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When to tell your students you are leaving?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by mrGundam, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    Morning all,

    I am leaving the secondary school I have worked in for 2 years at the end of term and was wondering when you have decided to let them know? As of yet I have kept it under wraps.

    It is not as if I think they will be up in arms so to speak but I know my tutor group will find it upsetting and a lower ability BTEC group seem to have taken to my approach to teaching them. I did not tell my year 11's who have now left as I know many of them have siblings in the lower school which was a bit of a shame.

    Reason I have not told them at the moment is to try and avoid any behaviour changes in the students mainly in my tutor group.

  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It all depends how gossipy your colleagues (and others who might know, like parent governors or support staff) are. Once a significant number know, someone will 'leak' (esp. when there is an interview day, usually with test lessons in your subject).

    I left a few schools :), and usually told my classes around now/end of June as far as I remember.
    Navygal and mrGundam like this.
  3. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    On a bit of a side note, how do I stop having to have every single forum comment wait for moderation?
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm sure we've discussed just this problem quite recently. I'll have a look later to find a link- or you could try one yourself, but generally I think in the last couple of weeks before the end of term - depending on when you break up, is more than enough.
    CheeseMongler likes this.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Not a big deal. The last week or two of term is sensible, provided nobody else is going to tell them. It is better coming from you than somebody else, but a colleague might take it upon themselves to blab. If you have a good relationship with a group, then they should not start to misbehave. For what it is worth, when I was going to retire I told my Year 11s before exams, and then everybody else. It didn't cause any problems.
    mrGundam and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Wait until one of your students does something wrong, such as a simple spelling mistake, and then go ballistic at them... "That's it, I've had enough of you lot and I'm leaving. You'll have to put up with a new teacher next year." May traumatise one student, but they'll at least learn their spellings...
    More useful advice on this thread
    CDower, blueskydreaming and mrGundam like this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

  8. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    Thank you all, I will leave it until the last week I think.

    I am already dreading the 'good bye' SLT tend to put on for leaving staff. If I had it my way I would not have to walk to the front of the staff room under a round of applause from staff I don't even know half of their names (large school) and deliver some sanitised speech about how good the school is. Not that I dislike the school, I just find the whole thing so cringey and unnecessary. Much rather say goodbye to department and slip out the back gate so to speak.

    I contemplated emailing the head and requesting not to do such for me but no way of requesting this without seeming rude / arrogant.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    This will be very much school dependent. Some schools prefer staff not to tell students at all.

    I’m a deputy head at a free school and we don’t allow staff to tell students they’re leaving. This is because we believe in a seamless flow system from class to class and year to year.

    We believe children should have the same experience across the school and not see any difference regardless of who the teacher is. Effectively, the teacher should blend into the background so that pupils can take advantage of the independent learning and skill development opportunities the teacher or learning journey facilitator provides.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    You don't have to do this if you don't want to. Just tell your line manager. If he/she doesn't say 'that's fine', just make sure you aren't in the staffroom at the time the event happens...
    FScienceTeach, Pomza and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Indeed often staff suddenly get called away or have to 'attend to some matter' around the time.
    Pomza likes this.
  12. Navygal

    Navygal New commenter

    I'm in the same situation and the news was accidently let slip by another member of staff; not maliciously it really was an accident! Anyway, a few students have started to ask me and I'm just trueful with them. It makes it easier that we are doing a family move some 300 miles away and they don't think I'm a traitor by going to another nearby school!
    We have an end of year celebration/prize giving 2 weeks before the end of term so I will make a form announcement then just in case the rumour/ gossip mill hasn't reached some students.

    As for the staff thing, I received an email from the head earlier this week asking if I wanted the whole announcement thing or if i'd just like to slip away. I'm sure they will be fine if you approach them, possibly grateful if there is a whole clutch of you leaving!
    Good Luck.
    mrGundam likes this.
  13. teachtronic

    teachtronic New commenter

    i totally feel the same way, find goodbyes very awkward and would much rather quietly disappear!
    mrGundam and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. ChumChumz

    ChumChumz New commenter

    I have planned to tell me lot two weeks before i leave. That means they have enough time to get me a leaving present ;-)
  15. VictoryBell

    VictoryBell New commenter

    I got a new job in January but don’t start until Sept. My plan was to leave it as late as possible before telling students but another staff member let slip by accident in FEBRUARY!
    Thankfully I have great relationships with my students and behaviour hasn’t slipped. It’s going to be sad to leave.
    FScienceTeach likes this.
  16. FScienceTeach

    FScienceTeach New commenter

    I've posted elsewhere about this too.
    I'm leaving after 5 years and moving to a school much closer. It's a pretty straightforward reason and thankfully my students have all understood.
    I was put in a strange situation by an SLT who asked me tell my form a few days before I left at the end of the year. We've never had a policy or understanding about how/when to tell kids we are leaving, so this came as a surprise mid-June since I knew previous colleagues told kids way sooner. I pointed this out to SLT member, but they wouldn't budge. 2 weeks ago pretty much all my classes found out from their teachers that I was leaving. My form heard the rumours but since it didn't come from me, they ignored it. Imagine their horror when I finally told them last Friday.
    There were many tears, from me and them. Frankly it's a ****-take and ignorant of us and our journeys through the years. Colleagues may claim it's better to find out now rather than sooner, but I'd say our mental wellbeing deserves more time to cope with the loss and change. What works for one/some, doesn't work for all.
    You'd think being in the teaching profession we'd all know that!

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