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How/when to tell students you're leaving

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by charmw, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. charmw

    charmw New commenter

    I just want some opinion on this. I am leaving my current school at the end of the summer term and I'm relocating to Qatar. My students haven't been told yet but I am concerned they will start hearing it from other places because I live near where I work and know some parents/students outside of school. Can anyone offer an answer to this?
  2. v12


    Just be truthful and tell them.
    Why should you not?
  3. charmw

    charmw New commenter

    When I handed my notice in my head hinted that I shouldn't tell them yet.
  4. v12


    Why? What's HE got to hide?
    I think honesty is the best policy.
    The children and parents will want to wish you well and need to take an interest in the fact that you will be replaced. Who knows - perhaps, if you're a popular teacher, they might plan cards and gifts for you.
    And I'm sure you'd not like anyone to think you're merely sloping off!

  5. v12


    And, anyway, it's nothing to do with the Head whether you tell them.
    It'll only be to satisfy his or her lust for control over the minions.
    Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em on, err, ordure!

    I have just endured a similar situation where I was encouraged to keep my departure from parents and children - the staff were barely told - and there is something fishy going on with my eventual replacement.
    I even had to swear my daughter (who goes to my school as well) and my wife (friends with parents of my daughter's friends) to secrecy.
    Well - I've had enough - and last week I started telling pupils and parents (I resigned at half-term in February after securing a new position).
    They seem very grateful to be told, although slightly concerned that the best teachers seem to be leaving.
  6. charmw

    charmw New commenter

    This sounds very similar to my situation today. I have found out they are advertising my job with an extra TLR for Literacy Co-ordinator, a job I have been doing for free for the past year. When I handed my notice in I made it clear to the Head that money was a major factor, he has at no point mentioned the TLR or offered it me.
  7. v12


    btw - we're relocating in India.
    The children and staff at school are all very excited to hear about the new school and so forth.
    Why should I deny them that pleasure of being excited with me.
    You really do owe it to your integrity to go out with your head held high.
  8. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Once word gets out, as and when children/parents ask, tell them the truth.
    Your Head can't force you to lie.
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    When I left my first school, I went against my head of year's advice & told my year 11 tutor group the day they went on study leave. (They were all talking about coming back and visiting me the next year - I needed to tell them the truth)

    When I left my last school, someone let it slip to my tutorial so I told them following that, and then from there it leaked around the rest of the school.
    I am leaving this summer. My plan - is to wait till the parents evening of my tutorial's year group on the second last week and tell parents of my tutees then. BUT... given that a "little bird" has already told some staff I expect it to get out sooner.
    As previously said - if they ask a straight question, give a straight answer, otherwise it looks like you have something to hide.
  10. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    I agree with v12 that being honest, and immediately so, is the best way.
    Where we part company (geddit?) is the assumption that it's the head who always wants to hold information back, either out of control-freakery, or because they must needs protect a fragile community from the appalling news that Mr Toptier or Ms Bestpractice or Doctor P.H. Dee are taking their prodigious talents to a new market.
    Much more often in my experience it's the departing teacher who wishes to schedule the flow of information so as to be the protagonist of some tiny self-indulgent Mr Chips soap opera.
    "Dude, now that I've resigned, when do you think *significant pause* I should, *whisper* tell the kids...?"
    "Right now would be the best time".
    "But - my Year Nines will be... devastated"
    "<strike>Oh no they won't you fatuously vain little *****, they are fourteen years old and your impending departure will be a three-day-wonder making no emotional impact on them at all.</strike> Yes, they will be disappointed, and will miss you, of course. But for that very reason, the sooner they hear the news, the easier it will be for them to get over it."
    bensball likes this.
  11. Brilliantly put SMT! I always appreciate your posts.
    Yes, tell them straight away, as SMT says they'll get over it, young people are far more adaptable than we give them credit for.

