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May have to return to state sector...

Discussion in 'Independent' started by mollyhog, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    2 years ago I moved from a state school that had a lot of behaviour problems and had just become part of a MAT, to teach in a lovely independent school. I love the school, love the more relaxed atmosphere, LOVE the longer holidays. But - I REALLY miss the students from my old school (not all of them obviously). I feel as though I am of no consequence where I am, In the state school I at least felt as though I made a difference to the students - now, I think my current students could walk past me in the street and not recognise me. Maybe it's just that I'm tired at the moment - and yes, I'm very aware that while I will have 3 weeks off at Christmas, state schools will only get 12 days. From day 1 I felt guilty for 'abandoning' the kids in the state school (not that I have any high and mighty ideas about how important I am), but I thought I'd got over it. Not sure what I expect to gain from posting this really - just wondering if I'm being stupid, or have others been in a similar situation?
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I wouldn't get too upset about your former students - they move on. Two years is an age in a young person's life. I would be very wary of getting so attached to students you feel guilty about leaving them.

    Moving to private is a shock, because you will find the students there will work with no hesitation and behaviour is good. Its very easy to feel that anyone could stand in front of them and it will be OK. It was a shock to me when I worked in the private sector a few years ago, but you're still making a difference to them. By all means go back to state, but if you end up in a really difficult school where behaviour is poor and management micro manage, you will possibly regret it very quickly. There is no guarantee that the students in a new "difficult" school will respond as well to you as they did in your previous school.

    You say you love the school and more relaxed atmosphere - I would stop sabotaging that. If you feel you are of no consequence, then I would talk to your HoD about what you could do to have more of an impact. Extra curricular? Organise some trips? Pastoral?

    I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but considering the number of people in the state sector at the moment who would work in the Indie sector, I think its time to take stock and consider what you can do to make your current post work more for you. Oh, and I'm in the state sector and am getting 2.5 weeks this Christmas, so I wouldn't feel badly about having 3 weeks.
    steely1 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your reply CWadd, What you're saying makes absolute sense. I already do quite a lot of extra curricular and pastoral things at the school, and you're right that I'm still making a difference where I am - I'm just not sure it's a big enough difference. Maybe because at my school the kids don't actually work very hard without a LOT of nagging, so although I don't have the big behaviour issues to deal with, I also don't have the ultra keen students who want to do well despite their background. Maybe I'm too left-wing to cope with the sense of entitlement?
    Thanks for taking the time to reply - I probably need to get to the Christmas break and then re-evaluate.
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I would argue there's a sense of entitlement amongst a lot of teenagers. Because they haven't quite worked out yet that the world owes them nothing.

    I taught for three years in a pretty rough school with a lot of students who would argue "I don't need GCSEs, my Dad says I can work with him." This was a state school.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It is a myth to assume that behaviour is always better in the private sector, it most definitely isn't. I only taught in the more leafy lane state schools, and behaviour in my first independent was the worst I'd ever seen. Nothing like what I read on some posts here, but constant low level disruptions and a sense of being able to do as they pleased. Kids are kids and will do as much or little as they are allowed within the ethos of the school and their parents.

    All children deserve excellent teachers, regardless of the amount of money their parents earn.

    But given you were having similar thoughts about returning a year ago (here), you probably ought to start looking around and see what's available.
    steely1 likes this.
  6. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    Thank you both for your sense of perspective. CP2BF - I knew I was feeling the guilt last year, but hadn't realised it was at the same time of year. End of term tiredness seems likely.
    CWadd - your comment about making the job work for me really hit home. I have never been good at taking that approach, but I think you're right, so I'm going to spend the next term working out what I can do to make it work for me.
    Thank you both so much - getting perspective from people who are not emotionally involved helps immensely! - Roll-on Christmas and a good rest :)
  7. nighttrace

    nighttrace New commenter

    I think the pupils from private/public schools need to be properly taught, especially about the world and our soceity, as in a way many of the graduates are and will be in important industries which determine people's lives. You are not just imparting knowledge, you are shaping their outlook and value as well.
    needabreak likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    1) rich children have their problems too. They are just different problems.
    2) you can make as much difference in a private school as in a state one. In fact...
    3) children in private schools are more likely to lead our industry and society. Therefore it’s better for all of us that they have good moral blueprints to copy.

    So my question is - where do you prefer working?
  9. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    You want to go back to all the behaviour s*** you had to deal with? You want to go back to spending 70% of your time on stupid little things that constantly exhaust you while teaching just 30% of the time on mickey mouse topics? You think if you go back, state schools have stayed the same not gotten worse? You think you can still actually hack a state school after no practice for years?

    I'm all for working class heros, but dunk your head in a bucket of ice cubes. Get real.
    EvaAeri likes this.
  10. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    All good points - I think I was just tired! Having had a couple of weeks off I can't wait to get back to work, and yes, I think it will be private school all the way! Idealistic / masochistic tendencies tend to take over when I'm tired! Usually sorted out by a few G&Ts and a good rest. :)
    Happy New Year to all :)
  11. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    Actually, I think I could still 'hack it' - I've only been in private for 2 years. I never had to teach a mickey mouse topic - not sure what you mean by that? The clincher is the 70%+ on behaviour management - where I am it is much more like 15% on behaviour management. I wouldn't refer to myself as a working class hero - just an average human being who wants to make a difference. You sound very angry - maybe you've been in state education too long?
    [keeping the ice cubes for the gin]
    sabrinakat likes this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Me too, I've only been in private for three years and could definitely go back to having 30 in a class and all the pressures of state. But would I want to? Errrm no.

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