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Dear Headtachers - Why I left teaching - Tips and Advice

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by claire20000, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. I am a student educated to Masters degree level in mathematics.
    Naturally, therefore, most people expected me to go out into business and earn lost of money.
    I did 2 years in business before moving into teaching, which I had also thought about after university and felt I was missing out on my true calling.
    I did a proper PGCE and my salary dropped to £21,000 as a starting salary for teaching the next year.
    During my time I felt that there is too much "awkwardness" from staff - there is no team atmosphere - just a "fake one" in order to "show" that they are co-operating with each other. Too much paranoia from teachers and the kind of "back stabbing" that you may expecti in business. In truth, it felt like I was in what must have been the 1950's business world, but in teaching. The true business world is not like this anymore. But teaching felt stuck in the past.
    My first expereince as a teacher who was rude and awkward to me simply becasue she has felt that I had taken her job. They couldn't offer it to her as she didn't have a PGCE. How was I even to know what was going on?
    My second experience was with a teacher who seemed nice but then turned so dramatically when she saw my BMW. I had bough most of that from my 2 years in business but was still paying it off. I am by no means rich, I think it was pure jealousy. She was fine up until that point with me. But how dare I suggest such a think, right?
    The head of department was a "tick box" person. We do a load of work all year to improve things, but then at the end of the year never use it and it is onto the next thing which will improve things. It was all play to "be seen to be doing something".
    We were given useless work in the holidays "to keep us busy" as even with the stresses of hte job they didn't want us to have a nice time off, in holiday we deserve.
    The head was more important with "tick box" and getting all those stamps (maths with computing etc) that you put on the letter paper.
    It was easy to get promoted. All you had to do was agree. I found it unchallenging to therefore further my career.
    But the salary was also a problem. No way to advance yourself above the rest. It was M1, M2, M3 no matter how you do. In companies, you can ask for a raise or move companies to gain more money - but here it is all the same dependant on TIME within the job.
    My experience comes from 2 schools on my PGCE and 2 being a full time teacher - a decent sample.
    I estimate that had I stayed in teaching I would have been on about £27,000 now, with pay freezes and all and a pension that you have to contribute too.
    I left and went back into business. Now, 3 years later, I now work in London on a salary for £54,000 plus bonus and a non-contributory pension scheme (i.e the company put money in even if I don't) and the most important of all,,,,,, I am much happier.

    I wanted to explain all this not to gloat about salary as some may think I am. I am simply making a point that someone like me with a 1st in a BSC and MSC in mathematics gives the teaching profession a try, and leaves due to the above.
    The well educated among you will recognise the errors and understand that the best people will not choose teaching and the people who will be in it with be in via the many "cheap" alternative entrance schemes
    The ones amongs you who are like those in my school will have the attitue "get lost then" and see this for me having a moan.
    I wanted to share my expereince to help headteachers improve the profession and how they can retain staff like me. Some won't care who leaves - my school didn't - they lost about 10 people a year - but perhaps one, just one, may make a difference to their school, and in that, I will have succeeded.
    Thank you for you time
  2. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    The well educated will recognise the spelling and grammatical errors and wonder how on earth you passed the literacy test. Unless, of course, you are a troll.
  3. Ouch!!
  4. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    Excellent answer Curlygirl.
    It's difficult to believe this person could have been allowed to teach with such a poor command of English
  5. You are absolutely spot on! Sorry to say nothing has changed. Its a shame that the only comments made have not addressed the points you raise. I wish the head teachers could see through the staff who tell them what they want to hear rather than the reality. The SMT that reports on the performance of others but manages to escape the same levels of scrutiny. Bullying is rife, be it very subtle but it does exist.
  6. ......and you have made my point "curlygirly" oh so beautifully, exactly with such a comment!

    Sorry to use you, but the errors were on purpose to see if this was the response that would come up from someone to prove my points in my main argument.
    This is a forum - not a literacy test - who cares?
  7. Thanks Popples.
    As I said in my post, there will be those that read about the money above and become, dare I say it, jealous, and so perhaps have a pop at something - the easy target would be poor spelling I threw in as bait - and others like yourself would be here who are good who actually agree that none of the three of them above "addressed the points in my main argument"
    I came to the headteachers forum so that perhaps I could get more reasoned arguments and perhaps even feedback on what I may have done or handled better - not one of those three even attempted that.
    Oh dear, I hope they are not actually headteachers!
    They just went for the poor spelling and ignored the who point of the case.
    I guess in knowning someone may do that - I am well educated after all :) :)
    Thanks again popples - you do see my point and why I left. I find people in business to be more grown up and less like the children they teach.
    It could be the environment - and I make a serious point here - in business we have to be professional and so that "rubs off". Whereas perhaps the childrens attitude rubs off on some teachers who cannot shied themself to it.
    Just a thought (?)
  8. September

    September New commenter

    I am glad someone has the guts to say this. Headteachers can make such a difference to the lives and well being of their staff but some don't. My advice is to seek out inspirational headteachers and aim to work for them.
    There are some very unprofessional headteachers out there who only look out for themselves. Invest in your staff and they will be loyal.
    Too many yes men get promotion under some headteachers and this stagnates the process for those who want to do better for the students.
    Hope there are headteachers out there who read this post and take positve action.
  9. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I am still trying to work out the point of this post. You seem to be complaining about the money involved in teaching. As teaching has a national and well publicised pay scale I am surprised you did not realise what you were going to earn. Teachers will never earn as much as you would in business though we do earn a reasonable wage. You also seem to think that being well educated also leads to being a better teacher; more qualifications mean you understand your subject better but not that you can communicate it well. Finally, you complain about the lack of teamwork and the box ticking culture in the schools you have worked in. Box ticking does occur and is unfortunately more a part of education over the last few years as teaching has become politicised but I have never worked in a school (6 as a teacher + 3 as a student) where we did not work as a team.

