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Getting a message to your old students / visiting your last school? Allowed?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by welsheuphnatty, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. welsheuphnatty

    welsheuphnatty New commenter

    Hi All,

    After a period of sickness due to mental health illness I left my job as a teacher in September. I never got to see my students to say goodbye or anything . I was off sick for about 6 weeks, had a period of a phased return but went off again and never went back. This is a story in itself.

    Anyway, I do really miss my students that I taught and had a lovely relationship with most of them. I wanted to pop in and see my old classes, clearly with permission and signing in etc. Maybe go a long to a revision session or something.

    I was not allowed to do this.

    "I’m afraid it’s not protocol for a member of staff that has left the academy to return to meet with students."

    I wanted to get a message to my old students wishing them the best but this was no allowed either, even via the staff that worked there now.

    This makes me very sad. I know that students will have wondered what happened to me and care and with and will have been made up to hear a message from me.

    Is it just me or is this a little over the top given that I was a good teacher.

    I have been accused of doing something which is totally not true and when I questioned it , I never received a reply One feels like the school has something against me.

    After all , my best interest is for the students.

    Would be interested to hear what happens in other schools.

    I am DBS registered. Never committed any crime there (or anywhere) got " outstanding" grade at my last observation. All that happened was I basically mentally crumbled for a while../… I have posted on here a few times in the last 18 months.under different names. Personally I don't care who sees this as I have nothing to hide/
    annascience2012 likes this.
  2. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    If you are not allowed then you are not allowed - end of.
  3. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Just a thought - if you had a good relationship with the HoY maybe you could send a card wishing your students well in exams and future.... then in your own mind you have a form of closure as it looks a non-starter to go back into the school.
    Oops sorry just re read your post and see that might not be allowed but then... you could still send it and hope someone passes your wishes on. Alas.... kids usually move on very quickly so am sure they will just remember you fondly and not question anything (they might question why they are not allowed a nose ring but anything else? Nope )
  4. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Don't wish to pee on your chips but, honestly, I doubt the students will remember you. You provided a service and now somebody else is. Just move on.
    lrw22, Flanks, jlishman2158 and 13 others like this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually as HelenREMfan says students do move on and although you may feel you need some form of closure most of them won't need it - especially after this length of time.

    A card sent to the school to wish them well in their exams may assuage your feelings and if some of them get the message all to the good. If not you tried and can move on with your life. Just as they will after their exams.

    I say this as a supply teacher, who's covered a couple of times for colleagues who've 'suddenly left' and believe me, after a few weeks the students stopped asking any questions and just accepted the new status quo.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    What's best for the kids? Not to get too attached to individual members of staff. We aren't foster parents. The last thing they need is to get so close to a teacher that they WORRY about him/her.
  7. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    We have ex-students and ex-teachers that pop in all the time. The school encourages it as it believes that it fosters a sense of community.

    To be fair, I think it does.
  8. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    If the school are saying no, then there's nothing you can do.
    What's happening in your life and career now? It's important that you focus on the present. I know it's hard to move on sometimes though .
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I would think it is weird. Sorry, I also think many of the kids would as well.. and you would end up feeling worse. I think you grossly overestimate how attached the students are to you. And that isn’t personal. It’s reality for nearly all of us.. it’s a job, it’s not a social club. I also feel that it would be very disruptive for their new teacher

    That sounds harsh and I don’t mean it to. I would get you saying you wanted to say goodbye to colleagues etc. But not kids. Sorry. It’s not really professional or appropriate. Move on. This sounds more about you and your needs and it’s unfair to drag the young people in to give you a sense of fulfilment. Move onwards and upwards. If you must send a card, do. Leave it at that.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Just leave it alone.
    Flanks, jlishman2158, nomad and 13 others like this.
  11. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    My goodness this thread makes for a depressing read... while I agree with all the advice above (definitely don't go against the school's verdict, and perhaps don't even send a card if you've been told it's unwelcome), but I just want to say to the OP... your kids will remember you. There's no need to go back to say goodbye, they won't need that. They'll remember various moments, this explanation, that demonstration. I have fond/unfond memories of nearly all of my teachers, both primary and secondary. And so do most grownups I know. So don't worry, you made an impact. But there's no need to go back for "closure", the kids don't need or want that, and they'll remember you without it. You made your contribution to their growth and helped develop their intellects and morals and that can't be taken away by the horrid SLT.
  12. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    Ps I'm about to change school after 6 years myself... it's making me wistful too!
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Teaching is a funny old job. You spend time (sometimes several years) working alongside young people helping them to learn. Then you walk away from each other.
    It's hard, especially if you don't get the chance to say good bye properly. It's one of the things you get used to, but after all this time it's best to stay away especially if the school don't want you back.
    I enjoy the "hi sir, how are you doing?" conversations though.
  14. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I think you need to accept the school's decision and move on. I suspect this is not what you want to read.

    I'm sorry you feel that the school has treated you badly - but going into school and seeing the students will likely do more harm than good. It will possibly make you feel more resentful and angry about how you've been treated, and I'm not sure former colleagues will be too comfortable either. If you've built a relationship with a class after someone has left, the last thing you need is their former teacher walking in. Plus, how are you so sure the students will be delighted to see you? You've been gone for nearly a year - a very long time to most young people. As others have said, send a card, but nothing else. Then start looking to build a better future for yourself.

    Another point - we're now into full on Exam season. At my place, Y13 and 11 are now on study leave. As there are fewer and fewer exams left, will they even be there? Please, save your mental energy for getting well.
  15. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    I'm not surprised that the school refused your request to visit, I think a lot of schools would have done the same. It is indeed a funny old profession we work in a times. However, I can see no problem with you sending a good luck in exams / have a happy summer / good luck next year card to your classes. Maybe the powers that be won't let them through, but you will have tried.
    Glad you are feeling better and stronger now.
  16. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    I’m a business manager and deputy head at a free school, and we wouldn’t allow anything like this. We think it’s important for the success of the learning journey that teachers effectively blend into the background, and students are able to develop their own independent learning skills.

    It shouldn’t matter who the teacher is, and any change should be dealt with in the most discreet way possible. Staff who have transitioned elsewhere are not welcomed back into the building at our place.
    welsheuphnatty likes this.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    You surprise me...
  18. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I was surprised..then I read the poster’s name...
  19. Oldbutnotreally

    Oldbutnotreally New commenter

    I find it incredibly sad that CalF123 feels like this. I could never lead or work in a school that cares so little about teacher/ child relationships. I am proud of the fact that children return time and time again to see their old teachers and tell their news. I still see past students from 15 years ago coming in for a chat!
  20. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    Our aim is to provide a consistent learning experience for all students, regardless of who the teacher or learning journey facilitator responsible for their particular class is.

    It shouldn’t matter whether it’s John in chemistry or Barbara in French- all our lesson plans and curricula are developed by the senior management team. It is our aim that these are executed fully, effectively, efficiently and consistently in every lesson, every day, by every staff member.

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