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Ex teachers - what do you do Now?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dauralora, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. dauralora

    dauralora New commenter

    Hi all.

    I'm in my 4th year teaching and I don't want to do this anymore. I've started a new school this year to see if a change in school was what was needed and it's made it even worse. A lot of people tell me it'll get better and they're probably right but I'm just not enjoying it. It's also affecting my mental health and I hate getting up every morning and feel like I'm fighting tears all day. Behaviour isn't great and it's just another battle I feel I have to face. Even in lessons where the kids are perfect, I'm not enjoying it. Just doing it. The thought of doing this for a whole year is filling me with dread but I feel as if I'm trapped and can't leave earlier than a year as I'll be putting pressure on the school.
    For those of you that have left, what do you do Now? Has it been worth it?
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Employment and discrimination Law. Yep, it's very worth it.

    Qualified via the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives vocational route, so employers (usually) pay tuition fees. Earn as you learn, working your way up though law firm. Start as legal assistant and develop with the job. Pay is lousy to start, but you can supplement with private tuition, exam marking and benefits top up.

    Can you be a lawyer without doing a law degree / LPC? Yep, you certainly can. You can be a judge /coroner / advocate via this route, if you wish.
  3. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

  4. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    Umm... this is a trap a lot of us seem to fall in to...we feel our lives are somehow less important than the institution we work for, but really think about it...it's your life! Trust me when I say you don't want to go all the way to a full breakdown. That is not a good place to be. If you leave earlier the school will just employ someone else. They always seem to manage somehow. Please think about your health.

    PS I had a breakdown through WRS (working way too hard and under poor conditions) I became a tutor. I earn less but can still pay the mortgage and bills and have lots of free time to develop a business making and selling earrings.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Nothing, I am afraid, despite my best efforts to find alternative work both within and outwith education. if I worked for free I could be occupied 18 hours a day but I a sufficiently capitalist to want to be paid for my work.
    Shedman, TCSC47, agathamorse and 3 others like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    There are many things you could do but you may have to do some further training as GLsghost did. What are your natural abilities and interests? Take some time to research other jobs. Are you practical at all? Do you have any interest whatsoever in heating or plumbing? How about plastering, painting, or brick laying? If that is not for you how about surveying, computer programming, or counselling?

    You could set up a business if you have a product or skill to offer.

    If you could wake up and do a job you like, what do you think it might be? What are your strengths?

    Teaching is something you can always go back to later even if it is supply to tide you over.
    Supplylady, sinnyev, emylou and 7 others like this.
  7. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    I agree that this is a very good starting point, and I'm repeating pepper5's excellent advice here.

    Ask yourself "What would I like to do?". Are you a people person? Would you be happy working on your own? Would you be happy working in an office, or would you want to getting out and about? How are your computer skills?

    Are you primary or secondary? If secondary, which subjects? If primary, what are your favourite subjects?
    TCSC47 and pepper5 like this.
  8. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass Occasional commenter

    Time is too precious to be in a job that makes you unhappy. I know from experience. I finished in August, having been away from work for a significant period prior to that due to WRS etc. The time away gave me time to think about what I could do and where I wanted my life to go, whilst also being able to realise that it was the job that was making me feel so bad. I've not looked back since...

    I am currently trying to set up my own business, tutoring both academically and using my other qualifications as a trained musician. I'm contacting schools, have built a Facebook page (website next!) and also signed up with two agencies for ad-hoc supply work, to fit around my other plans. I've arranged a business meeting with someone who I met locally on-line who runs a music school and we are going to have chat to share ideas etc. There are enough savings tucked away to get me past Christmas - living the same lifestyle I had before, any money I earn will make the savings last even longer. Hopefully into next year ... then repeat!! God - I've even booked a holiday in November ....I've not been abroad for 3 years :)

    Do not think that just because you are stuck in a job you don't enjoy, there's no way out. There is. You will feel much better for taking the leap. I was prepared to do anything to earn a crust, I might and up in the local ASDA or delivering pizzas, so what?

    From what you say, you need the support of you doctor and probably need some time away, whilst off don't feel guilty about taking time away to 'get right'. Your health is far more important than ANYTHING else. THE SCHOOL WILL CARRY ON WITHOUT YOU - REGARDLESS. You will get 6 months full pay at the very least, then 6 months half pay (not that you'll need that long!). Take other things that are on offer. If school want to support you, they may offer counselling, CBT etc. Ask for a referral via occupational health. Also be honest with yourself - what do you need support with? Behaviour management, planning, time management etc. These are all fixable and can be put into a plan to support you back into work when the time is right, as long as you have the support of the school. If you don't and there are other underlying problems you've not divulged on here, ring your union to see what advice and support they can offer.