  12. SMT_Dude hits the nail on the head!

    When I left my last school I never actually told two or three of my classes as it didn't affect them directly. But I did spend ages going through it with my Year 12 class, partly because I had taught them for 6 years, but also because I wanted to explain who was teaching them which modules in Year 13, etc.
    Thehills666 likes this.
  13. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    When I left my school in the UK, the head told me that I wasn't allowed to tell the children until as late as possible. As I wanted to use the teaching opportunity to include China in the adventurer module we were doing, I made the decision to tell them in the May. It was hard keeping it secret for 5 months, particularly in primary when you spend all your time with one class. I can understand why some heads don't want word getting out until they have the answers to the questions they are going to get, but some do go a little beyond what is needed.
  14. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Indeed. My kids always get attached to me so it can be a delicate issue BUT if anyone asks if i'll be here next year, I simply answer honestly. I don't volunteer it but simply avoid a lie. I never believe in the theory that keeping information from kids is a good way to go, though sometimes it needs to be put in childspeak and simplified.
  15. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Some teachers think their impact is far greater than it actually is; their egos become bloated after a year or two of the pleasant nature of most parents and students in international schools. It isn't about lies; some teachers think their departure will have more of a negative effect that it will and schools have something to hide. However, parents are generally uninterested in teachers leaving; so long as they are replaced they don't really care. The only exception is schools with a very high turnover.
    In regards to notifying parents or students, this should be at the discretion of management. The topic is unlikely to simply crop up; students don't normally ask if you're leaving unless:
    a) there's a rumour the school want to get shut of you
    b) the students are hoping you're going to leave

  16. I do think it depends what type of school you are in. I work in a tough secondary school and will not tell them til the last possible minute as seeing colleagues do this in the past at similar schools, these pupils see you as 'leaving' them and they've seen hundreds of teachers come and go - usually the best teachers and they then begin to play up due to thinking you no longer care since you are going. I'm leaving this school and a teacher told my pupils I was leaving and I had 20 crying students on my hands.
  17. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Children, your favourite froggie has had a wonderful time with all of us here. But next year, when you will be big girls and boys in Year Three, fwoggie will not be with us any more. Does anyone know why?
    BUNNY 1: Is he getting very old?
    BUNNY 2: Is he going to, *lip trembles* <u>die</u>..?
    No, hands down everyone. You see, Mummy Frog and Daddy Frog live in England, that's right England you can see it on the map over there, so froggie is going home to be with them, isn't that lovely children?
    Right, kids, shaddup and listen for a minute or two, I have some important news for you. Yes, IMPORTANT! Thank you. Now, I'm sorry to say that Mr Frogster won't be with us next year. He loves travelling and seeing new places just like loads of you do, and he has got a new job in a fantastic place called Dubai.
    Half of the Class: YAAAAAAY!!!
    Other Half: NNAAAAAHH!!
    Anonymous Voice: Is Mr Frog gay, sir?
    *fighting breaks out*
    Now as we saw last week, the movement of goods and labour in capitalist markets must be unrestricted by law and custom so that while the superficialities of 'polite' discourse in a bourgeois environment require expressions of loyalty and regret, objectively both employer and employee will see new opportunities to create further surplus value when the one parts company with the other. Amphibians are no exception to this rule, in fact research has shown that they change emlployment on average 8.5 times during...
    *approaching the main point, Dude looks up for meaningful eye contact around the room. Twelve i-pod-jammed heads are face down on their tables.*
  18. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

  19. One of our year 2 teachers left last week after a long maternity leave replacement. He told his pupils on his last day - the girls cried inconsolably in the hallway. Me too, he was gorgeous, person that is.
  20. MM, etc., I think it quite likely that you were in such a hurry to climb into your ivory tower that you sadly did not enjoy the relationships with students that perhaps some teachers do? If my students didn't care I daresay they would not stay in touch with me - some of them after nearly twenty years of teaching (and I left the UK 15 years ago). True - there was no likely no negative impact on their education after I shifted schools, apart maybe from the one **** teacher who took over my GSCE Maths some years back. But did I make an impact on them as people? Why yes, I'm fairly sure I did. One that stands out is the young lass who wrote me an email some months after my departure to say, "Mr. Howe I was really angry when you left us and we had to have a new teacher. More lately I realise I was angry because I felt I'd lost a friend." But think what you like. This example is not going to change your mind.

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