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How will I explain?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Franklyn2, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. I have been happily teaching for the past 6 years. I have taught in two primary schools: both keys stages (years 2, 3, 4 and 5). I have had the usual rounds of observations and been through two Ofsted inspections and all has been well. Performance good, results good, happy children, happy parents, good relationships with colleagues. Then the head retires.

    Two changes of head teacher later and I am signing a compromise agreement, albeit with one arm twisted up my back. This was the best option available to me; this was clearly spelt out during two ?off the record? conversations that I had with the headteacher. It was made abundantly clear that if capability proceedings were started I wouldn?t get through it. In a period of three weeks I went from committed teacher to ?failed? teacher. Yes it happened that fast and no I didn?t see it coming and neither did my colleagues.

    So here I am, with the Christmas and New Year festivities over, weighing up my options now that the ink has dried and I?m officially unemployed. What am I going to do now? I want to teach, I love teaching and so far I have been successful at it. Not just in my opinion either. However, it is clear to me that questions will be asked as to why I left employment at the end of the autumn term with no job to go to (it has been difficult enough trying to explain that to the children, their parents and members of staff). What on earth do I say? It is also clear to me, from reading threads on the Headteacher and the Career Clinic forums, that I am a prime candidate to be viewed with suspicion. There is a more than likely chance that my application will be unceremoniously ?filed?. I understand that people will think that there?s no smoke without fire.

    Any advice on how I can get my career back on track would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. I have been happily teaching for the past 6 years. I have taught in two primary schools: both keys stages (years 2, 3, 4 and 5). I have had the usual rounds of observations and been through two Ofsted inspections and all has been well. Performance good, results good, happy children, happy parents, good relationships with colleagues. Then the head retires.

    Two changes of head teacher later and I am signing a compromise agreement, albeit with one arm twisted up my back. This was the best option available to me; this was clearly spelt out during two ?off the record? conversations that I had with the headteacher. It was made abundantly clear that if capability proceedings were started I wouldn?t get through it. In a period of three weeks I went from committed teacher to ?failed? teacher. Yes it happened that fast and no I didn?t see it coming and neither did my colleagues.

    So here I am, with the Christmas and New Year festivities over, weighing up my options now that the ink has dried and I?m officially unemployed. What am I going to do now? I want to teach, I love teaching and so far I have been successful at it. Not just in my opinion either. However, it is clear to me that questions will be asked as to why I left employment at the end of the autumn term with no job to go to (it has been difficult enough trying to explain that to the children, their parents and members of staff). What on earth do I say? It is also clear to me, from reading threads on the Headteacher and the Career Clinic forums, that I am a prime candidate to be viewed with suspicion. There is a more than likely chance that my application will be unceremoniously ?filed?. I understand that people will think that there?s no smoke without fire.

    Any advice on how I can get my career back on track would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. The first thing I would suggest is to be careful about going into details which could identify you or the school.
    If you are identified, it could affect your compromise agreement.
     
  4. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    A very similar thing happened to me last year. At the moment I'm doing supply. I'm enjoying it as it is allowing me to build up my confidence again. Have had plenty of repeat bookings from schools and lots of positive feedback from heads. I don't know what will happen in the future or when I try to apply for a full time position but supply work is certainly helping me put a bad experience behind me.
    Depending on your circumstances supply may not suit you but I certainly think it's worth you looking into.
     
  5. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    How awful for you.
    You mention you have worked in two schools.
    Could you look for work at the first school and if not use them for references?
    Even if the Head has retired he should still be able to give you references if you can find him.
    I been offered work in January before and lots of overseas schools start recruiting now. Maybe a spell abroad would be good for you? Have a look on the overseas forum.
    Best wishes for 2011
     
  6. I agree with Irw22, you need to do supply work until your good reputation within a few supply schools will diminish any problems faced previously. Ideally you'd get a few regular schools and be in the right place at the right time when a job comes up in one of them. Be a really good supply teacher - one who marks the books well, does the work set and leaves a nice note / talks to the teacher about the class - passing on any useful information, contributing to assessing the children and being someone who a teacher knows will go above and beyond for their class. This will get you popular in schools and there will be a little gang of teachers recommending you to heads when jobs come up.
     
