress dissipates somewhat.

    I think most of us also agree with you at points. I know for one that sometimes it seems that the more that I throw into the job the less you get back. I suppose the skill is trying not to let it dominate you. Hard to do i know.

    Start to think about it now and get some plans together if you want to leave the profession. I wouldn't mention it yet to anyone else. I don't see the benefit. I would certainly leave and discussion or firm resignation until Christmas. They can advertise in Jan and get the pick of the years' stock. I wouldn't leave before if offered, why lose the money for the sake of going a few months early?

    Any ideas what you would like to move on to?
  5. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

  6. fiveyearsteaching

    fiveyearsteaching New commenter

    I almost think making the decision in my own mind will make me feel more relaxed and less like it is the be all and end all. Whatever I go on to I would like it to be something which I can leave 'at the office' so to speak. There are several big companies based near where I live which I would like to get a foot in the door with. Perhaps something in retail which I have some experience of in the past... huge pay cut I know but just a lot less... serious.

    I think to hand my notice in after christmas would be the ideal as then I will have had a bit of time to mull it over without the guilt of leaving them in the lurch. I guess I should stick it out for this year and as I know I will be taking a pay cut can be frugal in the remaining months.

    Thanks for replying
  7. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I hear you! 12 years and I feel very much the same. My big worry, deep down, is the children I'm leaving. I have pretty much decided my current situation can't continue so I plan to leave at Easter. However my advice to others is usually to leave it until the end of the year. I didn't leave in July because of one child in my class...I felt I had to 'see it through'. Do you have to stay for the children?

    I would also suggest you try another school. I've tried a few and at my 4 year point I found an excellent school with genuinely supportive management...there are some good schools about.
    My gut instinct for you is that if you feel 'relief' then you do need out. But whether that's to a new school or a new and different adventure...
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    You will be fine. Many people take a break from teaching and return to it years later after they have had a break from it. People do raise their family!ies as teachers, it it is incredibly hard and you are right to be concerned about how you would raise a family whilst teaching fill time if a family is what you desire one in the future.

    Do doubt you will take a pay cut until you get established somewhere, but it is better to have your life and health than a big pot of money in the bank.

    There is more to life than work. Try to take some time out for yourself and do some hobbies or things that interest you. Yes, the school will have to expend some effort into looking for a replacement, but if you get so I'll you cannot work, they will have to do that anyway.
  9. fiveyearsteaching

    fiveyearsteaching New commenter

    The school is very supportive. HOD has done everything she can to help me this term and has seen me have some serious wobbles- has always been there with a listening ear and a cuppa and genuinely tried to help me however he can. The behavior management system is very good and SLT are on board and the HT regularly thanks staff for everything they do. This makes me think that it's the career as a whole that doesn't suit me.

    I have exam classes I'd like to see to the end of the year but even if I left I would still be leaving a Y10 and a Y12 part way through and I know a big part of me being appointed was to help the HOD plan the schemes of work for the new Specs. The tho0ught of letting anyone down makes me feel terrible but I have many unanswered questions about what else is out there. But then I know the grass ins't always greener....

    Well done for you making a decision, can I ask what it was that made you make the firm decision to leave? When will you hand your notice in?
  10. ruthhonormarshall

    ruthhonormarshall New commenter

    I know how you feel and sympathise completely. I'm in my sixth year of teaching and handed my notice in before half term. I will be leaving at Christmas to do supply work whilst I consider my next career move.

    I can highly recommend a read of this blog for an insight into life after teaching...

  11. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    The feeling that even though I gave my all...it still wasn't quite enough...ever.
    That, and I felt brave enough to mention it to leadership one day in passing...and once I'd mentioned it everything became clearer and easier. (Not that I'm suggesting you do the same...you might not feel it's right for you).
    fiveyearsteaching likes this.
  12. fiveyearsteaching

    fiveyearsteaching New commenter

    Thanks folks just to update you all I've had a much better few days and feeling more positive. Just taught a 4 period day and had some lovely classes. I will soldier on and see how things go. I have also considered I am in a very rural part of the country where there are very few job opportunities coming up (in teaching and out of teaching!) and also that I have just moved house and don't want to saddle my partner with paying the mortgage by himself!!
    Thanks for all your comments and I hope you all find happiness at work
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I am very pleased that you have had a more positive experience. Perhaps next time you are less positive, it might help to contact the Teacher Support Network. 24/7 by phone, e-mail or chat line.

    Could be just what you need, a sort of Samaritans-for-Teachers who can understand what the issues and pressures are.

    Best wishes


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