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Time to go?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by thegeologist, May 17, 2016.

  1. thegeologist

    thegeologist Occasional commenter

    I have worked full-time in a challenging academy in a deprived area, then moved to a Sixth-Form college which was great, but the cuts to funding have had huge impacts on this organisation and my promotion was removed for financial reasons, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth. I handed my notice in and massively regretted it as I made a 'career' based move to a RI secondary which seemed like a great idea at the time. Unfortunately, this was a nightmare, I was anxious stressed and thankfully left after a term. I was crushed with anxiety and depression caused by pressure and workload and for those of you who have suffered the night sweats, suicidal thoughts, tremors and just the inability to function you will note that they don't just disapeer. I moved back to the challenging academy who were pleased to have me back just over a year ago. However, the anxiety eased but still comes back. But, after a bad set of results the head has been forced to leave and he is a great leader.

    I considered quitting but I could not bring my self to do it as I was scared about getting further employment and I feel trapped as a teacher, I'd love to leave but I want to have a career rather than just a job. I am good at my current role and I am regularly seen as someone who shows best practice in the department. But, our academy chain is about to adopt another well known academy chains policies which are high pressured and we will have things very much directed to us. I am fed up with the workload and just want a bit more of a life on weekdays. I am miserable and terrified about what is to come.

    Advice would be great
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Independent school?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You have a series of options. Here are just some.

    Option 1 Going Indy, as @sabrinakat suggests. The pressures are different, and more manageable I think.

    Working in the Independent Sector I have included here links that may not be relevant to you, for the benefit of other posters.

    An overview of the Independent sector

    Independent Sector FAQs

    How much will I earn in the independent sector?

    Moving from state to independent

    Teachers talk about what it's like working in one Indy School

    Doing NQT induction in an independent school

    Option 2 Going back to a SFC. I was a VP in a SFC, and it was a good environment

    Option 3 Going FE. This may turn out to be pressurised from the financial point of view as they can tend to have non-permanent staff

    Option 4 Going out

    Possible other careers

    You could try contacting the National Careers Service for advice too.

    But what you can't do is work yourself into the ground with worry and stress. :(

    Best wishes

  4. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    People mentioned independent schools to me - but i figured you'd still have a lot of the same stresses/workload to an extent. You'd have different pressures maybe from parents too? (Ive not worked in an independent so cannot claim to know).

    It sounds like you have already made a decision though - about your current position. If the thought of what to come in September is already terrifying and miserable, then you will be worried about it right over summer and may spend the autumn term wishing you had handed in your resignation already. You would go into a new term already anxious/worried/dreading it. The Autumn term is always long too. Worse comes to worst - could you do supply?

    For the time being, I have just decided to bite the bullet and try something else. What is anyones guess at the moment. Although I don't fancy retail again. Got that teeshirt. Supply is my back up plan. I did go back to careers advice at my old uni - which opened my eyes a bit to possibilities beyond teaching. Could you go back and ask? My uni are still happy to cater and look after their alumni.

    I might end up going back eventually - but then I might find i like having a life again!

    Good luck making a decision though :)
  5. thegeologist

    thegeologist Occasional commenter

    @TheoGriff @sabrinakat thanks for your responses, I will certainly look at FE. Unfortunately I live in South Yorkshire and it is not known for having many independent schools. There are so many things I love about teaching but not the workload and not having a life.
    thethiefoftime likes this.
  6. thegeologist

    thegeologist Occasional commenter

    @StressedOutMiss how long had you been teaching for before deciding to move on?
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    In addition to all the innate stresses of teaching in academies, is that of realising that the managements of some of them are not only ruthless but unscrupulous and dishonest to the point of criminality. It is one thing to have your health and sanity put in jeopardy by your school but quite another if that extends to your reputation and liberty. At my last school, our eyes were opening when the SMT tried to traduce someone and get away with it, even though the police dismissed the allegations as false.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    An academy is a business. It is run on business lines.

    FE? If you can cope on £16 per hour and few employment rights.

