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How honest should I be?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Over_the_hill, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I’m currently off with WRS and know in my heart that I will be leaving my environment soon as it has made me ill. My question is, when the time is right and I feel better, what should I say to any future employers about my WRS? It has been very specific relating to one person and a specific set of circumstances, I have never had any problems before, either with my work or getting along with colleagues, quite the opposite in fact. Would a future employer understand? Or would it put them off employing me? Surely if heads ruled out all teachers who had experienced WRS there would be an even bigger recruitment problem. I know that I should not say anything negative about my current employer but I’m not sure how open to be or how I can phrase it. I’m leaving shortly after a change of leadership, following a very happy year last year. All advice appreciated as I genuinely don’t know what to say about why I’m leaving.
    agathamorse and Orchid2457 like this.
  2. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    In my experience, potential employers have always been more interested in why I want to work at their school rather than why I’ve left my old school. It also usually transpires that’s heads know all is not rosy at particular schools anyway.

    I always try to research a potential new school and find out what they are really good at or specialise in and state I want to apply to gain more knowledge or skills in that area or maybe it’s been a year group that I like teaching.

    I left one headteacher that I wasn’t seeing eye to eye with and stated on my application form to a new school that I wanted to further develop my teaching in upper key stage two. I came from a one form school so explained that it would be good for my professional development to share ideas with a partner teacher at a bigger school and I was interested in the way they taught writing. I got the job and about three weeks in my new head said they’d just been to a meeting where my old head was present and it was no wonder they had people leaving the school left, right and centre. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t the only one who saw it.

    It’s easy to get into a negative mindset when suffering from WRS but headteachers are human and many have compassion. Good luck and I hope you feel much better soon.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You don't give a reason. Here's the template from our very own Theo Griff.


    Dear Mr Smith

    Resignation from post of Teacher at Grungy Green School

    I wish to confirm that I am resigning my post of teacher at Grungy Green School with effect from 1 September 2018. My last date of employment will thus be 31 August 2018, and my last date of attendance will be (put in date of last day of term).

    I would like to thank you and the rest of the teachers at Grungy Green School for the support that you have given me throughout my time here. I have much enjoyed working as a part of this team, and appreciate the opportunities that I have had for personal and professional development. I shall ensure that my remaining time working with the students of Grungy Green School will be as successful as the earlier terms.

    Yours sincerely,

    Adapt the dates to suit which term you're leaving. The second paragraph? Write all, some or none of it. Adapt it slightly. But do you notice something? No indication of your reason for leaving. None.

    If someone asks you? Time for a change! That's true. But just smile and keep repeating it.

    Why are you going to explain it to anyone else? It was an unfortunate blip. It won't happen again. It's not relevant to your future except insofar as you know what (not) to do next time. Whom to avoid. That sort of thing. You certainly don't speak of it to a new school. You're just looking for a change. It's no big deal.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Good for somebody giving in their notice, but I think the OP was asking for advise on what to say to the prospective new employer. I agree with @Orchid2457 - find some good reasons for wanting the new job rather than saying why you want to leave the old one. Employers want employees who want to work there, not ones who appear to be looking for anywhere other than their former employer. Find something you like about the new school/job, and tell them about it.
    agathamorse and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    I have gone for 5 teaching interviews (got the job 3 times) and they never asked about why I was leaving at any stage of my interview. Nor did I put it in my application.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    For perspective on this-
    It's easy to forget that everyone in the initial selection process and everyone on an interview panel has "a background" too...
  7. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I’ve carefully read and noted all replies, thank you.
    agathamorse and Orchid2457 like this.
  8. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Oh dear I do wish I took the time to re read and edit my work especially when I’m rushing. I say it to my children enough.The sentiments are the same however. Apologies for the poor written English.
  9. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I can’t see anything wrong with it!
    Orchid2457, agathamorse and Piranha like this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    This. Nice start to the thread @ Orchid2457 The key thing is to show that you are the right person (match all the person criteria) and that you want to work there. I would put nothing about your previous school in your application. I would be ready with a bland statement about new challenges if you are asked why you've left your previous school once you get to interview.
    1 person likes this.
  11. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    If you are too honest you might just talk 'them' out of employing you. Just imagine going on a first date and telling your date all the bad things that have happened to you, or have done. Of course not!
    agathamorse and (deleted member) like this.
  12. madcatlady

    madcatlady Occasional commenter

    This year we interviewed a teacher who was losing TLR by joining our school. She was at another school which has the reputation of being a giant PITA to work at and is part of a big MAT. I knew before she came that she must be applying for a post at ours to get away from a toxic environment. At interview we asked her the usual "why do you want the job" and she was diplomacy itself. She talked about how she would like to work here and how she was hoping for clarity in her future role. She did not disparage the old school or mention her difficulties / disagreements there. I thought she was marvellous.

    She got the job.
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    As a humble mathematician, I can't see anything wrong, but anyway, your advice was spot on.

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