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wanting to leave at christmas

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by aubinwales, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Sometimes there are very compelling reason to leave. Health and the health of your children, danger in terms of violent crime and many other serious reasons. It is awful to feel that you are letting down children but if you are in the midst of a very tortured decision like that, being derided on here could really tip you over the edge emotionally. That's what I reckon anyways.

    I definitely would not advise you to leave without telling them though imitation. You will cause a whole heap of problems and regardless of whether you feel justified or not; you will feel like *** afterwards I should imagine. Bite the bullet and tell them now.
  2. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Yasimum, I know that you are one of those who had a disappointing shock, to say the least, when you moved offshore.
    But I also know that you 'toughed it out' and finished the game like the great Ricky Ponting, spitting out blood and ready for the next challenge.
    There is not yet evidence that 'imitation' went through anything more than the 'stress' that is an everyday factor for all of us who deliberately change countries and then continue to help bring up other people's kids in a complicated world.
    Merry Christmas, and sunny happiness to you, your daughter, and Yasidad.
  3. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    You know what though SMT dude, if I had my time over again I would have left much earlier. The ramifications we have undegone since our foray into O/S teaching have been so devastating that not even retaining my professional 'honour' was anywhere near worth it. (Vision and hearing have been affected, constant pain and still not working full-time as well as the breakdown of relationships and financial hardship. My daughter is still visiting a very expensive endodontist to try to reopen root canals that were collapsed with the mistreatment they received over there and she was just lucky that she wasn't exposed to other far worse repercussions.)
    I understand where you are coming from but in the end your emotional welfare and that of your family must come first. Maybe imitation is just not up to the job but on the other hand perhaps there are things h/she is not disclosing on here. It is really hard to say I can't do it. I know how I felt is all so just in case it is a similar situation I think there needs to be an open ear. no matter what the situation though, it is better, if you can, to tell your school and at least give them a fighting chance to replace you and give your students a fighting chance at retaining some cohesion in their studies.
    A very merry Christmas to you and your family as well SMT dude. Hope you have a relaxing break and a very happy 2010. The new year has be a better one for us; that is what I am counting on.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have witnessed outrageous bullying by smt which is intended purely to make people miserable. They undermine teachers in front of pupils, give screaming boll***ings for incredibly minor issues, turn up for imprmptu lesson observations etc.... All carefully designed to intimidate and belittle weak individuals who suffer in silence, become ill and withdrawn. I have witnessed this in all schools I have worked in. To say that the teachers should just put up with this because of a duty to the children is a nonsense.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    oh, and merry xmas smtdude
  6. And yet they would never dare to pick on staff who might actually have a go back.
    The real essence of bullying; only pick on those you know are considerably weaker than you. Nasty stuff.
    'turn up for impromptu lesson observations etc....'
    I've always thought this was how it was meant to be.....

  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I've followed this thread with great interest while hitherto remaining uncharacteristically silent. It's hard to take the moral high ground when you've stood in both sets of shoes.
    All my overseas posts have been at SMT level but normally with a significant classroom commitment. On one occasion when I parted brass rags with my maddeningly interfering employers a colleague who remained at the school described my abandoned HL group as feeling 'bereft'. The collateral damage was considerable. Mrs M wasn't in dispute with the bosses and was doing valuable work with the Giles children but her job inevitably went down the same swannee. Worse than that, the employers then targeted any teacher who was perceived to have been loyal to the ancien regime.
    I wouldn't presume to judge 'imitation' (see 'maddeningly' above) but in twenty or so years as a fairly (some say 'over') conscientious headteacher with reasonable staff relations I've had a couple of teachers bale out without notice. In many 'overseas' situations they are impossible to replace adequately for several weeks and the children's schooling inevitably suffers.
    With hindsight (and I'm talking about my own decision, not anybody else's) I would have climbed down off my high horse, given due notice and toughed it out to the end of the contract, as indeed I did in another context. ¿Pero quien soy yo?
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have just found out that one of our smt has announced that he has found another job and wont be returning after christmas.

    He is absolutely NOT the subject of bullying he just found a better job.

    I find his decision deplorable.
  9. grandslam2005

    grandslam2005 New commenter

    I have followed this thread with a great deal of interest as in my previous position last year as a member of SMT we had numerous staff who did 'runners' and did not tell us they were doing so. The impact on students and remaining staff was immense and caused a great deal of disruption. However, the one member of staff who had the decency to hand in his notice as he had secured another post was treated appallingly by administration.

    As other posters have said what is it exactly that is making things so stressful? Is it unacceptable working conditions, poor handling of staff queries/complaints by management over accommodation, pay, etc or is the general culture and lifestyle of the country you are in.

