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Desperate to leave.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by bluefinch123, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. bluefinch123

    bluefinch123 New commenter

    I'm into my 3rd year, having recently moved schools, and I am desperate to leave the profession altogether already.

    I moved, in part, to see if "the grass was greener" - it isn't. I did enjoy working in my previous school more than this, however the workload was always a source of stress and anxiety, as many posts on this forum reflect. Where I work now, I come home and spend most nights in tears. I dread going in (but still do, of course). I know I am a good teacher and I have been told as much by numerous people I work with currently and have worked with in my previous school, but the passion and enthusiasm of the 21 year old who absolutely LOVED the subject and had dreamed of teaching since they were in school is, well and truly, dead.

    I knew what I was getting into when I did my PGCE, but I thought over time that I would be better-equipped to deal with the workload. I was wrong. I am completely miserable. I used to be a relatively optimistic person but the pressure of my current workplace is destroying every iota of joy I had. It's affecting my relationship with my partner and family and I mean it when I say I can't cope. I am incredibly envious of my partner who goes to work (9-5), comes home and doesn't do anything work-related or even think about work again until 9am the following day. I don't wish to go into too much detail about where I work, but part of my problem is feeling as though I am being scrutinised at all times.

    I read a post from another person who said they were going to hand their notice in and leave at Christmas - how I WISH I'd done that. I now must remain in post until April if I want to hand in my resignation at the next available opportunity (before February half term). The prospect of this feeling continuing for the next 5 months is absolutely agonising and I don't know if I can do it. I have contemplated speaking to my GP, as I GENUINELY feel depressed and my family think I probably am, but I don't want to be signed off sick because I am nervous that this will affect any future job opportunities outside of teaching, as the gap will always have to be explained.

    Any advice that anyone has would be greatly appreciated. I feel utterly dejected, so please be kind.
  2. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    You could speak to your HT and see if they will release you earlier (at Christmas or half term in February, for example). They don't have to, of course. And you can work out how many weeks/days/lessons you have left and tick them off each day - it's surprising how quickly time passes (esp. if you concentrate on looking for a new job outside teaching).
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Sorry your having a rubbish time. If
    you've decided you are going to leave, perhaps start looking at where you are going to go next. Hunting for jobs, getting cv ready. It may help you feel better about the time you have to spend in school.
  4. gruffalo4

    gruffalo4 New commenter

    Sorry to hear you feel like this! I posted yesterday about how awful teaching is making me feel this year (particularly) but I’m only RQT.

    Others offered advice to me about moving schools and starting over but you’ve already tried this.
    You need to do what’s best for you and your well-being comes first. It can feel like you’re trapped but there are other options.

    It’s so miserable being stuck in this situation - I hope you get it sorted soon.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A week's breathing space isn't going to get you a bad reputation. And it might just help you through.
  6. SamGBr

    SamGBr New commenter

    I agree with grumpydogwoman - a week is quickly forgotten about if it allows you the time to recuperate...
    steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  7. silversoo

    silversoo New commenter

    Hi there,
    Firstly I’m sorry you are feeling this way. It sounds as though you have already made up your mind that you want to leave teaching. If it is any consolation it isn’t for everybody and no one you love would ever expect you to stay in a job that you hate.
    You are right to think about what to do next but I think that if you seriously don’t want to go back I would consider going to the GPS to get signed off. Having time outside of school will not only give you time to get better but also clarity to make decisions.
    You would be surprised how many employers will be sympathetic to the fact you have had time off for stress, provided you can explain how you dealt with it and you can get yourself right.
    You are 24 (?) and have your WHOLE life ahead of you. Take some time to figure who are you and what you want and don’t feel guilty for wanting to make a change if this is not you x
  8. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I'm sorry you are not feeling well. I understand that you don't want to take time off and have an employment gap but you do need to go to your GP. There are other things they can do e.g. Prescribe antidepressants if you prefer. They can help in lots of ways.
    bluefinch123 likes this.
  9. ibrahim10

    ibrahim10 New commenter

    I would hand in my resignation asap.. they have 6 weeks to find a replacement (until start of the second term). Not the statutory notice but sufficient notice. The worst case is they deduct your Christmas holiday pay - can you survive without a 10 days' pay? However you will find some headteachers understanding and will let you go easily - how well do you know your head?
    I recently left teaching, doing supply at the moment while job hunting.. and I must day I do not regret it
  10. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Excellent advice above. From what you have written, teaching is not for you. As Silversoo points out above, you are only around 24 and you could face up to another 44 years in the classroom.

    As others have suggested, speak to your Headteacher about an early release but if that doesn't work out then you'll just have resign at the nearest possible opportunity. Once you have handed in your notice or have made the decision to leave then that in itself helps in easing some of the stress; just knowing that there is an end in sight will bring great relief. OK, you may still have a few weeks or months to go but beyond your leave date then nothing to do with the school or your students will be your responsibility any more, it will be over.

