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Dear Theo - how to explain my reasons for leaving...

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by tenzo10, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Hi Theo,
    I'm currently in my 6th year of teaching - on M6 - and have never had any TLR alloawances. I taught my NQT in one school and then relocated and stayed 3 years in my second job. I then moved schools a year past September. At this third school I have not "achieved" - it's an outstanding school and I was consistently getting satisfactory on my observations. I was diagnosed with depression last year and have had some days off with this - last year I had 3 weeks and this year, after Christmas, had 1 week off. School then turned up the pressure even more to the extent that I couldn't cope. In the end, they offered me a compromise agreemenet to leave, with a resignation date of 29th February. I do have an agreed reference from the school (and a glowing reference from my previous employer). My former second in department would also write me a reference (my former HoD has left the school, and hers wouldn't be much better than the agreed reference) - how will it look if I put her as my reference rather than our "executive" head - and do the school need to acknowledge which person was asked to do the reference?
    I am now taking a little bit of time before applying for another job. I have a number of reasons for leaving - no opportunity to progress my career (at my previous school I was working (very successfully with trainees)), my fiancee being ill but I wonder if any school will actually listen to this - instead just focussing on my illness record. I also have an appointment with occupational health that was arranged prior to my agreeing to leave - will this be useful in showing other schools that I am capable, or will they shy away from this?
    I am looking to get a job for September (and enjoying my extended holiday!) but worry how this decision not to take work at the minute will look for prespective employers... I don't want to do supply as I feel that the additional stress of that particular job will not help my recovery. Overall, I'm sure I have given you the gist of what I'm asking at the minute - how to explain in my job application, if I've got a chance of other employment (I am an outstanding teacher, I was just not showing it in my last job) and what to do about Occupational Health.
    Thank you in advance for your help, and sorry for the incoherent rambling - my job application will be more clear, I assure you!
    Tenzo10
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Um. Yes.
    It is quite important not to make people "turn off" at the sight of your application, or after reading the first paragraph.
    But you are acknowledging this, which is good!
    How will it look? Very weird - you are required to give your current or most recent employer in a post involving children - which means the Head, I'm afraid.
    So you will need to give the Head who will give an agreed reference, and the former Head who will be glowing.
    I don't actually understand this, I'm afraid. You have to give a named person as a referee, and in this case as it's your most recent school, that means the Head.
    Keep the appointment, for the sake of your health if nothing else. But also because if positive you will be able to say so in an application.
    You need to have a paragraph about your helath issue right near the beginning of your letter. If there is anything the least bit different about you or your application, such as not being employed at present, then you should be up front and talk about it right from the start, in your application.
    This puts you in control of how they get what information at this point. If you say nothing, then when the reference from your Head mentions it, they will think that you are trying to hide it.
    Stress is an illness and as such will need to be declared; don´t try and hide it.
    However, having had experience of stress and now come out the other end, you should have a better arsenal of tactcs to use in dealing with stress, so you should from now on be less liable to stress than other people who haven´t been forced to learn how to cope.
    So a brief, brief, mention in the letter.
    So make a positive of it. Have a brief paragraph saying that you have been unwell in the previous school, although your attendance record was excellent previously. This is now all past, you are fighting fit, and having successfully come through this you are now better able than most teachers to cope with the everyday stresses of teaching.
    Be open, and say it's sorted.
    And before you have the paragraph about that, have a paragraph about how you got all those "Outstanding" assessments of youir teaching, so that they hear the information about you in the right order.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  3. You shouldn't have to talk about time off at all. It's recently been updated - at my recent interview I wasn't asked any questions about my health or about time off. x
     
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    But being unemployed will stand out, and need to be explained in the letter, otherwise will not even get to interview.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     

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