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Leaving teaching but would like a professional reason

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ellie_rose, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. ellie_rose

    ellie_rose New commenter

    I'm in my fifth year of Primary teaching. I started at a new school in September and I've given it a chance/tried to be positive but due to several reasons, I really don't think this school is right for me. I want to leave teaching for a while, take a break and perhaps even retrain for a new career that I've been researching.

    I want to resign by the end of October to leave at Christmas. I am very nervous about telling them I'm leaving, as they won't be pleased at all. I was planning to go and see the HT and explain that I'm leaving because of a change in family circumstances. This is partly true, as a member of my immediate family has complex health problems and if I left, I would be around more to support them. Although it isn't the main reason for my resignation, I would like to leave the school on good terms and making it about this would be better than simply saying I want to leave teaching.

    Is it a terrible career move to leave at Christmas? Could I ever do supply in the years to come if I change my mind with this on my CV? I am certain that I never want to be a full time teacher ever again and I'm so stressed and pressured that I don't want to have to see out the year.
    JeannieMc likes this.
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    1. Quite honestly - everyone is replaceable. I think you might just overestimate their reaction. People leave jobs all the time.

    2. Your reason for resignation is irrelevant. Indeed, you don't actually have to give one.

    3. There won't be 'anything' on your CV regarding resigning to hamper supply or any future return to teaching. Again, people resign from jobs and go off to do other things beyond teaching for a bit all the time.
    ilovesooty and DYNAMO67 like this.
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    If you want to leave then you will have to tell them. They will not be happy, no, but I doubt they will rip your head off as well. These things happen. Tell them the truth. You have tried a new school and you are still not happy. It was a sensible thing to do, just for you it hasn't changed the fact you are fundamentally unhappy. Tell them that you want to look at some time away coupled with the fact you have family issues at the moment. Better for the school you do this than go off sick or something.

    Good luck
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  4. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    If the tables were turned and the school wanted to be rid of you, they would do so without hesitation and without a care in the world. Just resign. If you are desperate to give a reason, then do so but no one will really care, although someone may have a passing interest for 30 seconds, possibly; tell them you've realised that you need to take a break from teaching and reassess your career if you are to have any chance of continuing in teaching, or that a family member is very ill and you owe it to them to help. Get it over with now so the school has as much time as possible.
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter



    I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my post at (....) school with effect from 31st December 2015. Whilst I realise that a change of teachers during the middle of the year is not ideal, changes in my personal and family circumstances make this unavoidable. I will, of course, do what I can to make the transition to a new teacher as easy as possible for my pupils.

    Yours sincerely,


    You really don't need to say any more. Teachers do come & go! Move on - and look at the TPS website to see what best to do with your accumulated Teachers' Pension....
  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Just write what @FolkFan said.

    It really isn't any of the school's business and as long as you do a professional handover no one is indispensable.
  7. ruthonormarshall

    ruthonormarshall New commenter

    I am in almost the exact same situation. I have just begun my sixth year primary school teaching in a new school and want to leave at Christmas as I don't think I can see out the year. I'm struggling to get any kind of job satisfaction when even though I'm working to the point of exhaustion, i still have not barely made a dent in my workload. I have been told on several occasions that my class have had a string of supply teachers in the past and that they need consistency in order to make further progress.
    I initially thought that leaving before September would therefore not be an option but then I had a reality check. What has happened in the past has no bearing on me or my decisions and I have come to learn that you must do whatever is right for you, jobs come and go but family and your well-being should come first. The people that matter to you will understand your decision and if head teachers can't retain staff, then theres a fundamental problem with the way they run their school so my advice would be do whats right for you :)
    Just out of interest, what are you thinking of retraining to do?
  8. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    I could have written your post pretty much! I am in my 4th year, just starting my second at current school. I tried to leave at the end of last year but was persuaded to stay by my Head. I thought this year would be better, in a new year group, but it's worse! The pressure is relentless, last week I barely had time to eat properly because I was literally working non-stop at home and at school (we are an RI academy and the sponsor is threatening to sack SLT if we don't improve, so guess where the pressure falls?) and thought I would faint on numerous occasions. I know that I don't want to be a class teacher any more. I would rather stack shelves!

    I have made up my mind to hand in my notice before half term (and not be talked out of it this time!) although I know it will have an impact because of the pressure. My class is extremely difficult, full of children with behavioural difficulties - no-one in their right mind would want to take them on - although I do care about them massively and feel dreadful for abandoning them.