    Here's what to do now:
    • Get your CV refreshed and brushed up. Emphasise the transferable skills you've acquired from teaching
    • Get your leave date organised
    • Put it around on social media and to your friends that you're job hunting
    • Post your CV online
    • Ask your partner to investigate any vacancies at their workplace or use their networks to look for jobs.
    • Look at local job ads and apply
    • Arrange a consultation with a career coach
    • Above all, be positive! The change you are making is for your health and the happiness of you, your family and your partner. You want to make your life better but only you can make it happen.
  11. bluefinch123

    bluefinch123 New commenter

    I wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented. You all made me feel a bit better as I read your comments. Sometimes it's just nice to hear from others who actually understand.

    Update: I saw my GP as some comments suggested I did and she was very concerned and signed me off for some time (don't want to say how long to keep it anonymous). No idea what is going to happen after this but my brain is not really working properly at the moment so I think I need some time to be a "real person" again before I decide what to do.

    Again, thanks everyone.

  12. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    I doubt you'll ever find any greener grass.
    Once you've had the experience of not coping with the workload, a job that affects your mental health so much - it's very, very hard to go back.
    Not that you should let that worry you, of course. You've only spent 3 years in a career that you don't like. You far enough down the rabbit hole to get stuck.

    See it as an opportunity to find something else, don't be like these countless other people that, for misplaced professional pride, inertia, Lord knows what else - decide to hang on hoping that it'll get better, crying into their cornflakes for years until the have a breakdown.

    If you still want to stay in education, but work outside of school there's a fair bit you can do.
    There's also SEN schools. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it wouldn't be fair of me not to mention it.
    I left mainstream after 10 years of teaching and moved into SEN. Best decision ever. After being in a week, I went home and just couldn't believe that I hadn't done it years sooner. Felt like a right plonker.

    So, Bluefinch. Take some time off, consider all available job options, look into training courses, book an appointment with a careers advisor - I guarantee having a date will make you a lot happier.
    Shedman, pepper5, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  13. bluefinch123

    bluefinch123 New commenter

    Out of interest, livingstone83, what is it about SEN schools that made you realised it suited you?
  14. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    In all honesty, I wasn't expecting it to.

    I was having a decent career, climbing the ladder quite well (based on competency rather than a pathological desire to spread my will over all of the sub-ordinate staff) obvs had some bad days as we all do, but ultimately I hadn't considered it until.....

    I have a son with ASD. I was (am, continue and will be for at least another 6 years) sick to the back teeth of going in to his school(s) and being shocked at their lack of provision.
    I started visiting a couple of SEN schools to see what they do that should be adopted into mainstream schools and what I found in one particular school shocked me.
    What I saw was a team of professionals so caring and dedicated, individual targets and goals worked on constantly, children given freedom to express themselves in a non-judgmental manner, no whiff of a 'zero-tolerance' behaviour policy that SEN kids can't meet, completely individual differentiated lessons and tasks.... and I saw the most amazing kids - despite their challenges, being engaged, enthused and active.

    As a teacher, it was like wondering in to Nirvana.

    I applied for a job immediately and started a few months later. I was amazed I hadn't done it sooner, particularly given that I know 4 or 5 SEN teachers that are always banging on about how great their jobs are. I guess the barrier to stopping me was confidence or something.
    Like many of us, I'd been conditioned by the system to think that 50+ hour working weeks and all that scrutiny was 'for the kids'. It's not. It's a conveyor belt of staff and kids used to feed the wages and egos of a few blokes in suits.
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I have sent you a pm

  16. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    That is wonderful. I've felt like that when I've visited SEN schools.

    Just out of interest did you have to do any training to switch or did you learn as you went along?
  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I've worked in SEN

    Imagine all the progress targets you get hammered with in mainstream

    Now imagine getting hammered with the same progress targets with children who by definition do not have the potential to make the same progress as main stream children.

    Now imagine getting hammered with the same progress targets with children who have degenerative conditions, so are going backwards cognitively.

    Now imagine being pulled up on your progress scores.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. bluefinch123

    bluefinch123 New commenter

    Hi all, I just wondered if anyone here had any experience with negotiating an early exit.

    I am unsure if this is what I will go for yet and I know I need to give myself some time to digest everything that has been going on in my head for the past couple of months and try to relax, however I know for certain that I don't want to teach anymore. I worked out if I stay until the 30th April (as this is the release date in the next resignation period), it will be 15 weeks not including holidays. The prospect of working 12+ hour days for this long sounds like a hellscape to me and I envisage myself back to crying at the wheel again to and from work, praying that another vehicle will careen into me so I don't have to go in, stifling tears in between lessons and break/lunch and generally hating my life.

    So, if anyone has any experience with making a quick getaway and how this went down with the school/HT, that would be great. I have a union and they have been very supportive so far (I've just spoken to them for advice on what to say after I was signed off etc., they've not contacted the school and the school don't know I've spoken to them).

    Also, thanks for your kind pm @Corvuscorax - I've responded.

    Bluefinch x
  19. petordream

    petordream New commenter

    Just quit, teaching is truly awful
  20. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Have you ever thought of teaching abroad?

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