Just wanted to post my story as I know there are lots of folk feeling the way I used to feel. In my last (Primary, academy-sponsored) my life was hell, for all the reasons that we read about on here too often. I had no work-life balance. I spent every night of the week working, and all day Sunday. I dreaded going into work every day. I have never felt so stressed and anxious. Constant observations, mounds of marking, relentless scrutiny, pressure, colleagues trying to out-do each other, dreadful behaviour, nothing ever being good enough. That horrible, dragging Sunday night feeling. The fear that in Monday's staff meeting feedback about my performance, or someone else's, would be shared with everyone. Yes, my ex-Head really did that to his staff. I made the decision to quit because I simply could not do it anymore. I thought I would try supply, but ended up at a different school part time and oh my goodness, the difference is astonishing. No ridiculous planning and marking expectations, no endless rivalry and sucking up to SLT. A Head that values staff, deals swiftly and effectively with poor behaviour (no more having to watch little Tyler / Demi-Mai playing with Lego in the Head's office after running amok all morning) and does his best to support and encourage us. I have my life back. The other night I watched a film midweek in the evening instead of marking. I read books, lots of them. Little things that mean the world. But the best part - I can have a relationship with my family again. Before, if one of my children needed me for anything they would have to wait. Conversations with them always began with them asking, "Mum ,when you've finished working can we....?" Requests to help with homework led to even more stress, birthday parties were forgotten, meals were rushed, unhealthy affairs. I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I cannot believe I was as stupid as I was to have lived that way for so long. I cannot believe I put my family through this hell. No more. Last night my thirteen year old son asked me to sit and talk, and we had a long chat about GCSE choices and what he wanted to do when he was older. We researched careers, we talked about them, we talked about him, my amazing teenager who I have barely even noticed growing up. I would never have had the time to do that before. I have time to help my 10 year old with homework and not just get stressed with him because I needed to plan my class' homework. Today I spent all morning doing a jigsaw with my 9 year old. Tonight I am going on a 'date' with Mr JessicaRabbit for the first time in a long time. I'll say it again: I cannot believe I lived like that for so long. No more. I will never go back to a school like that, and I'll never teach full time again. I don't know what the future holds; this job is only fixed til the summer but I know whatever happens, it has to be better than it was. Please - if you feel the way I did, make the leap. Get out. There ARE other schools out there and life is more than piles of marking. Family and piece of mind are the most important, precious things, way more important than money. And I didn't even realise how bad it was until I stopped doing it. Thank you to everyone who has posted on this board for sharing their experiences. You inspired me to leap and my relief is overwhelming.