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Return from maternity leave - AHT to CT... End of career?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by lilypops1, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. lilypops1

    lilypops1 New commenter

    I was employed as Assistant Headteacher at a small school up until I had my little girl, earlier this year. Whilst on maternity leave, my priorities have changed somewhat and I decided that (in my current school) it would be difficult to do justice to the role of AHT. The context around the school is that it is very small, I was AHT and SENCO, had half a day a week to do both whilst maintaining a challenging mixed age class, and a lot of extra responsibilities created by being a part of a small school.

    I spent a long time considering my options. I made a case to be allowed to return on part time basis - this was refused on the grounds of the school being unable to sustain another job share (already has 2 of 4 classes). I applied for a few part time jobs but these are few and far between and I was eventually offered a full time class teacher job at a larger school. This will be a return from AHT role to Class Teacher - still full time but with fewer responsibilities - at a one form entry school. I'm excited and nervous about this but I know that I will either want to apply for leadership jobs again or go part time in the future.

    My question to everyone out there - and please be kind - is has anyone ever actively sought a "demotion" such as this and then had a positive experience or returning to higher profile roles in school?
    Has anyone returned from maternity leave to a different post?
    How do you manage full time teaching with a young child (who will be in full time nursery)?

    I'm still unsure of whether I've done the right thing for my daughter, my husband, the schools and myself. I love my daughter and my job so I'm sure I can make it work, I'm just really hoping that I haven't done irreversible damage to my career.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    You haven't done irreversible damage, you have plenty of years to go back to leadership if you want. I didn't start in leadership till my children were heading to high school and I was in my 40s. I know others who have done what you are doing and it was fine for the future.

    I can't speak for full time with a baby but I did full time with two at primary school. It's all hard work but you get on with it. Give it a try and look out for part time if that's what you want going forward.
    lilypops1 likes this.
  3. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    There is a time for everything and your priority at the moment is with your family. If you have continued with your role as AHT and SENCo you would have felt pulled in all directions and end up feeling guilty that you couldn't do anything as well as you would want. Everything will feel like a compromise - that's normal.
    I don't blame you for deciding to reduce your responsibilities and focus on class teaching - that is challenging enough!

    You may feel frustrated that you are no longer involved in certain aspects of school life - but always keep your family and work/life balance in mind. Personally I don't see how this would affect your job prospects in the future but you don't say how old you are or how many years you have been teaching.

    If you are now in a bigger school, there are likely to be opportunities in the future, whenever you decide the time is right.
    lilypops1 likes this.
  4. lilypops1

    lilypops1 New commenter

    Sorry CarrieCat... I'm 30 (just!) and started teaching in 2009 so I've 8 years of experience.

    Thank you both for your contributions!
    I agree - I probably will feel frustrated at times, but I adore my daughter and would do anything to make sure we get to spend some time together. I feel like, for the next few years, this option will allow me to do this and also allow me to get my brain food from teaching! I also think the head teacher seems brilliant and so I'm looking forward to learning from a new leader.

    I guess I worried how schools (in my highly competitive authority) would view my choices.
  5. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Totally right decision!! Would have been super stressful... Also how would it affect your career if you were not managing to spin all those plates? Now you can take a few years to consolidate...
    Look out for part time SENCo or part time Sen teacher jobs. Try writing directly to schools as advertising can cost so much.

    You're career has plenty of time to get back on track!
    lilypops1 likes this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    At only 30 you definitely have heaps of time to be a school leader. You have almost 40 working years left until you retire.
    Have a few years with a job you find easier while you enjoy your child. Plenty of time to move up once she is older.
    lilypops1, muso2 and Sundaytrekker like this.
  7. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    So true - and you'll never get this time back so make the most of it. Plenty of time to develop your career in the future. You will still be developing your skills as a teacher during this time which will be valuable in the future.
    lilypops1 and Sundaytrekker like this.
  8. lilypops1

    lilypops1 New commenter

    Thank you everyone. I'm still feeling mega nervous about returning to work and your encouragement has been really helpful.
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I am aware of a number of people who have stepped down for a variety of reasons. I don't know so many people who have stepped down and then up.
    However, schools are crying out for good managers, and I don't think a few years perfecting your core skills as a teacher will do you any harm until you're ready to devote more time to teaching.
    My only proviso is that until you pack her off to university, she'll need your time and attention!

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