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Exit plan - thoughts please!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Talismanjayuk, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    After much thought, I think the time has come to proceed with my exit plan and leave full-time teaching.

    To give some background, I am a main scale primary school teacher of a few years experience. (Prior to my life as a teacher, I did a range of other education related jobs.) Initially, I undertook a few long-term supply positions successfully before moving on to my first permanent position.

    Although my first year was fine, we have been Ofsteded and everything has piled pressure wise. To put it frankly, I am unable to keep up and have been put on a ‘support plan’. This is fundamentally down to me being reluctant (and sometimes unable) to put the hours in during the evening/weekend. The support plan seems reasonable enough - I have been following the advice given - and the Head has been supportive – but if I don’t succeed, then capability would be next and I am obviously keen to avoid this. So with increasing expectations for me to keep up and improve – which seems can only be done by working over large chunks of the weekend or evenings – something which I am finding increasingly hard to do - then the time seems to have come to move on.

    Additionally, health wise, I’m increasingly disliking going to work, feeling anxious, not ‘switching off’ etc and feel that my ‘mojo’ has gone from teaching and my confidence is low. I still like the teaching bit but it’s all the other stuff that surrounds it that I increasingly dislike. Having suffered from WRS in a previous, non-teaching role many moons ago, so I am well aware of what that feels like, so I want to make sure I don’t end up in the same situation again. I want to act BEFORE I end up in the same situation as many of the poor folks I see posting on these threads (thank god for the good advice and support they are given on these forums.) It would be nice if I could leave before I end up demoralised, unwell or disillusioned with teaching etc

    My partner is supportive of this. For various reasons, at this stage in our life, it would actually be better if I was working several part-time jobs of varied hours (including part-time teaching/day to day supply, tutoring etc) so I could be home during the daytime more.

    The idea excites me as I might well be able keep an aspect of teaching whilst also having the time and energy to switch off mentally and not constantly be thinking about teaching all the time. This seems like a sensible way to stay in education whilst also having a chance of a healthy work/life balance. We have worked out our budgets and seeing as I’m not far up the teaching pay scale anyway, we can afford for me to switch to this style of working.

    I am going to start to apply for jobs this week and it feels right to inform the Head of my intentions and if necessary formally hand in my resignation to leave at Easter. Thus far, the working relationship with my Head has been good and I am keen to maintain this by being as transparent as possible. Furthermore, my fear is if the Head doesn’t know, then a job reference for me will suddenly pop into her email box! (I know you can tick the ‘don’t contact present employer’ box on application forms but I don’t trust that an error wouldn’t occur!)

    Also, by informing them of my intentions, I am hoping it will take the pressure off regarding the ‘support plan’ – not a lot of point with going down that route if I am leaving anyway.

    Any thoughts or feedback most welcome. It would be good to get others perspectives on this!
  2. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    It sounds like you have given it a lot of thought and that you are making rational decisions that are not in the heat of the moment. As someone who is currently off with WRS I can understand why you are wanting to make sure this doesn't reoccur for you as you will be more prone to it happening again.
    There's no point in a life where you are miserable anod it's good that you have a sensible plan.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    OP, you seem to have thought this through well, and are fortunate to have a partner who supports you, so I would suggest you go ahead and do what you known you really want to do - get out of full time teaching. I would definitely speak to your HT before applying to any jobs, and, as you say, you might well find the pressure will be 'off' afterwards.
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I agree with your points in favour of telling the head but why rush into resigning until you've got something else. See what the reaction is and I'd expect the pressure to drop off.
  5. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    The main thing is your happiness. The good thing about supply is that there are some lovely schools in which you could end up liking enough to apply for part time roles at least. If you can afford to follow your plan through, great!
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Sounds like a plan.
    It's just not worth dragging yourself in every day only to find your health is suffering, when you know you want to leave.
    Good luck.
    mothergoose2013 and agathamorse like this.
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I am not certain it is a good idea to inform the head at this point.

    Why not talk to your union to discuss options you may get to leave with a "redundancy" payment of sorts.

    Good luck with the job hunting.