    I am going to use the example that someone posted above and write that letter today. Good luck for the future to all who are leaving; maybe one day someone will wake up and see the damage that is being done to professionals and children alike through our education system.
  9. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    If you want to leave on good terms with the school then you could include a 'I would like to thank you and the school for giving me the opportunity to.....(whatever you can think of to say that sounds sincere and positive) and then wish them every success in the future.
    cazzmusic1 and solvacrime like this.
  10. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    I left teaching 3 years ago, this all sounds so familiar and I really feel for you all, it's taken me a while to find something that fits in with what I wanted to do, but I did manage it - except for a couple of days supply every three months just to keep my DBS up to date in case I ever change my mind. It can feel so utterly full on being in a school situation that it's hard to see what's beyond it, it took me ages to work out that what I really needed was to be in a career that was fulfilling and worth doing, but not actually in schools or to do with children. I've never looked back, if it's not for you then just jump :)
  11. Informant

    Informant New commenter

    Your professional reason may appear more compelling if you were to submit it now. This would give your school a chance to advertise and interview before half term, allowing a January appointment and continuity for the class. You might wish to comment on this professional intention in your letter.
  12. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    You could always say that you are leaving to pursue a career in..... whatever it is. There is no shame in changing yoru career path.
    cazzmusic1, JRiley1 and FolkFan like this.
  13. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I concur. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    You are legally and contractually allowed to resign so resign! The number of people out of 100 that put a genuine, complete reason for such resignation is probably equable to the score for a good obscure answer on 'Pointless.'

    Anything family related and 'out of your control' is a good get out clause. To earn brownie points (and a higher chance of a good rfeference) do the 'thankyou for the opportunity to work here, I am actually a little disappointed 'I have had to resign'', just don't overegg it to the point they try and look for ways of keeping you there despite your 'family issues.'
  14. LCR1970

    LCR1970 New commenter

    Speaking as someone who's left teaching and then returned to it ... A new employer rarely micro-analyses the reasons for you leaving, as long as you have acted professionally and have some sort of reasonable reason (as you've already outlined).
    A wise headteacher would accept your resignation with good grace and be relieved you were not just hanging on when you're heart's not in it anymore.
  15. ellie_rose

    ellie_rose New commenter

    Thanks for your replies.
    I am planning to resign next week and tell the truth. I'm hoping it won't jeopardise all my hard work in the past. Some of my friends have suggested the SLT may become worse and look for opportunities to start capability procedures, although I don't think that will happen. I've been consistently strong throughout my career so I hope that doesn't happen.

    For those asking what I'm planning to do, I'm hoping to look for a role to do with copywriting or publishing as that was my first degree.
  16. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Good luck - let us know how it goes!

    BTW if - and I say if - your HT are so petty (& foolish) to start victimising you, as well as getting Union support, I'd simply not co-operate with them - don't attend meetings, don't give them information they ask for etc. so you leave before the procedure is completed...
  17. wingcommander81

    wingcommander81 New commenter

    Got to agree with DaisysLot's 3 points on this one. Your school will not be best pleased that you're leaving so early on, but that's life, so don't get too emotional about it. Why you feel the need to 'tell the truth' I don't know. Purging your soul on a resignation letter is a bad idea....unless you've won the lottery or are retiring and feel smug or bitter and there's no real chance of repercussions.

    You don't have to give a reason, you don't have to go into a paragraph of graciousness about opportunities you've had and your personal reasons for leaving to earn these imaginary brownie points; they're just platitudes, will be seen as such and nobody will give a hoot when it comes to it. Keep it short, polite and emotionless.

    I left teaching 3 years ago but still work for an LA within the education sector. I resigned that particular year in October after 7 years. My 'letter' was not over 2 sentences long. I think getting too emotional or feeling the need to explain yourself runs the risk of a bit of comeback or aggravating someone.
    cazzmusic1 and TEA2111 like this.
  18. niccin

    niccin New commenter

    I have just resigned too - no job to go to and I intend to do supply for a while. Yes, I feel guilty for leaving the children so early on but sometimes you have to do what is best for you (and your family).
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  19. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    (The missing thumbs up emoticon)

  20. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I'm in camp 'brief reason' but keep it professional and don't overdo it.
    In mine I basically said that having applied for a promoted post, I'll be leaving on... Many thanks for the opportunities and Ill miss working with the staff team. All genuine (didn't mention some of the grief because it's not the place to get stuff off your chest) but equally a bit of grace and sincerity about the postives doesn't cost anything.
    People move and paths will cross so I'd rather have left a positive (well less negative) impression.

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