to quit my job in this climate?

(146 Posts)
burntoutteacher Sun 12-May-13 15:21:05

Hi all

Need some MN wisdom, regular ( although not on AIBU), have namechanged as I dont want to out myself. This is more of a wwyd to be honest.

I am a secondary school teacher, been in job 8 years, at top of pay scale and also have extra responsibilities. However I am miserable. School are heaping more and more work on me, I rarely leave the building before 6, later some nights, then im back in front of my computer screen when dd is in bed. Admittedly some parts of the year are worse than others and I am currently in the middle of one of the crap parts (exam season), but I want to leave. Other things are swamping me about the job, increasing targets, incredible scrutiny from parents, heads, bloody Gove, Ofsted. There also feels to be a culture of kids being encouraged by pastoral leaders to complain about teachers and I have spent the last month defending myself against things I'm supposed to have said or done to upset xyz kid. Its exhausting and so damaging for the self esteem, I feel crap at my job in spite of gettting good results.
Heres the thing, I want out of teaching completely because I feel done with it. My DP is postively encouraging me to resign and said he will finanacially support me through a careeer change (socia work or OT) and although it would be tight, he could cover it. I can't help but feel though that it is madness to walk out of a well paying job without another one to go to, and one that lots of people would love to have. .
I'm in my mid 30's, one child and the idea of being a full time student while dp works his backside off feels so self indulgent to me. There is a deadline to resign coming up (31stMay) and I just cant write the letter. DP is getting increasingly frustrated with my indecisiveness and feels that I am being unreasonable not to take his offer but then complain about being unhappy.

AIBU? does anyone else think that it would be crazy to just leave and sort out a course/another job after I've left? my mum is climbing the walls btw, thinks im throwing everything away, which fills me with more doubt, that I am indeed..... 'throwing it all away'

scottishmummy Tue 14-May-13 22:29:16

ot and sw are high stress public sector jobs.big caseloads,targets,demanding role
if you're thinking of it try meet,shadow sw and realistic about their role
don't get misty eyed about any public sector career.vocationally fulfilling but v demanding and stressful

williaminajetfighter Tue 14-May-13 22:16:57

OP I'm not a teacher but having worked in advertising/marketing for 20 yrs can understand the stress pressure and long hours.

My advice really depends on the kind of person you are. If you're a risk taker just go for it and resign.

I'm much more of a 'planner' and indecisive to boot. I'd give myself another term, knowing I was counting down the days to resign and use that time to research options and save money.

If you did that in your last term you'll feel a weight lifted knowing that you're leaving but not feel that you've just jumped off without a paddle. I know if I resigned today I would panic if I didn't have a plan. I would try to stick it out for another term and you may feel much more prepared for the future when you do leave.

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 21:44:42

Sorry you just said there's plenty of work- that's looks really interesting!

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 21:43:42

Oh right, so it's a course I would have to teach as well as already having a PGCE? Wonder why that's necessary? Is there plenty of work around?

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:27:35

It's a course designed for adult teaching. I think you need PTLLS even if you have a PGCE.

Then there's CTTLS and DTLLS. It's all a bit confusing but there are plenty of jobs in adult tutoring, employee teaching, NEETS etc. And prison education.

If you look for education jobs on sites like Jobsite or Fish4jobs, this stuff comes up.

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 21:21:50

Kim thanks for the info. Is that course the same as a pgce? I also have a pgce in post compulsory education x

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:09:42

There's a course called PTTLS - which is the starter for teaching adults.
Less pressure - or a different pressure I suppose.

I did what you want to do 4 years ago. I was under a lot of stress at school. I had no one to support me financially but I had to get out or I would have had a breakdown. Unsupportive head, class from hell and no support. I was in tears everyday going to school.

Mentally, my health got better, But financially, well it's been very very hard. I do supply teaching and private tutoring but I worry about money a lot. I look a lot less stressed and have my weekends back.

I've looked at PTLLS and other forms of adult education. Financially, it's not good pay compared to teaching. You're looking at 18k - 20k. Better than nothing if you have the support of DH.

You said about getting back if you leave. It's hard - lots of qualified NQTS who are a lot cheaper than expensive main scale teachers. And the longer you are out....

Good luck with whatever you choose. I know what you are going through.

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 20:58:43

Hettie your post has really struck a chord with me. I think I'd like something 'inbetween'. I clicked on your link and though I'm way under qualified, I see where you're coming from and will give it a good look. ( I'd love to do something that had me moving around schools delivering sessions, changing scenes every day and kids appreciating the fresh face!wink


hettie Tue 14-May-13 20:16:30

is there something in between teaching and a completely different profession?.... So for example universities look for engagement workers to reach out to current 16-18 year olds .... or things like this. There are also of jobs in skills based teaching (for example working with unemployed/vulnerable adults....). Just trying to think maybe of some jobs were your teaching background is relevant rather than having to completely retrain..... Having just done it (not from teaching though).... it's a bloody hard slog and it sounds to me more like you are over teaching than into something else (ifykwim). To get through the slog of retraining it helps to be really passionate about the the 'new thing rather than just hating the old.....

Nenufar Tue 14-May-13 19:25:03

My DH made a drastic career change last year. He worked crazy hours and was bringing home a six figure salary. He deliberated for the best part of a year about whether to give it up and retrain to do something else that would be better for us as a family.

He got a graduate job retraining in a completely different field. I got a part-time job (I wasn't working before). We now earn 25k between us (before tax).