    Clearly teaching was not the career for you and hopefully you will enjoy working in business.
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Hello there,
    I am an Oxbridge graduate with a 1st class honors degree and a masters in my main subject. I also have a 'proper' PGCE and an M. Ed. I worked in televsion production before moving into teaching so too have experience of the business world. Above all qualifications and experiences the greatest assets to someone working in difficult environments - and the schools you were situated in may come into that category - is that of a resilient personality and being able to work interpersonally.

    I am glad you have now found a working environment that suits you more.
    P.S BMWs are in my opinion pants cars.
  11. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Quite. One of the worst teachers I have ever worked with had a PHD, they were hopeless with children who were not particularly bright.
    I've worked in 6 schools and supported hundreds when working with the advisory service, I've come across very few without team spirit. The ones without it tend to be in a mess.
    I'd like to add that the "deliberate mistakes" excuse is pathetic.
    Your post is incoherent and incomprehensible and I'd say you're no loss to the teaching profession.
    Over the last few years I've employed some stunning NQTs who are clearly cut out for the job, enthused and inspirational,in the space of a couple of years they've gone on to be lead teachers at LA level.
    Every job we've advertised has had in excess of 100 applications, so I reckon if we lose a few people who can't write a coherent argument and who aren't really that taken with teaching, it's no loss.
    Please don't PM me again, OP. Thank you.
  12. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I agree, I prefer my Merc, much classier.
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Speaking as someone who has had to go into my bank on three occasions in the past month, each time to organise what ought to have been a simple transaction, I think schools have much to learn from the banking sector about 'box ticking'.
    On all three occasions I was passed from pillar to post, made to sit and wait whilst each person claimed they would try to find out what to do (example: I wanted to draw money on a 'green' account! 'Why don't you write a cheque?' said each and every bank employee, seemingly unaware that this is not possible with a 'green'a ccount) and told a range of 'reasons why we can't do what you want, because the rules are...'
    Then there's ringing the other bank with which I have an account. I've never been spoken to more rudely in my life than by the eejit on the other end of the phone who insisted it must be my fault that my new credit card had been sent to a branch two hours' drive away and then that I'd never be told I would get a phone call informing me when my card had been re-delivered as 'The branches aren't allowed to do it'. Tha tturned out to be a lie, as it happened.
    So - the banking sector. A bit ****, and not just for the reasons that caused the world's current financial crisis.
  14. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    That's just the point though isn't it.... I had a bad experience with a BMW and so ergo have decided that *all* BMW's are now pants. My schema has been shaped by this experience and I will never again consider buying one. Much the same as the OP has clearly condemed teaching because of *their* experience.
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Whereas I don't particularly rate BMWs because they tend to be driven by ( I won't type it, the filter will block it out any way) with the odd exception, of course. I am sure you were the exception Daisy.
    I was an Alfa girl until the kids came along. Boy are they drivers cars. My neighbour has just bought a lovely new Maserati though and I like the look of that.
    Anyhow, I do think the OP must have been somewhat unlucky because the picture they describe isn't one I recognise.

  16. So to summarise, the reasons for your negative experience (a brief and narrow experience at that) are all to with the inadequacies and faults of others?
    Headteachers and other colleagues would perhaps be more receptive to your "advice" if you did not come across as quite so pompous and arrogant. Not your intention I appreciate, but unfortunately that is how your post presents.
    Just thought you would appreciate the feedback. Good luck
  17. I'm with scienceguy in not quite understanding the points you are trying to raise. I also feel you've been unlucky in so much as all four faculties you have experience of working in were populated with unfriendly staff.
    I have found faculties and schools to be staffed by people from a wide range of backgrounds, many of whom have challenged my preconceptions about the importance of qualifications, experience, role, hierarchy and personality. Of course, interpersonal skills are so important when it comes to fitting in to an established group, working in a team, challenging and changing things you believe are flawed and making friendships. It strikes me as unlucky that all four of your schools have been full of others who didn't have these skills.
    But you're happy and contented with where you are now which is great but does bring me back to my first sentence.
  18. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    I actually laughed out loud at the 'baiting' comment about poor spelling/grammar. Not sure why the OP felt the need to keep it up after pointing it out though..? ;)
  19. Having re- read the original post , I realised from the grammar and syntax that the OP has simply strayed from Comparethemeerkat.com.
  20. Hmm, so you left teaching in 2009 ish? Maybe 2008? So certainly couldn't have been a HoD in 2010? And I guess you were carrying out your secret spelling and grammar test in 2010 too?

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