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Feeling trapped.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Mummyto1, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Mummyto1

    Mummyto1 New commenter


    I'm posting this in the hope that someone can help me or offer some advise. I have a young daughter and I'm a primary school teacher. I have only been teaching for 3 years but have been at the same school feeling unhappy since my NQT year. I barely have any time with my daughter (I can barely keep up with the expectations the SMT have and find I think about work all the time) and although I have tried to leave before, each time I have been guilt-tripped, told I'm not good enough to go anyway else or offered SMT promotions despite those not being something I am interested in anymore. This year I feel like my job is affecting my mental health, there have been circumstances in my personal life as well as my job that have led me to very depressed. I am seeing a therapist but I feel like my happiness isn't improving because I spend all day in an environment that is so toxic. The school is a negative place, most people are unhappy because the head teacher does not value anybody and often does or says things that are rude at at worst, bullying. I feel like the DHT has bullied me since I started, it was particularly bad in my NQT year but on occasion, she still does her best to intimidate me by getting into my personal space and shouting in my face. I have tried to contact my union previously but didn't find them very helpful and decided it was better to get my head down and make as little noise as possible. Every time I feel like I can't possibly do anymore, there is another initiative dumped on us. The SMT are obsessed with OFSTED to the point where we have lost sight of the children as young people not as numbers. The only reason I have made it so far is an incredibly supportive husband who never gets cross when he finds me in floods of tears/feeling completely shattered.

    I want to leave and I have applied for a job outside of teaching however the interview is not until after half-term. I can't imagine having to stay here until Easter but equally I feel guilty about leaving my class and know that the SMT will make my life hell. That's why so far I have taken the easy option of just staying there. I feel like the head doesn't know how I truly feel, I do a very good job of projecting a happy image when around SMT and my class. Do I have to resign on Wednesday or can I send in my resignation in half-term before the 31st? I am tempting to wait to hear if I have an interview before handing in my notice but that will probably be in half term as the interview is early November. Trying to negotiate out of my contact after the 31st seems daunting especially as I have seen the SMT make the life of others who have gone off sick/left difficult.

    I don't know what to do and I feel sick with worry. I appreciate any advice you might have.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  3. Mummyto1

    Mummyto1 New commenter

    Sorry @TheoGriff, I don't think of myself as a negative person at all but I am unhappy and I know it's time to do something about it for my own health, it's just a daunting prospect right now.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  5. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    I could have written the first paragraph of your post. In my fourth year, have tried to get out since NQT but always been guilt tripped into staying. I'm in my second school (primary) now and it's horrific. I have no time for my children or friends and I have had enough. I handed in my notice last week and I cannot wait to get as far away from teaching as I possibly can.

    I can't tell you what to do but if you feel as desperate about it as I do, then leave. My decision was made for me (and I will admit, I have dithered over leaving for a long time!) when I asked myself the question - CAN I actually do this any longer - not do I WANT to do this any longer? The answer was no - I cannot do this job anymore - physically or mentally. If there is any doubt in your mind, then leave.

    My husband is incredibly supportive and although I know we won't be as well off for a while, we can live with that. Some things are more important than money. Please don't feel guilty about leaving your class, as others on here have said - you will be replaced and they will adjust and move on. If you don't get that non-teaching job then there will be others.

    I hope you are ok and wish you well with your decision.
    Mrsmumbles and niccin like this.
  6. Bsprout

    Bsprout New commenter

    There is only one role for which you are irreplaceable - being a mum. Your children are only children for a short time and you should be able to thoroughly enjoy this time. I know it isn't always as easy as just resigning from teaching and getting another job, but it sounds like you should start planning to make the move. Even if you can't leave until Easter at least you will know you're moving your life in the right direction. Good luck!
  7. Mummyto1

    Mummyto1 New commenter

    @TheoGriff Thank you, yes I have read your posts and have found these so incredibly helpful. It is reassuring to know that there is life beyond teaching although I am very sad that it has come to this. I never thought I would lose my passion for teaching children and in truth I will miss teaching children very much but I feel it is becoming less and less about that and it's impacting on my own wellbeing.

