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Escapee's guilt

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by monicabilongame, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Probably not the right place for this but...

    Decided to stop being a teacher (finally, after several goes of 'maybe it isn't really that bad; maybe it will be better at another school; maybe it will be better if I change my hours etc.) and go do something else.

    Left without anything to go to - realised that while I can teach, and I can teach well, the whole environment is ridiculously stressful and frequently made toxic by the demands of (some) SLT members which are simply another burden to shoulder but which do nothing to benefit the students. Decided that no job should push anyone to the state of being permanently at break-down point.

    Found something to do after a lot of casting around and being prepared to do pretty much anything to bring in the rent. The new job pays much less than teaching did but it's survivable; I'm treated like the professional I am, trusted to get on with it without constantly being checked up on or having my work 'graded', and .. I don't know...... being treated like an equal member of the team by management.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Well done Monica.

    Hope you do well. Why feel guilty - you don't owe anyone anything. Savour life with less stress. It's good!

  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Exactly what phlogiston says. What's to feel guilty about? Well done.
  4. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Do not feel guilty. Well done for getting out and finding something where you are valued.

    Teaching has changed so much. Worse part is the SLT constantly watching and criticising. I managed 37 years, and I do not know how I survived the last 10.

    It used to be so much fun....... retired and having my own fun.
  5. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    TES ate the last paragraph of my post!

    Yes,oddly I do feel guilty because I know my ex-colleagues are still there and still having a miserable time of it. We used to all be in it together and that sense of connection has gone now I am doing something I really enjoy - and I wish they could be too. (Although I do think that a lot of the time they are actually enjoying being miserable....)
  6. Never feel guilty about a positive step.

    I've just done exactly the same thing for pretty much the same reasons and whilst it felt weird at the end of last week and will feel weird in September it was absolutely the right thing to do. For those that were left behind ........ well they can make their own choices, it isn't your responsibility. If there is any blame or guilt to apportion it is to those who create the issues that flaw the educational system.
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Enjoy it. Don't waste time feeling guilty because it wont' help anyone. Instead, be a great Role Model for people leaving the profession. Encourage them to follow your example.
  8. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter


    And don't look back.
  9. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

  10. gpmartin

    gpmartin New commenter

    I left full on teaching last July. Didn't have a problem with SLT where I worked but had serious pressure put on me by an LEA advisor and various consultants that she bought into the school. Also found lots of things about the job were just becoming useless and plain daft.

    So went into supply teaching for a year. Turned out to be a great decision and I've had a really good year. Everyone's been telling me how much better I look. My wife says I'm back to my old cheerful self after being a misery guts for so long!

    However, over the past term have become increasingly uninspired by it. Seeing the same old rubbish going on from school to school was annoying and a constant reminder of how a once great job is being destroyed.

    So I made a plan. The other thing I've always wanted to do was work in public transport. So I gave myself a timescale of 5 years to work on that while I continue supply. Don't mind supply and felt happy enough about continuing even if it wasn't motivating me so much.

    Started by applying for a tram drivers job in early June. 'First one of many' I thought. Would be a good test to see if my skills were transferable. To my utter shock, was shortlisted from 200 into the final 20 and interviewed. Was told at the interview that the skills I'd picked up in teaching matched what they were looking for.

    Now I've had an even bigger shock by being offered the job! Only 4 positions were available! So I got from 200 down to the final 4! So subject to a medical, I start on the 17th August! So much for a 5 year time scale...I've done it within 2 months!

    ....and guess how much guilt I feel about it all?
  11. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Congratulations gp and way to go! Enjoy your whole new life.
  12. gpmartin

    gpmartin New commenter

    Thanks! Just hope the medical goes alright. Should do...I wouldn't have survived 10 years of teaching otherwise!

    Over the past year, while on day to day supply, I've spoken to so many teachers who have had enough but feel they are cornered into teaching for life because that's all their qualifications are good for. What's happened to us gets rid of that myth.

    I went to cover a teacher whom I've got to know a couple of weeks ago. He is totally fed up but feels there's nothing else. When I told him what had happened to me he got really excited and said he was 'mightily relieved' to hear that escape is possible. It's sad that this is happening really.

    I have full respect and admiration for anyone who chooses teaching as a career right now. I know some amazing people who can still inspire children despite the ridiculous amounts of pressure they are under. It's just not for me anymore. There is life beyond teaching if you want it!
  13. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I escaped too and it is the best thing I have done. I used to feel guilty about some who hated the school I worked at and teaching. However in the end we are master of our own destiny. It takes courage to jump and to be fair ill health didn't give me a choice, but you can only encourage others to make that choice, you can't make them.
  14. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I think the majority of teachers have been in the job since they left uni, so they really don't know anything else. Those who worked in the outside world before teaching know there is life outside school - but either way it is very easy to become institutionalised. That said, teachers have innumerable transferable skills which can effectively be applied to different employment contexts. It can be a risky step to take away from such a structured organised and fully timetabled environment, but it can be incredibly freeing.
  15. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter

    Isn't it a sad indictment of the teaching profession that teachers can see no way out into another profession? :-(
  16. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    No it is not a sad indictment of the profession but of the culture in which they work.
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Absolutely brilliant and a what a good role model for every teacher who is doubting their ability to transfer to the real world. It might be worth letting your MP know about this too.
  18. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Do not feel guilty about leaving teaching! I have done the same as some people on here know.

    I still work in schools but in a support role (which I am not specifying as it could identify.) So I SEE the same 5h1t happening to teachers but am myself not (generally) a part of it!

    Even if you are a good teacher now, doing well in observations can be more about politics than ability. Observations that effectively leave capability hanging over the head of every member of staff like the sword of Damacles.

    Not only is teaching now ruined by SLT and their demands, it is ruined by those young upstarts that mosey into the profession for a year or two (Teach First and the like) that have been backpacking around Peru in their gap year and think it would be so 'cultural' to experience a couple of years in an inner city school before swanning off to do Business Management at Imperial. Don't get me wrong, there are some good Teach Firsters that stay but we all know of some of the former I described. Why is this a problem - well young in old out and in many schools one frazzled 25 year old HOD is expected to manage 6 trainees.

    Interestingly I considered train/lorry driving as a possible career - maybe in some ways because its the antithesis of teaching - peace and quiet in your own cab!
  19. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter


    At the end of the day you look after Number One and to hell with the school.
  20. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I would counsel anyone who is contemplating becoming a teacher straight from university to get some other work experience under their belt first. It's so very useful to have something else to fall back on, a Plan B, if you like.

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