    I am trying to escape myself but my mojo is shot (I am off with anxiety and depression) and it is hard to motivate myself to do ANYTHING.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Whilst talking to one's Union is always a good idea (after all, you pay to be a member!), I don't agree with raising hopes about a redundancy payment - remember only jobs can be made redundant, and there is no evidence that the OP's post is about to disappear (if it is, then they should have been told, of course). Given what we know from the OP, I doubt the school, will be paying any redundancy.
  9. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    That is correct, there is no suggestion of any redundancies occuring.
  10. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Thank you for all your replies. Very helpful to know what I am planning isn't completely crazy!
    mothergoose2013 likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Sounds great.

    And definitely talk it through with the HT.

    Not as in, "I shall be resigning," but rather, "I'm even contemplating giving up at this point. That's how demoralised I feel." And do a sad face. :( You might buy yourself some space and time. The HT doesn't sound a monster and you're a decent human being so expect the best of them!
  12. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Thank you. The Head has been fine so far and seems to understand where I am coming from. She knows my personal circumstances now are why the current work/life balance in full-time teaching is unsustainable for me.

    As I am now starting to apply for jobs, I don't think I can suggest I am contemplating leaving but that I AM leaving - by doing so it does give them more time to find a replacement. And in a prior conversation with the Head, I had already brought up the fact that I was thinking about whether I stay in teaching long term, so I doubt me handing in my notice would be a complete surprise now. Applying for part time teaching jobs instead of staying full time fits in my reasoning too.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Well, that's thoroughly decent of you and I wish you well.

    If you know you're up and away then you're quite right. Be honest. Say so. Breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the last few weeks.
    mothergoose2013 and phlogiston like this.
  14. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Firstly, a support plan that requires you to work such long hours outside of school is not reasonable but this is what needs to be done to hold down a modern full time teaching job. This will be the same in virtually any other school and if you are not willing to put the hours in at the expense of your partner, family, friends and mental and physical health then teaching is not for you. If you have decided that you need and deserve a life away from work then you know that the full time teaching job has to go.

    Reading your OP it seems to me that you have realised this for yourself and your idea of a number of part time roles seems an excellent way forward. You are blessed to have the love and support of a devoted partner but be wary that relationships only thrive with input from both sides. If you're always too busy working then your partner may start wondering what's in this relationship for them.

    You've thought this through and I think you know where this is all going. If you posted on here for some moral support and to confirm the wisdom of your plans - you've got it! Good luck in making your future better.
  15. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good luck - I hope you find employment that enables you to have a decent work life balance and live well.
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If you take up supply or p/t teaching roles within the system you will always be subject to the sort of pressures you've outlined above. With supply there are some additional stresses, if my experience of it is anything to go by. You really have to want to do supply and to go into it with a positive mindset if it's going to work for you.

    A possible alternative is to go into 'Educational Services' and offer whatever specialist skills and knowledge you might have on a self-employed basis. I'm speaking of one-off workshop type sessions that schools buy you in for. The big plus is you still get to enjoy teaching, you're in control of the content, and you walk away from school-based paperwork every time. The downside is it's a business like any other and there are tasks that need to be done in order to succeed, which will take up some of your non-contact time.

    My advice to anyone leaving the profession is always to diversify until the best alternative pathway becomes clearer.
    Shedman and Mermaid7 like this.
  17. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Hello again.

    I thought I would post an update to my original post from Jan.

    I left full-time teaching at the end of Easter as planned. My last few weeks in school were fine with no negative repercussions. I have been able to retain a sensible work/life balance and feel much better for it. Workwise, I have mainly been tutoring with occasional days supply work here and there (unsurprisingly there is LOTS going), and lately have moved into carework/supporting young adults which is very rewarding. I now have a very flexible working life which suits much better and have only taken a relatively low drop in money. Personally, I can recommend taking the plunge!

    Thanks again to all those who posted advice and I will continue to visit these forums. :)
  18. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    So lovely that you took the time to update the people who gave advice and good to hear that things have worked out well. Brilliant! Im sure this will be a good support to others in similar situations.
    starlightexpress and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good to hear that you've rebuilt your career. Thank you for letting us know.
    Well done.
  20. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    It’s good to hear a positive outcome.

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