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Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Talismanjayuk, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Hi all

    I’m primary school teacher after some advice.

    Currently, I have been struggling keeping on top of everything at school due to a combination of factors – fatigue, home life issues, struggling with organisation etc and so my headteacher/head of dept held a meeting with me to discuss going on an action plan. I had no issues with the meeting and with what they said – I agreed with the issues raised as I have already been discussing the ongoing problems with my wife.

    However, I have decided that it is time to move on from teaching as, although I like being in the classroom, I am beginning to hate the constant pressures and demands on time, workload etc. I am increasingly resentful of having to work in my evenings and weekends and feel this is probably a good sign that it is time to move on. I don't want to stay and end up bitter and resentful or suffering from stress or mental health issues.

    So my question is how to proceed from here? I am keen to keep it amenable at school – I have no personal issues with anyone there etc so would like to leave on a positive note. Do I plan to stay until Easter (handing in my notice at the appropriate time before that) or would it be better to push for an earlier exit? (I am planning to go into day-to-day supply teaching in the short term to pay the bills before finding a permanent position outside of teaching)

    Many thanks!
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You have 2 options.

    1 wait until February and then hand in your notice to take effect at Easter
    2 have a low-key discussion with the HT - it would go something like this - "We all know I've been struggling and I'm doing my best but I think my days are numbered. I'm going to be looking at supply, I think. Now I know that Easter is the earliest point at which I can resign following due process but is there the slightest chance you could let me go before then? Maybe half-term February? Or even earlier? I know this would absolutely be at your discretion and I have no rights in this. I also know this must come out of the blue for you. it's a bit of a shock for me to be feeling like this too. Will you consider it or do you think it's a complete non-starter? I understand completely if it's just impossible for you even to contemplate it."
  3. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Good advice, given above. Another option is to give your notice now to leave at Easter - this gives the school more time to replace you. They may appreciate the extra notice.
    It partly depends whether you can face staying until Easter.
    I think if you make it clear to the school that you do not feel that teaching is right for you they should be understanding.
    Pti pimousse and agathamorse like this.
  4. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    With so much going on in your life - and there have been times when we've all been in this situation- I can only advise you to consider going part-time until a later date. This will give you more time for your family life, which should come first in your life. I did and don't regret it at all.
    Pti pimousse and agathamorse like this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Actually there are three possible junctures for leaving to consider-
    If you are going to wait until Easter, you may as well wait until Summer and then also get your Summer Holiday pay-this way means that for the final term you can mathematically consider yourself as receiving double pay before leaving to something else. That's a big carrot in a job that's not great.
    If you leave at Easter you will find it hard to get supply-staff absence at this time of year drops as, well, life is generally nicer and more tolerable.
    If you were to leave much sooner, you'd be in a good position to get supply-staff absence is always highest between about now and, say, March therefore it's the best time to get yourself known with agencies. Once you are known, then it's easier to go for the more competitive slots later in the year.
    I only point all this out as you have indicated a desire to do supply.
    But of course I have not accounted for how intolerable things are for you.
    One thing I can say is that if they are telling you that you need a support plan to deal with the stuff that you had coincidentally identified yourself, then in actual fact, you don't.
    But that's another story...
  6. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I do hope that all this good advice is what you are seeking. Have you any ideas which direction you are likely to go now?
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Thank you all for your kind advice. It is good to get some outside opinions.

    My wife has been very supportive and we have agreed it is a case of me buckling down and doing my best to see if I can follow the action plan and thus make the improvements needed - it's mainly organisational, staying on top of stuff etc. I have no issue with the school, staff or pupils - and my lesson observations, book scrutinies etc have been fine so its the stuff around teaching that appears to be the problem (I presume my situation is in no way unique though!) so I don't mind making the effort and seeing how the Action plan helps. If it does over the rest of this term then great, I will try to stick out the rest of the school year and assess the situation towards summertime. Longer term, we are looking to relocate to another part of the country, so leaving the school (and eventually teaching itself) might well be inevitable anyway, but it would be nice to do it amicably and under my own terms.

    If this action plan doesn't help though, then I will hand in notice but try and work with the school to agree a leaving date that suits us both. Plan B kicks in then with doing supply work and job hunting!
  8. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Initially supply teaching to pay the bills - and if I find myself in a school that REALLY ticks my boxes and they need someone then MAYBE I give it another shot.....

    But realistically, with us looking to move and me hitting the big 50 in a few years, I am looking for quality of life and a sensible work/life balance. Workwise, something educational/charity based or museums, libraries, colleges, universities etc. Basically, something I can use the skilIs I have learnt but also be able to have my weekends and evenings free. I am open to suggestions though :)
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    There is another option...

    Try permenent p/t posts first before you consider anything.else. See how that goes. It will give you a better financial position than Supply and give you the time back hopefully that you need. It will also provide sick pay,better pension etc ..
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Don't regard supply as the silver bullet that will heal your all your troubles. Two problems spring to mind.
    • You need to be in the right area (professional and geographic)
      I'm Maths/Science in West Yorks and earn a lot, but @Jolly_Roger15 is equally aged and skilled as me and earns...… not much at all/nothing due to his inability to not live in North London.
    • My wealth is down to being able to cope with bottom-end schools where discipline is a constant (losing) battle and PROGRESS is non-existent.
      Can you cope with such pressure on your moral values? I can because I sold my soul for a few extra quid a day but if every supply did the same then I'd not even get the extra cash!
    At least with supply you can easily bail out.

    All the best.
  11. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I haven't done supply teaching but I've done plenty of part time teaching. You have the same students each week and you both know each other well and you see them through from beginning to end. Oh, probably not in primary school. Have you thought of teaching in Further Education? It's probably a lot different today to when I taught, but I loved it. Have a word with those on the FE forums. Only a thought.
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  12. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    I have worked in supply in this area before so I think there isn't an issue there.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  13. Talismanjayuk

    Talismanjayuk New commenter

    Thank you for the suggestion - I will give that some thought. :)
  14. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    A warning as someone who just left teaching after being 10 years in an FE (or rather a sixth form college that transitioned to FE) that these days working in FE isn't the joy that it once was. Lots of financial problems leading to very stressed SLT and very over worked teachers. I know it's that way across all of the education sector, but recently FE and been cut and cut and as such most institutions are taking in any and all students (often with lower quals than would be suitable for the courses they are on) to make up numbers/bring in more money and as such behaviour can be tough, getting the results can be tough and often they are longer days with lots of marking and planning, as well as many open events to attend as teachers are often seen as part of the recuitment and marketing drive of FE establishments now.

    Sorry to be a nay-sayer and, as with many places, it probably does depend where you work but I know that at my old place it was harder than anywhere else I had worked on several levels (and I had worked from good schools to ones in special measures to adult ed)

    Supply sounds like the best option if you want to remain in teaching, but I'm sure others will come along with advice too. Just my thoughts!
    agathamorse likes this.

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