Our family life is a million times better. I don't miss the money one little bit.

Jestrin Tue 14-May-13 19:24:57

Then take that break, OP! Your DP is supporting you in your decision and considering all that has been said I think you should. I work in a school and see the pressure on the teachers. I'm not one, myself, but toyed with the idea but the politics, legislation and pressure made me realise it wasn't worth the effort and that was a very sad conclusion to make.

GoblinGranny Tue 14-May-13 19:22:44

I started off in a Middle school (9-13), but they're a bit thin on the ground.

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 19:20:53

Claig-thanks for the replies. Yeah I've heard that about primary as well, and I would have to retrain. You can't go from secondary to primary I don't think? ( might be wrong)
I do need a break. Of this I'm sure!

claig Tue 14-May-13 19:16:58

Is it?
This is a disaster. Why is teaching so bad?

GoblinGranny Tue 14-May-13 19:08:30

claig, primary is a nightmare too.

claig Tue 14-May-13 19:02:28

Could switching to primary be an option?
What about private schools? Is there less pressure and monitoring etc there?

I think you said you have been teaching for about 8 years, so your fears of being found out to be a fraud are unwarranted. Your confidence has been knocked and the situation is affecting your health and happiness. That is no good, and if there is no alternative, then I think you should resign and hope for the best in what happens next. Life and health are more important than a job that is doing your head in.

claig Tue 14-May-13 16:39:25

I think if it is affecting your health and well-being to such an extent, then yiu should resign and get out of it. But, I think you need to be prepared for teh fact that you may not be able to earn a similar amount again for quite a while. But get out if it is doing your head in.

ssd Tue 14-May-13 16:28:15

your name says it all, you need a break from teaching, full stop

just be honest with yourself and stop waffling

burntoutteacher Tue 14-May-13 16:08:14

Think I def won't be taking up social work ( though I was never considering child protection anyway, would have been interested in older adult).
Going back to my job in sept to start another term makes me feel so anxious. They have made massive changes to my dept from then which will massively impact on my work load. I know it seems bonkers to resign before having somewhere to go, ( and I know it's foolish) but I don't know if I could make myself go back. I'll also have to work all through the summer on the proposed changes.
Do you think another school will be reluctant to hire me if I've not come directly from another school?x

holidaysarenice Tue 14-May-13 15:26:57

I wouldn't reisgn until accepted to another course. Being a sw is hell for all the reasons you hate teaching. Scrutiny, compaints, defending urself, late nights. You will always be the bad guy. Without the holidays to recover.

SomethingOnce Tue 14-May-13 15:17:49

Pay attention at the back, Gove!

You see these intelligent, articulate, committed professionals on this thread, and the things they are saying? Can you see a theme?

[shakes head in despair]

MeNeedShoes Tue 14-May-13 11:42:42

Change schools before you change the job. The trouble is quite often it is other shit schools who have the high turnovers and vacancies - but it's worth a try.

burntoutteacher Mon 13-May-13 21:10:22

Ah claig, maybe you're right and I need to change my thought processes but there is honestly so many things wrong (IMO) about the way my current school operates that I just can't bear to work there any longer. I'm wondering if a lot of people are right about needing to simply change schools rather than retrain. I just feel, well 'burnt out' and want to run away from teaching altogether, but appreciate that it is probably stress making me feel this way.
With regards to a FE, I originally trained in FE and although I've never actually taken a job in it, I always assumed it was a very insecure place a to work in terms of contracts etc, but it's certainly good for thought. I used to be such a positive person and literally don't know who I am any more. I am definitely negative and I know that's how I'm viewed where I now work. A colleague once described me sarcastically to another colleague by saying : oh, she's just a little ray of sunshine' . The same teacher also told new staff to stay away from me because I was 'mad'.

I'm pretty sure that's how I come across with my long face all the time!


I would. Sounds exhausting and stressful.

sweetsoulsister Mon 13-May-13 21:04:15

I took the plunge burnoutteacher and life has never been better.

I felt just like you did - I would be self indulgent, it would be ridiculous to leave a career that should be a life long career, I should find another career before I left the first one, what if something happens to DP and he can't work and I'm not working...and the excuses went on. My husband had had enough of my excuses as well.

It took me two years of stress and pain (two years ago I was in year 8 of teaching as well!!) and finally I handed in my notice to finish at the Easter break. So I have been officially off for a few weeks, the stress lifted off my shoulders in waves, each day I felt better and better, my creativity came back, ideas started flowing, I started enjoying my home, my kids, my husband, my LIFE! Teaching these days is sucking the life out of us. It's wrong!

As a back up for my financial/future worries I signed up with a supply agency who have offered me a lot of work - none of which I've taken yet. I've been doing a few hours for a head teacher I know as a casual staff member and it's okay although I'm doing this more as a favour and would rather not be in a school environment at the moment.

but what I'm trying to say to you is that if you are that unhappy it is not the right place for you. I know how you are feeling and I know that it is hard, but if you have your husband there to support you financially and emotionally just write that bloody letter and get your life back because your family needs you, you need you, life needs you and although teaching is an admirable profession it is not our fault that it has come to this point. The more teachers who leave due to the unreasonable workload and pressures of the job will hopefully bring about the changes needed to allow us back into it with our sanity intact.

And that is my other point - we can always go back to it when we feel ready. In the meantime, trust yourself.

(I apologise if this message is a bit repetitive, after reading your initial post I jumped right in without reading any of the other messages.)

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