    My last point would be (however idealistic) how would you feel if you received an email over the vacation from your school telling you not to to bother coming back despite you being happy there?
  10. I have also watched this thread with interest. I work with someone and have asked permission to tell this tale. I have tried to persuade my collegue to go public with this story, but, well they have their own reasons for holding back. I will call my colleague Spud.
    Spud went to London for the second stage of the interview process for a HOD position and was given all sorts of promises about pay, conditions etc. Spud accepted the job, which was to start after Easter. Spud left dependant spouse and school aged child at home: they would come with Spud after summer hols for September start.
    When Spud arrived at the illustrious 'British' establishment, all was not as had been promised. Accomodation was poor, transport was a joke, the usual overseas sob story. There were only 6 other British staff at the place.(3 couples) Duing the last week of term, one of the Brits jumped ship.Literally ran away over night. This person was accused of theft by the employer. Spud didn't know who to believe.
    Term ended, Spud went home and returned in September with partner and child. One of the other couples had failed to return. Existing other couple were not happy. Spud tried to get on with job. Contract signed, all Spud wanted was to do a good job.
    At half term, the remaining couple went home, never to return. Spud was called in for questioning. If course you knew they were going to run away! Spud, partner and child were watched like hawks. Their driver was questioned about their whereabouts every time they went shopping.
    They plotted to get out themselves, but in a boarding school, with the accomodation inside the campus, how would they get out with all their things? They used a friend from a nearby school, who surrepticiously took some of their stuff, so they could leave at Christmas with just one bag each. They were afraid.
    This is just the bare bones of this story. It also includes a catalogue of unprofessional nastiness, racism, and intimidation.
    For every feckless teacher who disappears for their own pathetic reasons, I would guess there is another teacher who is desperate, unhappy and in an intolerable situation. Spud survived. Yasimum is right. You and your family have to come first.
    PS: the staff who ran away were The Principal, Vice Principal and Head of Junior School. Now that has got to be the worst school ever in the History of the TES forum.
  11. Then perhaps we should all judge each case individually. Everybody here can see both sides to the argument.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    When Mrs Hippopotamus and I were teaching for two years at a certain school in Doha, the first headmaster lasted a week. It was claimed at the time that he left for "family reasons", when in reality he had had a big row with the owner of the school. The second principal, a very pleasant lady named Maureen, lasted one term. Another principal was just about to be appointed when he died. Is this a record in internationaleducation, I wonder?
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Probably not. The average tenure of 'overseas' principals is similar to that of RFC pilots in WW1. I sometimes smile wryly at comments on the forum about the despotic nature of headteachers, aware as I am that even some of the most level-headed and least volatile of that ilk have been on 'gardening leave'.
    As a variation on the theme, there was a school in southern Malaysia which not only went through Principals at an alarming rate but also changed its name every few months in the wake of successive bankruptcies. This was because the (personally bankrupt) owner was milking the income to fund his extravagant lifestyle. One of his ploys was to pocket the teachers' PAYE deductions (i.e. not hand them over to Inland Revenue) then steal their final salaries to pay off the tax debt.
  14. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    On the original issue - many teachers new to overseas teaching feel out of sorts or down just about November time. Some people use that as a motivator to look for a different position or do a runner.
    Recruiting in December/January for an immediate start is almost impossible - and therefore the workload of existing staff goes up and teaching is disrupted. I think that if at all possible you should stick to the end of the year and give plently of notice - that way the school has a chance to find a decent replacement.
    If you really feel that you need to go - have you addressed these issues before with administration? If you have and got no results, then do the decent thing and tell them now, so at least they have 3 weeks or so to plan.
  15. I agree with the time of year issue. I actually wrote a letter of resignation at the beginning of November, a few years ago. However, I was persuaded to stay at the school and went on to complete my two years. I appreciate that many places would not have treated me so well after saying that I would be leaving, but in my particluar case, some of the reasons for my wanting to go were actually dealt with by the Head.
    As for the record turnover of Principals, I worked in a place which had had 7 Principals in 4 years, which is a bit scary.
    As mentioned above, each case has to be judged on its own merits. Whilst SMT dude is no doubt a fair and kind manager, I have known many nasty, bullying ones in my time. As Pharoah said, some teachers are treated badly when other teachers are not challenged over anything, even when they should be.
    Many teachers do not 'do thing right thing' and resign because they know that they will be stuffed financially if they do.Doing the decent thing works both ways. If International Schools do the decent thing by their staff, then this issue shouldn't arise.

  16. uncertain39

    uncertain39 New commenter

    And we thought our school was excessive with four principal in two years!!!!
  17. At least give us a hint as to which school you're at Imitation1 (after you've received your final salary, landed at Heathrow and have sent off that email). Some of us are desperately looking for a January start job!
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Stopwatch has a fair and balanced view of things, in my opinion. Yes, it is a bit awkward when a member of staff leaves at Christmas, but often it is not quite so impossible to replace him or her as some posters have suggested.
    Something that many posters have not commented on is that, on the whole, singletons are probably more likely to do a runner than married folk. In my experience, single teachers (whether male or female) find it very difficult to cope when there is some kind of problem or pressure at school and at the same time there is some bad news from home re. granny, the cat, the boyfriend or whatever.
  19. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    It only remains, then, to wish imitation1 well for the future whatever happens.
    S/he is after all human and a colleague, at least until such time as s/he gets promoted to management.
    Let's also hope s/he finds time to tell us about the eventual decision.
    And if that decision was to book a flight, tell nobody and just vanish... then let us also hope that the getaway plan did not rely on British Airways.
  20. brigelle

    brigelle New commenter

    It seems you have changed your views about Imitation 1......a little while ago you were
    saying very unkind things to and about him/her.

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