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I left... My story!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pumpkinsoup88, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    Hi All,

    I just wanted to share my story of leaving teaching. Not because I think it’s good or bad but maybe it’ll help some people decide what to do :)

    I taught for 8 years. I spent half of them enjoying teaching on the whole and the other half not and wanting to get out. One of those years was particularly bad. Really bad. My final year was good but I couldn’t be kept on by my current school and I just couldn’t face applying for another job and putting myself out there.

    I had thought about what I’d like to do. Mental health and a more pastoral role was exactly what I was looking for. Less hours. Less stress and less pay was fine for me.

    My Mum said I think you might need another qualification. So I did some research and decided to apply for a MSc in Psychology. I completed this whilst teaching part time and later my other job.

    You can get loans for masters and for the first year - it was just about manageable. The last 6 months of the course were HELL!!! Working all of the time and it was so so hard! And for me, the stress of this combined with what I’ll talk about below was probably worse than teaching.

    I later got a job working for a charity and going into schools and supporting children. The job itself is amazing and not stressful. But what I never imagined to be this stressful was the pay and insecurity of the contract! This combined with very little jobs out there and completing my studies has been so so difficult!

    I thought I’d escaped maybe a grieving process for leaving teaching - but it just came late. I missed the job and then the wage and security! The anxiety about the job situation and studying really has been about the same as teaching. But know it wouldn’t be good for me to go back. I feel now I’ve got this far, it’s important to keep going forward.

    Searching for a job and being more qualified than I was before and being on minimum wage has been super hard! I have a supportive partner but yep - it’s not been easy. I’m at the stage where I want some financial security but I just can’t get it and feel sad I don’t have a mortgage. I find I’m over qualified for the jobs I go for and then other people are more over qualified than me or that there really isn’t many jobs advertised. I think I’m lucky to have the job I have as it is a challenging economy.

    Still, now this period is over and I’ve graduated- I’m hopeful when the time comes I can be in a good career which is more suitable for me. I don’t think I hated teaching or was absolutely burnt out by it but that’s not to say I haven’t felt this way at times and sometimes for a good period of time.

    To get to where I am now - it’s been a three year process and a long one. I’ve learned a lot - I’ve learned a new side of education from my job, academically I’ve upped my skills and I also know more about managing money and feeling skint! I just wanted to share my story and hope it helps in some way :)

    thanks for reading x
    Alice K, install, Curae and 6 others like this.
  2. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Well done, and good luck for the future!
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    That is interesting, thank you
    Curae likes this.
  4. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    You’re welcome :) thanks for reading
    Curae likes this.
  5. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I think this will be helpful for those thinking of leaving and of what they might do next.
    Hopefully your quality of life will be better and that your career will be back on track soon.
    Curae likes this.
  6. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    Well done on persevering and getting the qualification.

    Would you apply for the Educational Psychology doctorate?
  7. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    Absolutely :)

    Writing this post made me think of the journey I’ve been on. And I think everyone is different - it depends on what your life was like whilst teaching maybe how you perceive life after leaving the profession.

    for me, it hasn’t been an easy few years transitioning - with studying and money buttt now that is done, I feel as you say my career will get back on track and my future, for me, will be brighter as a result ... just been a process to get there :)

    Ed psych looks like an amazing job! And I would love to be an assistant ... I guess the study (and lots of travelling potentially) put me off as I’ve had that experience of studying at postgrad level and that too is super hard! But hey it’s an option still :)
    install and katelewis1008 like this.
  8. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    This makes me feel I will never leave.

    Thanks for your perspective - good luck!
    Pomza likes this.
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good luck. I hope that once you're professionally established you can sort the finances.
  10. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    Thanks guys :)
    And of course - my story is just one story ...
  11. clairemullen

    clairemullen New commenter

    Wow! Lots resonating for me here. My degree lacks BPS accreditation so it's cheaper to do an MSc than a new degree but I'm not sure I'd cope with this, supply teaching and a family. I'm nearly 47 so the chances of starting again at 50ish feel slim. I've looked at IAPT and nursing but the financial ramifications are scary- I still have a mortgage and an expensive teenager to bring up. Although I have resigned, I am struggling to find an alternative to what was my dream job. Help!
  12. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    I understand all of this entirely and you are being practical at least and understand the challenges such a change would involve...

