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I want to leave by Easter, but I don't know if it's possible.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by brumatt, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. brumatt

    brumatt New commenter

    I have recently moved from a good all girl's school with relatively great behaviour to an outstanding co-ed inner city school with much more challenging behaviour. My interview for this new school was very impressive, based on feedback during and after my appointment so I had very high hopes that I would not only be able to cope in this new school but that I would also be able to further my career and move up the responsibilities ladder. However, things have gotten progressively worse since I have started, including a 3 for a lesson observation, due to student non-compliance. I have had multiple student / parent complaints about my teaching, including and incident when students went directly to the head during a break time to voice their complaints about me. My stress levels have skyrocketed, my mental health and physical health has deteriorated so I will be seeing attending councilling sessions as of next week. My partner has been incredibly supportive throughout this year, but she has voiced her growing concern that we are drifting apart due to my overall lack of time for her and my continual low mood. I feel like I need to leave this post for my own wellbeing and the well-being of the department, however a member of staff has already left the department before Christmas for similar reasons and we have not been able to replace them. If I were to leave before Easter I do not know how the department would cope.

    I am seeking advice on where to go from here; do I tough it out for the rest of the year despite knowing things are probably only going to get worse, or do I leave and put the department in an even worse position?
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I don't think you have a lot of choice - you need to resign immediately.
    catbefriender and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    This needs to be your priority. You need to maintain your relationship for your own well-being and his/her's and not worry about your department's problems.
    If you were to go 'off long-term sick' they'd be in the same position anyway.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    In the old days (e.g. 5-10 years ago or more) I'd have probably said 'tough it out, get support,. things will get better'. But now, in many schools, they'll move straight to competency and look to get you out...so, I'd now say 'prioritise your home life, do whatever is better for you & your partner, and, if you need to go, don't think at all about the school/department - they, sure as hell, won't think about you...'
  5. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    As I said in another thread, if things are going wrong for you (in this case, career and health), you really need to make the first move. Letting them make the inevitable first move will be far more damaging for you.

    Please regard the school move in hindsight as a massive mistake. I would never ever apply for any job at any school now, without doing a sustained stint first on supply or temporary contract. There are so many toxic schools out there, applying for a job and being successful in today's climate is actually taking a huge risk, however illogical that statement might seem.
    brumatt, tallpoppy71, sagr and 3 others like this.
  6. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Really sorry you are going through this and hope that you find peace soon. Your concern for the department's well being shows just how caring you are. It is such a pity that the school and department don't realise just what a brilliant teacher you are and worry about the impact having TWO teachers highly distressed in one academic term can do.

    How is your relationship with your former line manager at the other school? If good, ask about the possibility of a return. You never know.

    Best wishes

  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    These worries are not yours to have. Forget them.

    You cannot, contractually, leave before Easter, but you certainly can leave at Easter. The department will cope.

    And don't feel bad about it. Plenty of people would have exactly the same issues as you. Some teachers are suited to good schools with excellent behaviour and some are suited to the tougher schools. Start looking elsewhere and see what comes up.
    tall tales and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    “ If I were to leave before Easter I do not know how the department would cope. “

    I don’t quite understand your concern if you leave at Easter. Resign next week and the ad will be in the paper the following week and an appointment made by half term for an April start. And if they can’t appoint, the Head will get a supply teacher in.

    It’s very, very common to think you are irreplaceable but actually, everyone always copes. Within a few weeks, the students will have forgotten you, you will fade from the school’s memory and your SLT will have a replacement in place and will have moved on. Such is life in a school.

    I have moved from a great school to a “brilliant” state school before what you did and it’s tough. Outstanding normal schools nearly always have behaviour that is challenging, stops you teaching more than a quarter what you did before and is nothing like the worst selective or independent school. At the interview, they were so wrapped up in their label that they forgot that behaviour is really bad and forgot to mention it. It’s normal.

    But it sounds like you are in meltdown, which is never a good time to make big decisions. Personally, I’d see a doc, get signed off for a few weeks and see how you feel then. And then resign if it still looks grim and if you are still not well get signed off some more, until Easter if necessary. The school did this to you and made you sick so don’t feel guilty. Your relationship and health are far more important than teaching in an “outstanding” sh177y school (says a lot about “outstanding” schools). Have a long break, bonk the wife in some new positions and think about applying for a job in a month or two. Maybe work abroad. Maybe try a new state school (most but not all are bad for behaviour) or see what comes up for private or selective schools.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  9. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    The department isn’t your problem. You need to put yourself first and leave before you become seriously unwell.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Exactly - you will be quickly replaced or forgotten (that sounds very harsh but you know what I mean).

    Our HT left at Christmas - he'd been there over 4 years and was popular with the staff.

    Two weeks on and his presence seems like a distant memory.
  11. brumatt

    brumatt New commenter

    Thanks for the quick and wise replies.

    I really do now view the move as a mistake. I'm mature enough to see that although I wanted a new challenge whilst trying to work on balance, I have entered an environment which is wholly counter productive to my development and wellbeing.

    I do want to say that I don't blame the school, yes there are teacher turnover issues, but my team has been helpful and all feedback so far has been constructive. It's just that despite all of that I am still struggling more than I could have imagined and the stress and total lack of hope is making me near enough ineffective.
  12. daisydayz13

    daisydayz13 New commenter

    I’ve never laughed out loud at someone’s advice!
  13. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Well, for what it is worth, I have twice taken up posts and then resigned. I did see these moves as "mistakes" on my part, and I am super-cautious now after these experiences. In an ideal world we would always find out why the previous incumbent had left the position before filling in an application form - in many cases, new staff are now replacing those who have themselves left as a result of stress issues, so it becomes a never-ending cycle.

    Anyway, let's not get bogged down in semantics - just make a decision to move on before it gets any worse.
  14. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    not your problem, in fact you are doing the staff and children a disservice by helping prop up a crumbling wreck, instead of forcing those in power to take action.

    You owe them nothing.

    As I have now said on several threads I heard today my violent alcoholic half brother I don't even like is terminally ill, and much as this isn't in any way a personal loss to me, it has been a wake up call. We get one life. We don't know how long it will be. Don't throw away months and years miserable being treated badly in horrible teaching situations
  15. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    I would just like to echo everyone else's thoughts. You are the priority not the school. We work to live not live to work. Investigate other positions- see what notice you need to give (probably 1/2 term and then resign at half term to leave at the end of Easter
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. azahar97

    azahar97 New commenter

    I have been there!!! I worked in an "outstanding" academy where you had a nice budget, free gym membership, free health care, your own Ipad, bonus....you name it. However, it was a toxic school and when my personal life was compromised, I didn't hesitate to leave as soon as I could. Now, I worked in an "ordinary" school but I couldn't be happier.
    Believe me, it is not worth it.
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    This job is ruining your life. If you stay it will get worse. If you go the department will survive. You are not indispensable. They will get someone else in. Your life is yours and you have a responsibility to yourself and those who commit their life to you (i.e. your partner) to make your lives as fulfilling and worthwhile as you can. Wasting your life in a job that you hate and know is not going to get better is not doing yourself, your partner or the students you teach any favours.
    frangipani123 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Very wise words!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    No one is indispensable and as soon as you walk out of the door for the last time it will be as you had never been there at all.
    tall tales and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I have spent many years in schools. Every so often people leave. Sometimes they have been good hard-working people who have seemed critical to the mission of the school. They go, and as long as the school has been pro-active in re-delegating all the things they did and in replacing them, the school moves on and continues, and it's almost as if they were never there.
    It's the schools job to worry about someone else doing your job - most schools manage this reasonably well.

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