    @Bsprout Your post made me cry because you're right and I know that deep down. It's just really hard to be brave enough to make the decision even though I know it's the right thing to do.
    Mrsmumbles and blueskydreaming like this.
  8. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    I haven't got children. You have got a child. The current teaching system seems to expect every teacher to sacrifice her / his / their life to teach for stupid hours every week.

    Stupid hours. Your life and that of your child is more important.

    Why are teachers' children's lives less important??

  9. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Oh this was me 4 years ago Mummyto1. Best thing I did was leave, finding out I was pregnant with my second child made it an easy decision.
    I hope things work out for you, It took ages for me to get back to how I was before but more importantly I was able to be there for my children in their earliest years and you never get that time back.
    i hope that you are able to find another way working with children that is less stressful and more enjoyable because you certainly sound like you have a passion.
  10. hiddendavid

    hiddendavid New commenter

    This was also me 3 years ago. I quit with nothing to go to and it was the best thing I ever did.

    I have seen my children grow up and actually been able to do everything with them. My argument was why am I going to a job that I dislike to earn money to pay strangers to bring up my children?
    At the time I had a 3 year old and a 6 month old, it meant I wasn't waking them at 6am to force breakfast down them before dragging them out in the old only to pick them up at 5, force tea down them and by which time we were all shattered and in no mood for meaningful time together. Repeat 5 days a week (nevermind weekends).

    The time I have spent with my children I would never have gotten back and is well worth the 90K or so I have 'lost'. In the mean time I have learned a new trade and set up my own business which is extremely childcare friendly and is very well paid for few hours. Yes, money is not guaranteed as its self employment but I still earn £400 a week at least for very few working hours and NO stress whatsoever.

    It can be done. Get out now. If I hadn't I would either have been sacked or dead - which both would have clearly been no good for my children sad but true

    Good luck
  11. Smurf191

    Smurf191 New commenter

    I felt exactly the same as you, I was at my lowest point. The final nail on the head was when my 3 year old asked me to read her another story at bed time and I replied, no I have too much work to do! That said it all, I should have all the time in the world for my little girl. I handed my notice in and now work in a supermarket. I love it, I work hard but it's a whole different type of working hard. The other day I went out for a meal on a work night, I couldn't have done that whilst teaching. As everyone said to me, you can always go back into teaching if it doesn't work out but you can never get your children's precious youth back. I now pick her up from school every day it's been a half term so far I've been out of teaching and I haven't looked back yet.
  12. Mummyto1

    Mummyto1 New commenter


    So I did it, I handed in my resignation. My Head Teacher wasn't there as it's the holiday so I don't know when he'll pick up his emails. I am dreading going in on Tuesday because of the reaction I know I will get but I know this is the best decision for me and my family.

    Any advice for how to get through the next term?
  13. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    No advice @Mummyto1 but just very best wishes. I'm happy that you have made a decision. This next half term does go by very quickly - it'll be a splendid Christmas for you!
    notsonorthernlass and drek like this.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    You did what is best for you and your family... that is always number one.

    The next term? Keep your head down, stay professional, do you job. If the bullying occurs again, get a notepad out and write it down, in front of them. Ask them to repeat themselves as you write it down. I'd suggest making a game of it but I know from experience how stressful workplace bullying is.

    But get home, hug your daughter and know you did the right thing. Then come on here and tell us and we'll back you all the way!
  15. gooddays

    gooddays Senior commenter

    Best wishes to you, Mummyto1. You have made a courageous decision.
  16. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Good luck to you as well.

    No-one is more important than you and your family.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  17. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I agree with your priorities. Put yourself and family first.

    You really must look after yourself so as to be able to look after your family.

    Best Wishes Mummyto1
    lanokia likes this.
  18. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I agree with your priorities. Put yourself and family first.

    You really must look after yourself so as to be able to look after your family.

    Best Wishes Mummyto1
  19. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I agree with your priorities. Put yourself and family first.

    You really must look after yourself so as to be able to look after your family.

    Best Wishes Mummyto1
  20. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I agree with your priorities. Put yourself and family first.

    You really must look after yourself so as to be able to look after your family.

    Best Wishes Mummyto1

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