    I really wish you all the best for a swift recovery. I am a totally different person to the person I was. This has happened to me twice within 3 years. I'm not done as a teacher, I LOVE teaching but I don't like what teaching is becoming as a profession, so time to change. If it doesn't work out, I'm prepared to try the daily grind of full-time teaching and management once again, now I'm mended and no longer in a school where I was unhappy. I have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose.

    Keep posting and I sincerely hope this long-winded reply helps in some way. :)
  9. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Oops - forgot to answer the question.

    I'm in IT now. Absolutely worth the move - no doubt about it.

    I quit teaching before I had a job to go to. In that way I was much more mentally focused on the next step, rather than procrastinating and allowing another year to go by.
  10. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter


    I escaped last year; I did some exam marking, publishing, proofreading, tutoring etc. while I looked for another job. I guess I'm lucky that I did something else prior to teaching and have got a few relevant degrees. I am now an engineering physicist working in industry. I love it :)
  11. simon43

    simon43 New commenter

    Why not consider teaching overseas (if your personal circumstances allow for this)?

    I teach English (EFL) to KG and primary 1,2,3 at a private school in Myanmar (Burma). I've been teaching in Myanmar for the past 5 years. I love my job! The children are great and very respectful, my local teaching colleagues are lovely and ask me many questions about English pronunciation and grammar, my bosses give me a 'free hand' at what and how I teach. I teach about 22 lessons each week, lesson planning is a doddle and I manage to save about 1,500 pounds every month. Oh, I'm almost 59 years old.

    Stress? What stress?
    Taxes? What taxes?
    VAT? Huh?
    Rush-hour? Nope, none of that.
  12. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, the school will still be standing in a year, will you? I know that's drastic but don't underestimate the effects of stress on your health.

    As for your question, I'm still in teaching so can't help you there.
  13. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Hear hear.
    jlishman2158, emylou, TCSC47 and 2 others like this.
  14. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It all depends on your personal circumstances, what you teach and level.

    Have you pinpointed why you hate your job yet? Could anything change to make things better? Have a frank discussion with the HoD or Head if that's the case.

    With 4 years experience, I'd seriously think about a year or two abroad, not the Middle East where the kids are worse than here and the abuse of non-natives can be horrendous but somewhere like China, Malaysia, Thailand etc. You'll have a far more interesting less stressful time, earn good money, teach kids who are respectful and want to learn and may learn to love your teaching again.

    If you have to stay in the UK for whatever reason, you need to understand how much you need to survive, and how much to live well. Tutoring can be brilliantly well paid if you teach Maths, low stress, less hours and easy workload. You could start looking for a job in grammars or independent schools. They have different pressures, but after a sh** state school, they are a doddle.

    Go travelling for a year?

    If you need to get out of teaching completely, then maybe talk to a careers advisor - your nearest University or old one should be able to help with an appointment, ideas and a pathway. Phone them up and ask.

    Use a doctor for stress leave if you need to. A long paid break for a few months can help clear the fog.
    Amazonaddict, emylou and TCSC47 like this.
  15. themidlander

    themidlander New commenter

    I've worked in University schools and colleges Outreach for 3 years after a long period of WRS in teaching. I didn't take the decision lightly and wouldn't rule out a career move to a different sector of teaching but it brings all the good of the working with young people and reward I enjoyed about teaching without the more stressful aspects. Different pressures but my work life balanced is great. If you are in London these opportunities are more bountiful alongside educational charity work. Don't pay great but I'm tutoring in the evenings which I now have time to do.

    I have a lot of respect for many of my teaching colleagues over the years but they have a tendency to believe they have restricted themselves to a bubble they can't leave. (Notice periods don't help).
  16. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    I feel for you.
    You've had a good crack at it and it's not working for you. You've gained lots of experience and successes - you've not failed you are just changing careers. It's a great time to leave, with plenty under your belt. Do some supply, take some time to find what's right for you. There's a whole world waiting for you - good luck
  17. dauralora

    dauralora New commenter

    How hard was it for you to get into publishing? That's an avenue I'd like to explore!
  18. dauralora

    dauralora New commenter

    Thanks so much everyone! I'm secondary English. I suppose if I could do anything it would be something in communications/writing/copywriting but I really don't know how to enter that.
    Amazonaddict, emylou, TCSC47 and 2 others like this.
  19. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Work for a small private company doing railway timetable planning. Work at home and very little pressure.

    Been very busy the last few weeks on a number of projects. Comments from the boss "If you feel overworked then stop, no one does a decent job when stressed, the client can wait a little longer". Oddly, never heard that in teaching!
  20. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    Wow that's amazing. Sounds like a great person to work for!

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