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Retiring at Christmas 2019!

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by cassiedogrip, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    I've recently decided that that's it - handing in my notice in October to finish at Christmas.
    In nearly 20 years of primary teaching and 16 at the same school, I never thought that I would leave part way through an academic year, but it's what suits ME AND MY FAMILY to go at the end of this calendar year. I've been expected to put the job first on far too many occasions but enough is enough, as they say... I've seen far too many people in my lifetime not actually get to retiring, or even semi-retiring, before either passing on to the other side or be struck down with serious health issues.
    To say that I've seen the wheel reinvented several times would not be enough - no, I've seen the whole bloody vehicle sorted several times: chassis, body work, engine... You name it it's been changed / modified before the previous initiative(s) have had chance to get off the ground, never mind be evaluated in a sensible or pragmatic way!
    I used to love going in to work, but it's such a toxic place - for all the usual reasons that you'll see on other retirement threads - that I've just run out of steam / patience with it all. Yes, no doubt my age has got something to do with it: children grown up plus I CAN access my pensions, but I do know that's it's not just 'me' - 8 teachers, out of approx 14 ( we never quite know what our staff numbers should be) have left from between Xmas and now - end of summer term! The staff turm over in recent years has been like this for some time. On occasion, some have left before I'd quite got the hang of their names!
    I'm 56 years old and have a good pension from a previous 'life' plus the TPS which I do intend to take as well. So, what next? Well, I'm considering a bit of supply (2 to 3 days perhaps), or something completely different...
    Please share your experiences of leaving at previous Christmases, or your plans to leave - perhaps, with me, THIS Christmas 2019!
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I can't comment on leaving at Christmas but please do enjoy the celebrations with children you have known a long time!
    cassiedogrip and Oneshot like this.
  3. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    2 pensions and your State pension at 67,why would you need to rush back doing supply?

    Why not just enjoy life without work?
    littlejackhorner and lardylegs like this.
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    It's good to have a transition plan. 12 months of supply and you might decide you can walk away altogether.
  5. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Yes, you see I do still enjoy the teaching - it's the rest of the c--p that is no longer worth it and neither is the effect on my mental health which I know has suffered over the last several years. The money, from a couple of days per week , will also come in handy before we downsize the house etc... something that we planned to do before I retired from what is a full time contract at UPS 3.
    That reminds me, good luck to any younger teachers out there in respect of the upper pay scales, because unless things change the UPS will just about disappear over the next few years - just look at the average age of teachers now - falling every year at an alarming rate for almost two decades, especially in primary. I will no doubt be replaced with yet another NQT or, at the most, MPS 3. I'm sorry to say it, but the system as a whole mainly attracts cannon fodder plus ambitious 'managers' who seek to get out of the classroom as soon as possible. On a personal note, I was an SLT member for almost 8 years but the classroom was always my passion, together with mentoring - and i prided myself in always doing this in a positive, supportive manner in contrast with the current tick box, policy following, devoid of common sense ethos which now seems so widely dominant.
    Anyway, that's it for now... I'm off to make a start on my Christmas list! Remember to post if you're thinking of joining me on my Happy New Year exodus, or if you've already jumped ship and got out of 'your own toxic madhouse', especially those of you who did so within, rather than at the end of an academic year - it would be good to hear about your strategies (handing notice in - last minute in October or earlier, for example) and what you did next including how you found starting on supply in the new year - I've heard that it's a good time to do so.
    Tpw and phlogiston like this.
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I went at Christmas and it was a good time to go in primary. The autumn term is busy but not the pressure of later in the year in my opinion. To end with Christmas nativities and carol services was pleasant.

    As the head, I gave my notice to governors after the February half term to give them plenty of time to recruit. If I had a teacher wanting to go, I’d appreciate knowing in September so that I had time to advertise and appoint.

    Inevitably, you begin to feel that plans and future items are passing you by. In my case, Ofsted just before I left kept me on my toes.
    cassiedogrip likes this.
  7. Ezzie

    Ezzie Occasional commenter

    Well done to you @cassiedogrip, I can completely identify with everything you said. I’m 56 too and would love to retire this year however for various reasons I’m going to have to keep at it for a while (is it too early to start a ‘retiring in 2022’ thread?!). I did, though, change my role slightly and went from f/t to 0.4 and this has made a huge difference in stress levels etc. Still dead jealous of you, though...! I wish you the very best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
    cassiedogrip likes this.
  8. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I have no such experiences to share.

    But I wanted to say good luck.

    And to note that the confluence of reading the word 'Christmas' with this week's weather is just bizarre!

    Good luck.
    cassiedogrip and jlishman2158 like this.
  9. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Didn't leave at Christmas but I did go very early for a number of reasons and everyone has different priorities. We too could see that we would not be able to maintain the enthusiasm much longer, my wife was a 'pied-piper' kind of teacher whereas I was just a 'bog-standard' one and we had got to the point where she was unable to do anything but sleep, eat and work - and too much of the latter being to 'prove' that progress was being made or to 'prove' that you'd gone the extra mile (or marathon) for any that weren't 'moving forward'.

    It can be daunting going from the regular monthly wage to none at all (we went that 'early'), but we did have other income from a business I'd set up in the last years of teaching, she's written a school text book that still brings in some royalties each year and I mark exam papers. The latter is quite flexible and it is quite satisfying simply marking without having to then work out what guidance and lessons need to be developed to address any issues! It also means that you can pay voluntary national insurance contributions (£156 a year) if you haven't paid enough to qualify for a 'stamp' through any other earnings. (Being an invigilator also allows you to pay the class 2 voluntary NI.)

