I left teaching just over a year ago, for many of the reasons I have found others struggling with on these dilemma pages. Although I was pretty well supported at the school I worked at, I hated the system and the politics, and realised I was becoming part of the problem rather than the solution. I felt that I couldn't talk about my worries and fears then, and succumbed to the culture of fear and secrecy that permeates teaching. With the distance of a year, and having retrained as a counsellor, a colleague and I have set up a case discussion group. In it, teachers can explore the emotional issues of teaching far away from the school and performance management and targets. It's the kind of thing I really needed in my final couple of years in teaching but never found. I hope it may be of some use to people arriving at this part of the website. If you're interested you can find information here. I find it amazing, though, that so little appears to exist to support teachers with what can be such an emotionally draining job - as a counsellor I am required to talk through my emotional issues for an hour every twelve hours of contact time (with someone who is not part of performance management, or even the same organisation). Teaching is no less demanding, and yet there is no such requirement at all. How do we deal with the stresses, then, except by bottling them up?