    I guess if you wanted to do more studying - you could do it over 3/4 years to make it easier but of course, like I have found - I still didn’t walk into a job ... like I expected! When I enjoyed the studying, I found it gave me something to aim for, grew my brain and I enjoyed the social aspects - so that’s worth something too.

    And if you can financially afford a life being a supply teacher or even another role in the school (and enjoy it to some extent) - could be worth staying put?

    The job economy was a huge shock to me- I don’t say that to put people off but just something to consider when making choices ...
  13. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    So just wanted to post a happy ending to this story ...

    I have just found out I got one of the trainee education mental health practitioner roles !! My absolute dream and what I had dreamt of when making the switch! The job includes training at university and the salary is good.

    All in all it has taken me 3 years to get to this point - and now, I can say it’s been worth it in the long run.

    I would advise (although no one has asked me for this advice!), if you still enjoy teaching and can just about manage - it probably is worth hanging in there. The grass definitely is not greener and it is likely you’ll be presented with new stresses on this career change path ... and all for a lot less pay! Which for some really becomes stressful - when you can not afford anything - that’s not fun. I think for those whose mental and physical health is suffering a lot - definitely get out, as your health is not worth sacrificing for.

    good luck everyone!
    Alice K, install, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  14. ness125

    ness125 New commenter

    I have been reading all the posts on this forum and it is really quite shocking to see how many of us are so unhappy in their working situation. I was teaching for 25 years (MOSTLY PART TIME AND I STILL HATED IT!!) and really would include myself in that category. I finally left last year after taking some long term supply roles which were frankly very stressful and exhausting .At 52 I was looking around wondering where all the teachers of my age had gone!!?

    I was really unhappy and after different roles realised I needed to get out. After much soul searching , I finally managed to get an admin role in an educational company. This is part time and flexible.It suits me for now. The pay isn't as good, but frankly I would prefer to be happy and in control of my life than constantly under pressure .

    My advice is to get out if you are feeling it is not working for you. I think teaching can be a wonderful career, for some,if you can find the right role, but there are too many schools that are being run with no consideration for the employees.This is causing so much stress and mental health issues. It is only after leaving that I have come to the realisation that I was also suffering with mental health issues and would often be physically sick and nauseous before a day in school, and suffer with huge anxiety attacks thinking about things I hadn't done properly. I just carried on thinking I could handle it.Please do listen to your body-and know that this is not normal. I never get that feeling now and feel so much happier. I think I was lucky but as the previous post says your health is more important.
    Good luck!!
    Alice K, agathamorse and Curae like this.
  15. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    What a wonderful positive and uplifting post to receive this Sunday morning. We are receiving more and more great posts like these. Congratulations to you both Changing career is never an easy task and no one ever said it was. I am impressed with the courage and honesty you have both shown. It is marvellous that further study doctorates are being considered. Wow how proud I am of you both. It is your hard work and determination that makes things work.
    Well done onwards and up.
    Keep in touch
    Alice K, install and agathamorse like this.
  16. SamLC2309

    SamLC2309 New commenter

    I’m seriously considering leaving teaching due to long term health issues but the longer I’m off the more I feel I don’t want to go back. I think teachers (myself included) feel that we can only teach and forget how many transferable skills we have. By reading more posts on this subject I’ve seen that there is other options, may well be less money but with less stress and better work life balance.
    Thank you everyone who has posted and shared experiences, good luck to you all xxx
    install, Curae and agathamorse like this.
  17. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    I'm pleased Ness you have found a better worklife balance. I agree totally, it's often hard to see how bad a job is making you feel physically and mentally, until you're out of it. It sounds like you've made a really positive decision.

    Thank you Curae <3 for your lovely kind words.

    I hope our stories help people make an informed decision. Ultimately, everyone is so so different. I am at a time in my life were finances are very important (I am not on the property ladder) and so being in a low paid job was frustrating. I also realised my self-esteem dipped significantly leaving teaching as I guess the job title, money etc was a bigger part of me than I thought it was (as much as I hate to admit it). However, for others, a less paid and less stressful job was exactly the priority.

    I wish you luck in whatever you decide Sam x
    Alice K likes this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I guess I must be one of the very few people who left teaching..

    ....and then went back again.
    Curae and install like this.
  19. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    I did consider it! A couple of months ago, I thought I'd be happier back in x
    Curae and install like this.
  20. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Good luck with your new role. I applied for that sort of job too - but couldn't go to the interview as I was so poorly :(
    Curae and install like this.

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