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Need to leave teaching.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by celago22, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    I need to leave teaching. Things are not going well and even if I don't leave I will probably be forced out anyway.

    My plan is to resign by 31st October to leave at Christmas. I cannot cope with the workload, constant stress, lack of personal life and challenging behaviour, for which I am blamed constantly. I feel spied upon and although supported a little, the level of support cannot continue. I'm early in my career but I'm still expected to be able to plan independently (having come from a 2 form entry to 1 form entry) and to hit the ground running. I'm not and I'm the first person to admit that I know things are not going well.

    I have applied for a few jobs outside of teaching and yet to hear back. I'm stressed that I could not have a job by 31st October and worried that no company will wait for me until January.

    I don't want to continue teaching because it will end up going to capability and I just cannot put myself through that stress. I just feel like if I had a nicer class things would be better.

    I feel very stressed but don't want to be signed off because it just looks bad. I now have to spend the next 2 months making sure I meet targets so that I can keep my job. I cannot continue.

    Any advice? Am I doing the right thing by leaving or is it not the right decision?
  2. youmakemesmile

    youmakemesmile New commenter

    I'm sorry that you are suffering this stress. There are many people who can give good advice on stress management and alternative careers on here. Hope you find something that makes you happy.
  3. cassandramark2

    cassandramark2 Senior commenter

    Please visit the Workplace Dilemma forum. There you will find excellent advice and support.
    Jamvic, mothorchid and Dragonlady30 like this.
  4. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    Have you thought about going to see your GP? They can help by either signing you off or prescribing medication to help.
    Also contact your Union.
    suzuki1690 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Long post.

    Stand back and look at that. Imagine that it is not about you. What do you see?

    What I see is somebody who is trying really really hard to deal with an exceptionally challenging job. And above that person, somebody or something castigating and kicking them sporadically. That's your description.

    That's not you. That's your school. That's your management,and they are inhumane. It's not uncommon these days. No matter your inherent failings as a teacher, if any, your managers should be there to encourage, support, trouble shoot. But they are not, are they? At least, that's your description.

    All teaching brings a massive workload. It makes you stressed. The behaviour can be difficult. That belongs to every teaching job. That's what you signed up to when you decided it was the career for you. But your loved ones don't bash you or blame you.Your friends don't bash you or blame you. I'm pretty sure the kids don't. Us folks here-we are not bashing you or blaming you. But your management, the ones who count, are bashing you and blaming you. They are the ones who are paid to oversee what you do, but they are making things worse. They are kicking you when you are down. They are bullies. That's your description through my eyes. That is not what you signed up for.

    You haven't said you cannot stand the kids or the lesson delivery or the subject matter or the pastoral side of things. You have stated how your management are not supporting you. And that does not have to be the same in every school.

    I don't think you have given grounds to leave teaching at all. I think you have described a fight or flight situation where your only option is flight because if you stay you simply lack the power to demonstrate your intention and your potential. And that is shameful. Did you spend your training having deficiencies pointed out to you, and blame thrust upon you?

    Other schools would have you-you know your weaknesses, you are lucid, you are forward thinking. You need the right managers, and it depresses me that you've had to start your career this way. The wrong managers.

    Just a guess. Based on your words.

    Don't leave teaching. That's rash. Keep an open mind, even if you are only able to achieve that by leaving your current place.
  6. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Sometimes you can't see a solution to being in a hole, as all you see is the hole.

    A step back would be a good idea. A break or a change. Maybe you are in the wrong school for you? Lack of support? Poor social circle to support you as in an area where that is hard to establish?

    Take those questions into account before questioning if teaching is for you.

    Some out there possibilities are to take a break. Ever wanted to travel? Maybe TEFL or teach abroad. Far less stress and allows you to keep earning - assuming you need money to live off - but gives you time to unwind from your current situation and reflect what you really want to do.
    Jamvic likes this.
  7. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    I agree with those who say don't jump too quickly. I'm sure you've given it a great deal of thought, but sometimes when we're really stressed, we can't see the wood for the trees. Have you considered a move back to a 2 or even 3 form entry? Then you would have others in your year group to share planning, etc with. Or what about an independent school? I do understand that pressures are different there, but classes tend to be smaller and behaviour less challenging.
    Take a step back and think about why you first wanted to teach. Those reasons will still be there. It does sound as if you need to get away from your current environment, but please don't rush to leave the profession.
    Stay strong and good luck.
    Jamvic likes this.
  8. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    it isn't really a choice, if you are not well enough to teach, then you should be signed off
  9. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Established commenter

    A little chat to the Union (I hope you joined on, if not, do so).
    This will help you to secure a reasonable and accurate reference.
    With this you can apply for other jobs.
    Even other teaching jobs.
    Even supply.
    So you could give it another year in a range of schools.
    You can simply leave, forget all about it while you get yourself back together - you can do this without grieving over it. No one is forced to be a teacher! No one really cares if you do the job or not. It's true! You owe the education system nothing!
    You may have a long life in front of you. And teaching might not be for you right now, but might be something that calls you in your later years.
    You can see that everything is alright. Stop beating yourself up about it.
    You are not a bad teacher. You are in a bad situation. Leave.
    I am sticking pins into voodoo dolls that represent your SLT team as I type.........
  10. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for all the advice. The thing is, I feel so incompetent that how do I know that a similar thing won't happen in a new school? Also workload, pressure, stress will still be there in a different school. They're not actually a bad SLT, they just are doing what's best for the class but obviously putting me under extra stress probably isn't the most ideal situation. I have a target setting meeting next week, the union are coming with me.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I'm tempted to say that you would see things that way if you are being bullied-that's how bullies perpetuate their behaviour.
    But then again, I do not know your genuine weaknesses. If any.
    You're relatively new, and target setting might be the way forward, but putting you under stress is not.
    Jamvic likes this.
  12. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Established commenter

