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Telling the children you are leaving

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Gsr25, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I’m leaving my school at the end of the year, I’ve given notice and they have recruited someone else. Am I allowed to tell the children?
  2. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    I think this is very much school dependent. I’m a deputy head and senior manager and we don’t allow teaching staff to inform pupils of their departure. Just to avoid unnecessary disruption or angst.

    We believe in a seamless flow system between courses and classes, so a change of teacher shouldn’t be a major issue for the children.
  3. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Loathe as I am to agree with the troll-in-chief, I think it is better not to tell the children until the very end of term - you don’t want to cause any unnecessary upset or distraction (particularly if you’re taking about very young children.) I have previously seen teachers be very self-indulgent when going about this and basically facilitating a massive cry-along...

    As for when your ‘allowed’ to tell them, you’d better ask whoever is in charge...
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Something certainly flows out of you seamlessly enough...
  5. SantasElf

    SantasElf New commenter

    Hi there - you don't say if you are Primary or Secondary which might influence this a bit.

    In my experience in Primary then once the SATS etc are done and the replacement recruited then the Head would add the succession plan to the weekly newsletter - that was expected and the parents would have kicked off big time if they'd not been told a teacher (or indeed any staff member) was leaving.

    Also as a philosophical point: we are not automata: we develop relationships with the pupils, albeit professional ones, and I cannot think of another work area where you might leave and be replaced without any sort of recognition given of that.

    So my view is that it is of course for the Head to manage the succession but that this should be done humanely. I agree that children should get used to changing teachers: good preparation for life and all that. But not to note one leaving seems rather harsh.

    They say you can judge a culture by how it treats its dead.

    Maybe you can judge an institution by how it treats its leavers? Where I work now those who leave are treated well and we're encouraged to say goodbye and good luck.
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    In all the schools I have worked in, secondary, it has been up to the teacher to inform pupils when and how they choose to. You are a professional and can make that decision for your self. However in a primary school, I believe, it is more common to discuss this with the HT so that they can inform parents as well.
    If in doubt your line manager can advise you.
    I would always tell my form group and any exam groups first.
  7. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    Now Pomza, I think this is one area we should all agree with the troll-in-chief. After all, he or she probably has to deal with a LOT of staff leaving.
    lardylady, vannie, Alldone and 20 others like this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Indeed. Don't ask us. Ask school.

    I have to agree with the answers above though. Why would you tell them? What good will it do? The cynic in me is thinking along the lines of inviting more gifts on the last day. I don't see the point. What do you want? An outpouring of grief? A "but you're the best teacher ever" fest? They'll definitely say the latter even if it isn't true! That's just kids. You want a gold star?

    Leave it until lunch-time the last day or as they go out the door.
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    You will struggle to keep the secret. Schools are rumour mills and gossip factories. So as suggested ask the management and then move forward.
  10. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I’d ask your line manager, first. In my first few jobs it was always in the newsletter in good time, so that pupils and parents had chance to say thank-you if they wanted.

    However, in my one job no-one was allowed to tell anyone and the head would only inform relevant parents about a day before ‘to avoid disruption’...really, because so many people were leaving and they didn’t want to draw attention to it. (Yes, probably a similar position to he whom I will not give the time of day.)

    So parents and pupils...Ones who saw teachers as humans, not teaching machines...did not get the chance to say farewell. Sad.
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Last day is fine, or in the last week.

    I had a colleague at previous place who told the students five weeks before he left. All we got was a load of whinging about how they didn't want him to go, best teacher ever...

    ....and they'd forgotten him by the middle of January.

    Kids move on, and far quicker than people think.
    NikNak01, Curae, slstrong123 and 6 others like this.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Agree with post #9. Pupils usually find out, so be prepared!
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Nothing stopping you sobbing over your colleagues but .... how do I put this delicately? The kids are not your mates.
  14. teacher_new81

    teacher_new81 New commenter

    Wow, I love tools in a toolbox.

    Kids always find out, especially in secondary. They work out a scheduled interview lesson in a department, see a job advert, rumours spread of an office along a corridor being tied up.

    More importantly it's about the human side of the relationship you build up with your students, so yes they'll move on easily to their new teacher, but I would let them know on the last week (as a lot won't see you on the last day). Give them closure on their relationship with you, to let them move on to their next teacher more seamlessly.

    That is of course if you have a positive relationship (didn't say best-friend or chummy) with the students you have taught over the year(s).

    Enjoy your summer and your new school too.
  15. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    Yes it can be difficult to keep it a secret if people start turning up for job interviews and to teach sample lessons in your classroom.
    Of course if 'shh you know who' continues to have their way there won't be anyone who wants to go into teaching.
  16. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Has anyone suggested that they are? When a teacher has been at a setting for years and seen children grow up through school and community, it is nice to have the opportunity to say thanks and farewell, when the teacher leaves.

    Also, it is important to prepare some pupils for change...obviously not months or even weeks in advance.
  17. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    They're not leaving they are being 'transitioned'
    lardylady, vannie, MissGeorgi and 5 others like this.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Change? It's the end of the summer term! Everything changes for September! They know that. Any preparation has already been done. The primary kids have met their new class teacher unless it's a complete newcomer to the school. Secondary kids know what their timetable is.

    OK, tell them the day before you leave then. As a parent I'd see it as a blatant bid for gifts. I know parents try to outdo each other. Even my silly daughter feels pressured into it and she hasn't two ha'pennies to rub together but still does the gifts to grandkids' teachers nonsense! If the parents want to send a note or a card then they can. But don't give any more notice than that. I think it's unseemly and unfair to poorer parents whose kids will pester them.

    It feeds into the "teacher as superhero" narrative. Which I detest. If a parent genuinely values you then they'd probably want to thank you at the year's end anyway.
  19. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I’m primary and not a class teacher.
  20. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I think it’s a known fact among parents as another teacher told a parent volunteer as they directly asked me and I refused to confirm or deny it. This parent is known to be someone who likes to chat.

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