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Leaving leadership and Teaching: Help!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Vimto83, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Vimto83

    Vimto83 New commenter

    I've finally made the decision to leave teaching following an ongoing period of extreme stress and anxiety brought on by a leadership role. The pressures on my personal health and family are now just too great and I need to put them first.
    Advice and tips really welcomed from those who have 'transitioned' out of teaching; particularly from leadership roles.
    Orchid2457 likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Sorry to hear about your difficulties & wish you all the best.

    NB I can't offer any suggestions outside teaching (I moved out from SLT to other roles within teaching which worked well - I can expand if you are interested, but it was still teaching!)
    Orchid2457 likes this.
  3. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    There are lots of transferable skills from teaching and leadership. I guess your options will depend to some extent on the nature of your leadership role and how long you have done it for. For example being an experienced safeguarding lead or SENCo opens different doors to an experienced data or timetabling lead. What is your subject / key stage?
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Why do you need to leave teaching?
    You say the stress was brought on by the leadership aspect, so why not just get back to teaching and only that? It's not an experience similar to anything else out there in the job market, and if you had a go at working in a school (again?) without all the bells and whistles from leading stuff, you might have a revelation.
    In leadership you have to honour the wishes of those above you, be mindful of those below you and also presumably mop up more and more year on as school budgets become tighter. A leadership job description is way more expansive than that of a teacher, so far less easy to put the brakes on when you need to breathe.
    If you are a teacher you have to be mindful of fewer of those things, and you are in fact less at somebody's beck and call, although to be sure there can be a load of scrutiny.
    Dunno-you may well feel you need to leave what you have now, and the decision wont have been easy, but do you really need to walk away wholesale from actual school life?
    There is a lot there to be missed which perhaps you have been blindfolded to with the pressure of leadership.
    GrammarBear, strawbs and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. WTDT

    WTDT New commenter

    I think sbkrobson has given some great advice. Ive been a middle leader (so not SLT) and really struggled with how much was expected compared to how much time I had to do everything. This led to me cutting into time with my partner, family and myself. Eventually I’d had enough. I have managed to secure a consultancy role within a school around my strengths, which is great. But if I ever go back to classroom teaching - it won’t be a ML position but a reg teaching role.
    strawbs likes this.
  6. GrammarBear

    GrammarBear New commenter

    I too have left Leadership recently previously DHT (15 years). Now working in a LA school as at CT on a temp contract until the end of July. I won't ever go back to leadership the pressures really messed with my physical and mental well being. I don't regret my decision and nor do I miss the money. Sbkrobson's point about Leadership pressures blindfolding teachers to the joys of just teaching is a very good observation.
    TBH for me personally I am looking at this as a chance to rekindle my love of the craft of teaching. I am very much enjoying my current role (first week honeymoon period) and also I have and "out plan". This is something you need to decide yourself. You just need to be sure.Good luck in whatever you decide.
    mothergoose2013 likes this.
  7. suziedance76

    suziedance76 New commenter

    Following as the OP mirrors my feelings closely. It is reassuring to hear there is 'life after leadership' ... although most people on this thread are advocating still working within schools. Can anyone advise as to how to use transferable skills into other (unknown) industries and sectors. I'm currently a DHT but am suffering work related stress and have arrived at a crossroads. I know supply teaching could be there as a stop gap - but I feel I need to get out completely right now. In reality I have worked in schools for 17 years and simply have no knowledge of the rest of the world of work ..... any sources of info or support would be appreciated.Thanks in advance for letting my piggyback!
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    With limited industry experience, it will be a mix of two things-what you want to do, and where in the job market you are viable to others.
    You could upload your CV onto one of those generic professional job search sites, or even a broader one, eg cvlibrary. Put checks against all fields of work you are interested in, and also when composing your CV, make bigger the non teaching aspects where you feel you shine eg technology, data, change management, team leadership, research, training, policy development etc. Add in some hobbies or skills or one off certificates that you have accrued. Sit back, and I'm pretty sure unexpected agencies will contact you about all sorts of work. Lots will be crud, some will be derisory, all of it will be fruitful, because if you are looking for a career change and have no idea how, then you need to create a sort of playground for yourself. Depending on your finances, you could "dabble" in various sorts of agency work, the beauty of this being a lack of commitment, and an element of window shopping into the world of work.
    If you can sustain yourself for a period this way, then you suddenly have a broader CV and a better idea of what you'd actually like to do. Perhaps you'll feel you need to retrain in something else, or perhaps the activity will generate a surprise job offer.
    Keep it flexible, because you say yourself you don't know where to go with your expertise.
    The main thing to start with is, keep that roof over your head and the wolf from the door.
    I guess all of this equally applies to OP, it's just that they specifically said it was the leadership aspect alone which has been their undoing.
    Good luck.
  9. suziedance76

    suziedance76 New commenter

    Thanks for the words of encouragement and excellent ideas. You are right that I need to prioritise financial stability but also a good idea to 'play' in terms of temporary work rather than panic and move too soon into something permanent. I intend to sort my online presence and also contemplating working with a career transition coach. I guess I am trying to find the confidence to embrace change rather than fear the unknown.

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