    Going at Christmas means you'll be able to get a full 'year' calendar rather than an academic one! ;) and from my experience being 'retired' (or just out-of-work in my case) you'll need one - I've never needed one until now as my life was always completely governed by the school routine.

    Don't let the idea of hanging on till the summer worry you...I had two colleagues, both called John, I'd like to tell you about. One's favourite saying was from Charles de Gaulle, "The graveyards are full of indispensable people", and a year after his death the 2nd John, who was in my department, died in June of the year he was due to retire. The next day I had to sort out having a supply teacher in front of my classes so I could look after his - all I could think of was that quote and at that point I started to look to my own future because no-one else will.

    Good luck and I wish you the best in your next steps when 'going forward' will take on a completely new meaning for you.
    cassiedogrip, Tpw, speaker2 and 3 others like this.
  10. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Last week I was 56 (now 57 due to my birthday) and I am also planning on retiring in 2022. I am leaning towards leaving in July as it will be my 60th birthday but I occasionally think the 31st of December may be better - just as it is the end of a calendar year and Jan 1st 2023 will be my first day of my retirement. Plenty of time to see how I feel.
    I plan on starting a "Retiring in 2022 thread" - perhaps in September 2021!?
    In the mean time I have an app on my phone that counts down the days until 31st December 2022 - only 1254 days to go, (although not all work days :)).
    Cassiedogrip - enjoy the last few months and keep us up to date with how its going.
    cassiedogrip and chris873 like this.
  11. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Cassie I really hope everything works out for you and your family and you get the supply income you need.:)

    I know it sounds bleedin' obvious, but have you thought about securing a part time post somewhere else, perhaps in the indie sector?
  12. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Thanks for that. Yes, i am leaning towards giving plenty of notice because I've made the decision so why not...I reckon I'll meet with the head a couple of weeks in to the new term and see how it goes, i.e; whether they want to keep it under wraps or not until October half term - this has happened in the past, where someone hands their notice in but it 's kept quiet for later, although I'm never sure why really?
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  13. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    No, I've not thought about a part time contracted teaching post as yet (independent or state) because I really fancy seeing what else is out there - whether it's the flexibility of supply or something completely different. Who knows, I might even stumble across a school that fits me and vice- versa while on supply. We've had some at my current school who've stayed longer than some of the contracted teachers on a rolling week to week agreement!
    catbefriender likes this.
  14. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

  15. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Thank you 60sunnysmile. Yes I'll keep you posted on here. Good luck with your rather long countdown - rather you than me! I guess that your school is relatively calm and sensible?
  16. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Thank you DiddyDave. No worries about me hanging in there until the summer - my wife would kill me! We can both relate to your experiences with the two Johns. In fact, a couple of weeks ago it was some sad news we had about the passing of a teacher, who lived local to us, that was one of the strawers that broke my camel's back. He was much loved and had such a full life - both behind and potentially ahead of him - he didn't quite make two years of retirement...
  17. Ezzie

    Ezzie Occasional commenter

    Happy (belated?) birthday @60sunnysmile! I’ll be 60 in December 2022 but am definitely going in the summer before; something more final about it and won’t want to go back for 1 term. I also have a countdown running; as it stands - and because I work only 2 days a week - it’s only 240 work days; doesn’t sound too many if you say it quickly! I’ll be looking out for you thread in September!
    cassiedogrip and Piranha like this.
  18. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    We always went public, both in school and on the newsletter, at the point that an advert was going out. There’s always going to be a parent in education who spots the advert then they want to know. So , if we knew in September, we’d be advertising before the end of the month. That gives time to interview before October half term so the successful candidate can resign from another post , if they have one.
    cassiedogrip likes this.
  19. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    I left in December 2015, having just turned 57. I had made my mind up to leave the previous Easter. Like you, the long hours and worsening conditions meant that I had reached the end of the road. I was a secondary HoD and didn't want to leave the school or my colleagues in the lurch, so I wrote my resignation letter in August! I know, a tad early, but it was so satisfying. I instantly felt off the hook for performance management, exam results, new initiatives etc. I wasn't even observed in my last term. It was still a long, hard term but those last milestones kept being passed. I went abroad for a few months and now do a happy mix of hobbies, holidays and part time jobs (none of which are teaching!). I can honestly say that the last three and a half years have been the happiest of my life. I can do what I like , when I like. It is all such a contrast to the massive stress I felt when teaching, trapped on a treadmill. The only advice I would give, is to start planning what to do in January and February, after the relief and euphoria have waned a bit. Perhaps a long stay somewhere warmer? All the very best in any case.
    cassiedogrip and smoothnewt like this.
  20. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    With regard to when to inform the school we knew a year in advance that we would definitely be going so we were able to pick our time. We told the head on the same day that we told our departments in October that it was going to be our last year, so plenty of notice for an August finish. It was an instant relief and I found that it energised me for the entire final year. I told my classes pretty much at the same time, my form group was easy as they were upper sixth so would be leaving at the same time but the year 10s and lower 6th classes were harder but in some ways it helped as they knew that this year's deadlines REALLY had to be met! I did leave them my email address just in case they needed any help and I did pop in once or twice the following year to help a few catch up.
    cassiedogrip likes this.

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