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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by oceanroc7, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    Has anyone out there actually asked for a sabbatical?
    I am a very jaded teacher and am thinking of asking my Head for 6 months off. A change of direction and some breathing space for a while might just keep me in the profession until I retire in about 10 years. I am just starting my 25th year of teaching.
    The alternative - carrying on as I am for another 10 years without a break - getting older and more exhausted - is unthinkable.
    Any advice from anyone would be very welcome.
  2. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    I asked for, and was given, a years sabbatical back in 1999/2000. I'd been teaching 10 years, and wanted a break.

    Went travelling for 10 months, did a bit of supply at the end of the summer term, and went back in September with batteries fully charged and ready for another 10 years.

    Its something that I feel anyone should be given the opportunity to do if they wish to, although I can see why, with current recruitment issues, the answer is usually no.
    agathamorse and oceanroc7 like this.
  3. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    I can see that the answer will probably be no. However I can always ask - and if the answer is no I can resign and then just hope there is a science teacher job to come back to. It might not be in the same school, but looking at the TES job vacancies, it could be nearby! The question is - what to do with the 6 months.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    At one of my previous schools, the Head of English asked for, and was given, a years sabbatical. As the school did not expect him to return, they appointed a permanent replacement which meant he was given a different, whole school responsibility on his return.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Dont do it if you want to keep your job :cool:
  6. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    Well I asked and my request is being considered. Are there so many extra teachers where you are then?? I feel I have some control in this and trust my Head to be honest with me.
    Asking is hardly a sackable offence!
    agathamorse and jlishman2158 like this.
  7. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    Good luck! I hope the response is in your favour.

    When I asked, we discussed various options, including doing a teacher exchange, but I wanted to travel and not be stuck in one area, and school feared that my exchangee might want to do the same, and so not really be committed to the job.

    I was granted the leave subject to them being able to find a replacement. They advertised (I was actually prepared to pay for the advert, but they didn't ask, and I didn t volunteer that information!), appointed an nqt (and so were saving money in salary) and off I went.

    I did offer to give them a terms notice (not the standard half term) if I decided not to go back in September. As it was, they were more than happy to have me back, although I often wonder if I should have gone to work elsewhere...
    oceanroc7 and agathamorse like this.
  8. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    I would have loved the chance to take some time out and recharge my batteries, but the opportunity never presented itself. I suppose the issue is whether, if they allow you to take a sabbatical, you intend to return to your present school. Out of sight is out of mind. A lot of things can, and probably will, change in six months. You may find that the school you return to, and your place within it, is very different to when you left it. If you are unable or unwilling to settle into the new regime, you then have to look for alternative employment. With only 10 years to retirement, and in direct competition with the up and coming bright young things (who are also cheaper to employ), then that might be easier said than done. In the worst case scenario, you could always look at Supply or Tutoring, but presumably, you'd want to consider how that might affect your pension.

    You could take a zero hours contract job at a local distribution warehouse, or work in a call-centre. Six months of that should convince you that words like "jaded", "undervalued", and "exhausted", are not the sole preserve of the teaching profession. But arguably teachers are better paid for putting up with them, and their working conditions are generally not as unpleasant. It won't be the most pleasant six months of your life, but it might help to motivate you on your return to the daily grind of the classroom.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think it depends on what you will do with the time out and if there is any benefit to the school.
    oceanroc7 likes this.
  10. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    I am thinking of one of these: sailing adventure, private tutoring on a yacht (paid), VSO, long distance walk with a tent, trip to Madagascar, or combination of these.
    There is no way I want an indoors experience. I am hoping 4-6 months of travel, adventure and no bells (,!!!) will help me regain my mojo.
    Thanks for the advice and suggestions. I will keep you updated when I know more.
    agathamorse and geordiepetal like this.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It's an employer, not a sect!
    oceanroc7 and agathamorse like this.
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Check school paperwork - not sure which document, but in one of my school's it said that staff could have up to a year's unpaid leave for (among other things) voluntary work. Which is exactly what I planned to do. The head initially refused (I think he may have forgotten what the document said), but then changed his mind.

    I had the year away (a mixture of voluntary work and travelling), retirned to the school for a term, then moved on.

    So, do some research amongst the school policies - you may be lucky.
    oceanroc7 and agathamorse like this.
  13. gemfrome

    gemfrome New commenter

    I took a sabbatical for one year about five years ago. I spent 9 months tutoring in Moscow as a governess and then 3 months travelling in Indonesia. It was the best experience and made me realise that full time English teaching was no longer for me. I returned to my original job and then left a year later to a part time position. I wrote the sabbatical letter in the January and was told by Easter that I had permission to start it in the September. Do it, you won’t regret it for one moment.
    chelsea2, oceanroc7 and agathamorse like this.
  14. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    Yes and it was disguised as a mere booting out.
    oceanroc7 likes this.
  15. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    In Canada they used to allow teachers to take a portion of their salary (say 9/10) which allowed them to work for 9 years and have the tenth year out, paid! Not sure if they still do this, but what a great idea.
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It's a good idea, isn't it?
    They did it in Berlin for many years too, but the proportions were much tastier, with 3 years on and one year off, with a constant salary reduced by 25%. If you didn't take your fourth year out, you were looked upon as having some rare syndrome of "loving your job too much".
    agathamorse likes this.

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