Read on if you're bored. SO, this year, a new head teacher graced us with his presence and smug outlook. Charming chap. I've been teaching at my "secondary school with a sixth form attached to it" for over 12 years and have been the HOD for 10 years now (for science). Around 5 years ago I also joined the SLT and focused on development of teaching and learning with a strong focus on progress. I think, on the whole, i've been successful. I created better dialogue among the school and developed the attainment of not only science but Maths and English, bringing greater focus of numeracy and literacy into lower school, improving teaching practises and setting a dialogue across many departments. So, the new head teacher seemed to have a serious problem with me being both HOD and being the SLT for T&L. His main concern was that "too many teachers had too many titles and did too little". Which is fair enough, i guess, but i certainly didn't do "little". But with me he seemed to have a serious personal problem, that's what seemed to radiate from him (not pulling the homophobia card). But he had a problem with my teaching style at A Level saying it was not age appropriate. This is was from a lesson on Muscle Contraction for A Level Biology where students had to use play doh to create a stop-motion style animation to model the Sliding Filament Theory. I thought this was a great, and lesson i've done many times before. Further, the students were willing to do this and enjoyed this!! But, alas, he didn't like this and other ideas i had - I apparently spend "too long consolidating and not enough time standing up and speaking". I'm a big believer in independence and metacognition and bring this to all lessons, significantly implementing the "retrieval effect" into teaching to help commit complex topics to memory - but apparently these would be better spent me lecturing at the front. So, one day my old "pal" here told me that i couldn't be both SLT and HOD (even though the head of Maths and English are also both of these). I was given an ultimatum essentially - one or the other. I understand perhaps why he didn't want a HOD for Science since we have a Head of Biology, Chemistry and Physics etc. but i believe having one overall arch brings together each department rather than having them operate in their own "chunks". The whole final half of the last year was stressful and i was facing this dichotomy. After speaking to a few others and the HT's PA, me becoming only SLT meant (looking at the provisional timetable), very little time teaching and more time on duty, more time running isolation etc. etc. Perhaps his goal is to try and drive all the SLTs away from teaching and more time doing paperwork and CPD training (which i again did enough of!). Perhaps i overeacted with everything and i just assumed the worst of this dude. But, i decided to take a year out, i guess. So i'm here. Typing away. My worry was, if the new GCSE science results totally flawed how my department would cope. But, we did well, and i think they'll do very well without me. So maybe it was better for me to step down as HOD and maybe i should just move on, somewhere else, and not return back. If you read all this, well done! You must be really bored! Anyway i just needed to get this off my chest.