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    You're in a similar position to me 12 months ago, although I left by choice because of differences with the recently-appointed HT about the future of my subject. I wasn't going down a career cul-de-sac for anyone, and I'd had more than enough of their lying, bullying, and bullsh*t. As a Union rep I have seen others put in your position re threats of competency proceedings, and they have moved on to better things. For one reason or another you have been subjected to a classic management forced exit tactic. It will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth but your record will be unblemished, so swallow hard and look to the future.

    I have since been shortlisted for other jobs despite my leaving at Christmas, and although I didn't get them, I know my departure from my last school was not the reason.

    I've been on supply since February, am enjoying it, and am getting repeat work at a number of schools in my area. I'm steadily building up a wish list of schools to apply to if the right post is advertised. Supply is a good way of getting your foot in the door and seeing schools for real. A word of caution though, supply work is thinning out, you won't always get paid to scale, and you need to prepare for a reduction in income if you go down that route. However, as you're in Primary you may have more luck than those of us in Secondary.

    As a previous poster has suggested, set yourself the goal of being a bloody good supply teacher and see how it goes. If you've still got your motivation by summer and the schools like what you do, there's every reason to stick with teaching in some form or other.

    I wish you well with it all.
     
  8. Shout for Theo loudly!
    I agree with the others, that supply may be your best option.
    As for explaining your "change of direction" - think about making it sound positive - that you decided it was time to reorientate and reassess your personal career path as you felt it was time to follow a new direction - to be more motivated, focussed, etc. that supply would give you the option to gain experience of several different schools and ethos and the opportunity to review teaching practices in various establishments which will mean you can evaluate your own teaching, blah blah.
    I could write you it in neat paragraphs for an application - it is a bit more difficult to be succinct in a post!
    Good luck to you xxx
     
  9. Been there, seen it, done it, have the T-shirt. I'm not sure if my career is back on track (the perception of those around me is that it is) but I do have a temporary post.
    I got nowhere with formal applications - did get a few interviews but never really felt I was under serious consideration for the post in question.
    Supply on the other hand was wonderful - I got into three schools, got lots of work - people were asking for me by name to cover their classes! You need to make a decision on whether to be upfront about the circumstances behind your departure from your job - I was and I think the heads in question weren't too worried because with supply if you do a bad job they don't have to have you back. Also, two out of the three were people I'd worked with before who'd moved on to headship - do use any contacts you've made during your career so far.
    The key as others have said is to work really hard, be the supply teacher you'd have wanted your own class to have. Be really friendly and professional - make sure you make a good impression on any staff you come into contact with. Focus on what the class teacher wants the children to learn, leave notes for them, mark in detail and leave the classroom tidy.
    I started working at one of my supply schools on contract last year - it was temporary 'til last summer but it's been extended so I'm still there. It's been a long hard road and it's not over yet but I now find I spend very little time stressing about work.
    Supply is the way forward - good luck!

     
  10. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    Just out of curiosity before the compromise agreement was constructive dismissal discussed with your union. Again be careful not to disclose anything that could identify you and potentially threaten your compromise agreement..
     
  11. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Please do not despair - I left my last school in May through a compromise agreement and started at a new school in September - and my new school is unbelievably better than my old one.
    I am not saying it will be easy, but it is far from hopeless!
     
  12. Thank you to everyone who has replied, especially Celtiqueen, (I shall copy your reply and memorise it). You have all made me feel a bit better about the possibility of a future. The other threads I had read had left me thinking that I had no chance of being employed again. I have looked into a couple of supply agencies and once I've sorted out the bits and bobs they need I'll get myself registered.
     

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