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What made you decide to leave teaching?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by toastandtea, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. toastandtea

    toastandtea New commenter

    I’ve been teaching 10 years now but am increasingly feeling it’s no longer the right job for me. I had a breakdown in 2015 and have never fully recovered to be honest. My confidence is at an all time low and to add further complication I have several chronic conditions which have flared up causing hospital admissions etc. I’ll nrver know if teaching caused these but I’m sure the stress didn’t help..
    what is it that caused you to make the decision to leave teaching and what is it that you do now? I’ve only ever taught so have absolutely no idea what other job I could do!
    Thanks for reading and grateful for any advice.
    pepper5 and DIPS1 like this.
  2. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Bad (really bad) pay in the 80s. Fancied doing something else in 2000s. Came back both times. Looking at moving on again now (early, just about, retirement).

    I think you are doing the right thing by considering a move out.

    Good luck.
    pepper5 and jlishman2158 like this.
  3. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Long term supply could be an option. Gives you a chance to shop around for a half decent school and also you can walk out the door at half three!

    Unfortunately once you're ten years in any move to a different job will most likely mean a pay cut.
    tonymars, pepper5 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  4. felicity5183

    felicity5183 Occasional commenter

    Constant scrutiny and criticism from those above. Not being given the freedom to actually teach. Poor behaviour from students exacerbated by the current exam reforms leaving the weaker students behind. Extremely poor leadership and verging on bullying SLT, I could go on......
    num3bers, tonymars, pepper5 and 9 others like this.
  5. Dawn_teacher

    Dawn_teacher New commenter

    An interesting one for me at the minute.

    I had decided to leave teaching and handed in resignation. Have an interview coming up for a job outside of teaching but now doubting myself and also applying for teaching jobs.
    Don't know whether to pull out of the interview for the other job or not.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Increasingly dictatorial senior leadership was why I left my long-term job of 20+ years.

    I left supply/temporary teaching in the state education sector a year short of early retirement age. The main reason was the way in which a retiring HoD had allowed his department to fall apart before he left, leaving me unsupported through an unfamilar GCSE course, ignored at KS3, a rubbish timetable and seriously tedious courses to teach, with the prospect of OFSTED turning up the following year. I decided to cut my losses and go early. My NQT successor lasted barely a year before quitting.

    I still work in the classroom, teaching, but as a self-employed visiting provider.
    tonymars, pepper5, DIPS1 and 3 others like this.
  7. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I have retired after 30 years so my situation is different to yours. Deciding on alternative career options may seem difficult at the moment but why not think back to your days at university. What careers did all the other graduates choose when they left?
    Without knowing your degree I cannot give you specific advice and options but there is a wealth of information available and if you simply google your degree title and career opportunities? I am sure lots of possibilities will appear.
    I imagine it can be scary changing careers, this is something that now effects more and more people as the 'job for life' notion disappears. Be positive try thinking not what you can do, but what would you like to do?
    Good luck.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Micro management.

    I'd spent from 1980 to 2013 being shown into the building and left to get on with it. That seemed to work OK. But 33 years after I started it was suddenly, "Why are you talking about that? That isn't what it says on your timetable."

    Er, you need to trust me to know what I'm doing. If I think they got bored or they'd finished something quickly and efficiently or we'd hit a snag that we weren't going to solve in the last 10 minutes? Then I'm going to use that time in a way I feel is going to reap most rewards. It could be a spot of yoga. It could be book-sharing. It could be logging on to BBC News. You have to credit me with the ability to now my students.

    But my manager couldn't do that and I wasn't going to be able to be inventive, innovative, creative, responsive so I bade the job farewell.
  9. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

  10. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    I was working 40 hours a week on a 0.7 contract. i needed more money so probably needed to go full time but I didn't want to work 60 hours a week.
    num3bers, bevdex, pepper5 and 7 others like this.
  11. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish Occasional commenter

  12. housesparrow

    housesparrow New commenter

    Constant scrutiny, the feeling that one "could always do better", watching an older member of staff being hounded out of the department and the final straw - being told exactly what kind of teaching method we were to use to teach our students - the overall impression that I was left with was I was not trusted to be the professional that I had trained to be.
  13. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    The toxic environment created by members of staff and students. Constantly being pitted with younger members of staff is another reason. I also don't favour what seems to be a marxist infested agenda that has crept into schools and curriculum.
    num3bers, pepper5 and moose2 like this.
  14. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    Oh no you can't. If you're on long term supply, you will more than likely be forced to do everything that teachers do but at a fraction of the pay, not to mention you being the dumping ground for all the problems students.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    OK, not long-term. A week here and there. Or daily supply.

    But just be prepared to put your foot down and say no to things. Mark the work and get out. If they don't like it? Well, let them ask the supply agency for someone else. There aren't that many supply teachers out there who'll turn up on time and just get on with it.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  16. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    No, go for the interview. There’s a whole shiny world of 36hr jobs out there!
  17. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    In my experience on long term supply you get to dodge the cpd meetings and parents evenings (always a bonus). Plus the school tend to need you more than you need them so people tend to be a lot nicer to you! I've been doing long term at various schools for nearly 3 years. Always leave on time and it's never been an issue.
    pepper5 and renegade29 like this.
  18. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    Many things.

    The never ending scrutiny was one of the worst things. Having SLT drop in at any moment and criticise everything you're doing is pretty hard to stomach.

    I always worked in 'difficult' schools. Hence, the likelihood of the kids being badly behaved during a walk-in were relatively high.

    I had a lot of bottom sets, I preferred those guys. Always had a soft spot for the naughty ones and (most times) had positive relationships with them.... though almost without exception, their books were ****.... which was obviously my fault.

    Worse than all of this though, is the data.

    My HoF came in and graded a lesson. It was 'good', he said, 'but there's elements that can be improved on'.
    He then reached into his folder and brought out printouts of data collections and spreadsheets tracking this, that and everything else.
    It was a turning point for me. Obviously, being an active trade union official I'm more than aware of the target/data obsession plaguing our schools, but never was it so apparent and personal than when being confronted with reams of paper by a HoF that's trying to show you how to 'improve' when the guy didn't know the name of a single kid in the class.

    Never mind that I'd spent four years forming a relationship of mutual respect with these guys, never mind that there hadn't been a fight amongst them for 2 years, never mind that they now knew who the prime minister was, never mind that they had a more balanced view on immigration or had learned critical evaluation skills or had learned how to work in a group or had learnt about the physical world around them or had learnt to trust an adult or had, Dog forbid -- actually enjoyed science lessons.... the important thing, of course, was their levels of progress from their (dare I say, inflated?) KS2 Sats results.

    I'd been 'doing it for the kids' for a long time.
    Unfortunately, there's only so much time you can do that for.
    I was starting to wonder if I was the only human in a muppet show.... then being outnumbered as we moved into an academy chain, teachers being replaced by robotic, homework setting, standardised-rule-following, progress-obsessed young 'professionals', I started to thing I was the muppet.
  19. geraldbeattie

    geraldbeattie New commenter

    I like the phrase,
    "I was starting to wonder if I was the only human in a muppet show", seems to sum up beautifully what is going on in education.
  20. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I was following policies to the letter and then being told I was unprofessional.
    Utterly vile comments and questions following a miscarriage.

    I'm now working for the NHS. Fewer hours at the moment, but my pay per hour is at least as good.

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