    Get your reference sorted. Make it clear you are leaving.
    There are cohorts, classes of children that destroy teachers, especially young teachers.
    A story.
    I once did a casual supply in a primary where I had no idea what to teach or how to teach. No one gave me any help. The kids went loopy. One of the kids was a known fire setter. He was in the cloakroom playing with matches.
    It was an open plan school - no one so much as commented on what I was struggling with. Nightmare.
    The Thursday before I was due to finish I had some beer the night. Then I went in full guns blazing. No group of children was going to destroy me!
    Nabbed the hall. Did "PE" with them.
    "Line up" I said. I gave them evil eyes. I took them in the hall and made them follow my every instruction. Every last little whim. We developed an understanding.
    I left in control of the class. But I did not go back to that school. Ever.
    My two keys to class management
    Love the kids. Treat them with respect and understanding. Be kind and be known to be kind. Smile a lot. Love the horrible young people the most. Laugh a lot.
    Don't let them start anything and stop the clock to regain the balance regardless of who is watching and what should be taught.
    Treat your remaining time in the school as that last day I had in that horrible primary. Experiment a little. Find your balance.
    The teaching will follow.
  13. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I'm afraid the workload is terrible wherever you go. It is allocated and managed better in some places than others. The general behaviour of the kids varies from school to school but can be controlled to some extent within your classroom. SLT, from your H0D upwards, is out of your control. You need to have been at it a lot of years to learn how to game the system and say yessir when you have no intention of wasting time on anything.

    You should, in my opinion, leave the school you are presently in. Go pleasantly. School not a good match, finding some of the workload does not seem to improve either your teaching or the kids' learning (easy, tiger), feel you'd be a better match in a school with a different focus.... I'm sure people on here will helpfully rephrase that.

    Are you tied to one area?
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Not all schools are the same.

    Sometime the same school isn't the same if you inherit better management (as we have).
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for the advice. I've applied for some teaching positions and have also arranged to visit a school tomorrow to have a look around. I will just be honest and say I feel I would benefit from working in a 2 form entry school as current school are unable to support me. My school are aware of my intention to leave but obviously still have to go ahead with the weekly meetings, targets and stress of it all. I guess once I have a new contract there is nothing stopping me from going off sick for 2 weeks.
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. Educ84Math

    Educ84Math New commenter

    Go with your gut instinct. If you feel you may have a better experience in a different school, then try other schools. If not, then you could consider teaching abroad at an international school, or consider college. The teaching profession is getting very dangerous nowadays - too much scrutiny of teachers, extra workload for the same pay, pupils knowing how to play the system, SMT not dealing with behaviour issues effectively, and the spying... . I quit secondary teaching after 13 years and moved to college lecturing. Much better working conditions (no spying) and zero behaviour issues. It's called 'lecturing', but it's more akin to teaching - imagine having small classes that do what you tell them to (without any attitude from them), and you get to try out all those fancy teaching techniques we get told to use in schools. Obviously not all colleges are the same, but my experience has been a very good one.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    I'm going to hand in my notice tomorrow/Thursday. Don't have another job to go to. But still feel it's the right thing to do
  18. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    Celago - often when people are under pressure they make decisions which are not always the right ones. I really think you should get an appointment with your GP and get signed off for a while to give you a bit of space to think. The problem is the bloody long notice periods and you are afraid of missing the 31st oct deadline and this is putting undue pressure on you. Please go to your GP and get signed off.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Your suggestion means that OP remains in a place where they are not happy, which is causing them stress, which appears to be cruelly managed, which detracts from their well being, and which to boot is scrutinising their performance which in itself is to their detriment because of how it is done. It is therefore unrealistic to suggest that this compounded scenario will get better by the fact of taking time off to think.
    Sure if they are ill.
    But that is not the overriding hurdle from their description.
    Your suggestion is that they fiddle about with the situation to a time point,according to their contract, which is at earliest at Easter!
    Resigning now has so many benefits-
    Knowing they are leaving
    Being able to leave at Christmas
    Having that sense of relief which will free them up to look for something else
    Having quite a few weeks to achieve this whilst still being paid.
    And quite a few weeks to ponder on how to present in order to get not just a decent reference, but a glowing one.
    Also-and this is really important-the option of taking supply work after Christmas, if only to put bread on the table. If you leave at Easter or in Summer, the chance of sourcing supply as a first timer is hugely diminished, whereas Winter is peak Supply season. Why waste this lucrative back-up employment chance as a qualified teacher who needs to support themselves?

    Ultimately it's their decision, but there are several pragmatic reasons to leave now and not later in the year, all of which point to enabling them to put a roof over their head without the insanity of their current place.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  20. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    I disagree with you @skrobson.
    I was in exactly the same position as this poster. He or she is poorly and when a person is poorly whether it be a mental health issue or a physical issue the GP is the way to go.
    The problem is the stigma that still exists around mental health and why should this person have their career ruined by that?
    They are ill and need to be signed off.

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