    Stay put. Make sure you're in a union. Scale back on the work. Be judicious about what you're going to skimp on and accept the fact that you may get some flak. But be informed and stand up for yourself if that happens.

    Get the life you want and compromise on schoolwork. It'll be hard but it's hard feeling the way you do now.

    At least this way you wrest some control back.
    StressedOutMiss likes this.
  9. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    Three years - I need to get out while i have some sanity left, not too many monetary responsibilities and not too high up pay scale wise. Not long i know - but there was a feeling of relief handing in notice. Ive not completely ruled out teaching in the future in some way shape or form but for time being - i want to try something else. A lass i trained with has done the same and works for the police now.

    WRS opened my eyes to what i had been neglecting too (family and friends, myself etc). Since handing in notice all my friends have noticed a difference in me.
    thethiefoftime likes this.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    having made the mistake of moving to a dire school to lead a department, I can only sympathise with anyone destroyed by bad management and even worse behaviour management. I found a way back but it took five years and cost me something like £75,000 in lost earnings. Read Griff's advice, it is consistently realistic and excellent.
  11. And100

    And100 New commenter

    Everyone says 'go indy' but I have to say that my experience of that hasn't been the answer to my prayers. The perks are amazing, the money is good the class sizes go up to 22. The ethos is just plain wrong. I teach In the Early Years and am violently opposed to hot housing young children. Too formal, too soon isn't funny or clever. In my school SMT think that all children are capable of by-passing the syllabus for the chronological age and are able to follow next years curriculum. This decision is based on the fact that their parents can afford to pay the fees. Year after year I've watched 4 and 5 year old children struggle and fail to meet these ridiculous expectations. It's not them, it's us. It's not something I can be a part of anymore. There are pros and cons to everything and I won't go on anymore about the latter. I think that things are better in other year groups. I suspect things are more developmentally appropriate as the children reach junior and secondary levels.
    Good luck
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  12. thegeologist

    thegeologist Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all your posts, they have been very helpful and certainly have given me things to think about.

    Unfortunately I have not taken the plunge due to a number of reasons such as wanting to have a bit more time to work out exactly what I want to do, fear of the unknown, parter not having a permanent and I want to see if things get worse or better under the new head. I do intend to have left the profession summer next year at the very latest.

    But, I have drawn a line in the sand and I have set myself a few things in stone for the next academic year.

    -Give the 'new approach' the academy is taking a chance, not to be just negative about it, but if it is horrible leave at christmas.
    -Do more to improve my own mental health without medication
    -Not work beyond certain reasonable hours unless exceptional circumstances require so such as Ofsted, parents evening etc.
    -Realise that a ticking off for not having everything perfect is an acceptable price to pay
    -Not volunteering for extra things unless there is something given in return.
    -I will not strive for perfection
    -I will not reinvent the wheel, I will use what I have already or download resources
    -If I become unwell with stress, to admit it to myself and take time off
    -Play sport on a week night
    -Watch my local football team when I wish
    -Challenge unreasonable practise with unions
    -Don't be afraid to give my notice or even ask for early release from my contract.

    I will use the summer break to get some suitable work experience and investigate further career choices and decide on where I want to head.
    I have a few plans already;

    Plan A
    Go part-time, either on supply or at my current school and study two days a week for a part-time masters.

    Plan B
    Return to industry (geology) if I can and give myself breathing space to think what I am going to do.

    Plan C
    Get a non-related job and give myself some time to think what I want to do, can always top up with tutoring and exam marking.

    Hopefully somewhere along the lines I will be able to leave profession, but leave it on my terms and not as some huge disaster!

    Wish me luck
    Moony likes this.
  13. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    That sounds like you've very much got your house in order, and I really do hope that you can stick to your guns about the things you've said as we all know that some times that can be tough.

    I'm actually using supply teaching to allow me to work on some more quals so that I can do something similar to your plan B, and it's not too far off as I'm a geologist too :) If you feel like chatting about what I've been doing please feel free to PM me, also please feel free to PM me if you wish to squee about rocks and all things geological :)

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