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To leave my professional career for a low paid job?

(186 Posts)
raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:39:26

I'm a teacher. Been teaching for 8 years, I'm a Headnof department for a small dept in secondary school.

I have bipolar disorder, diagnosed two years ago an have just had my second dc. As a family we have had a rough few months, I've been in a mother and baby unit and dd has been ill. I cannot face going back to work. Teaching just doesn't seem doable anymore. I can go back 4 days, but nothing less. I can't move schools as I am too expensive, and not many local jobs.

I am so exhausted with the job. I have been made aware of a job in a local charity. Two days a week, much lower salary etc. however after childcare costs etc we wouldn't be much worse off.

Has anyone done this?

If you can still manage financially, and do think a bit about what happens if the car breaks down or the boiler goes boom or you need a new washer etc, then go for it!
Your children will benefit more by having a mother who is coping and happy and able to function and look after them, spend time with them, and basically manage than from any amount of material things.
Children don't care about things half as much as people think, they don't need holidays abroad and the latest gadget at the expense of your health and well being.
Teaching is very stressful, and you sound like you've had such a lot on your plate recently, it could well be time to do something for you, and just slow down a little, reduce the stress as you can, and get a life back.
If I was you, I would do it!

LaCiccolina Fri 18-Jan-13 20:48:42

Honestly? Ur an adult. U might have some personal situations but u sound generally capable! Of course u can change jobs!

In my 10yrs experience of office jobs I definitely learnt that when u reach the point of wishing u didn't have to get up in the morning u must make a change. I've never once regretted it. U regret chances not taken, not chances u take. Try it. Need extra money? Maybe private tutor on the side?

Could be the start of a great new future. I think go for it

Zoomania Fri 18-Jan-13 20:50:09

Go for it! Life is too short to waste on a job that makes you unhappy by adding to your stress. Enjoy the extra time with your DC. You can pick up yor career again when they are older if that is what you want. However I understand the courage it takes to make a move like that. I often wish I could do the same but am too much of a coward!

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:14

Are you the lady that posts most Friday nights with the same question?

McNewPants2013 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:52:13

After reading another thread could you cover teachers when they do the 1/2 day training thing per week.

Winternight Fri 18-Jan-13 20:53:40

Yanbu. Give it up. Teaching is tough if your hearts not in it, plus Middle management is stressful.
Enjoy your life.

DisAstrophe Fri 18-Jan-13 20:54:21

Doesn't sound like you have much choice. you have to leave your job before it all fall apart anyway. Better to have a lower paid job than no job at all and damaged mental health

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:56:00

PPA works differently on secondary and doesn't require cover. I don't think I've asked this before?

I think the sign came when I recently broke my foot and realised the cast would be off in time for return to work. I kept thinking if only is done something more serious I wouldn't have to go to work. That isn't right.

Most of my teacher friends think I should consider the pension etc.

Winternight Fri 18-Jan-13 21:09:28

The pension we will be teaching until age 68 to get? Fuck that. Put your mental and emotional well being first.

HawthornLantern England Fri 18-Jan-13 21:14:21

My parents were teachers and both said that if it was the right job for you they could imagine none better - but that if it wasn't then it could crucify you. As you are a head of department it sounds as if you are a cracking teacher - you would not have had the dedication to make that far otherwise.

But at the moment it doesn't look as if it is the right job for you and I think you are right to be listening to the alarm bells ringing in your head.

But - and at the risk of sounding as if I'm glued to the fence - pension savings are important too. Not necessarily more important than everything else but important enough that I'd be inclined to get advice on how you stand and how you might be able to compensate for changing your profession - even if you just decide to take a few years out of the classroom.

Wishing you all the best

slambang Fri 18-Jan-13 21:17:58

I went from teaching to working in a charity and got my life back. The money's crap, there's no job security (funding is from project to project and tighter with every bid), not much pension to speak of but I've never regretted it.

Don't quit your job until you have an alternative job offer though. Charity work (as with everything) is very competitive at the moment.

emsyj Fri 18-Jan-13 21:20:12

I gave up being a lawyer to take a job in the civil service paying just over one quarter of what I used to earn. It will be around one-fifth of my previous earnings when I go part time after my upcoming maternity leave. It's stress-free, I work with nice people, nobody expects me to work evenings or weekends, I have gone from wishing that I could be hospitalised with a fairly serious but non-life threatening illness just to escape and paying £400 a session for therapy to work out why I was so miserable to actually really not minding going to work in the morning.

Just do it. My DSis gave up teaching due to stress and she now works in Marks & Spencer part time - she's like a different person.

badtemperedaldbitch Fri 18-Jan-13 21:21:06

I was a hr manager and hated it every day

Now I'm a childminder and I love it!

SandStorm Fri 18-Jan-13 21:23:28

Life is too short to be unhappy. If you can do and you want to do it then go for it.

CremeEggThief Brazil Fri 18-Jan-13 21:25:55

I would say go for it too. I'm a qualified primary teacher who's been a SAHP, with the very occasional day of supply, for nearly two years. I'm now thinking of going back to work, as a T.A.

Sal100 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:26:41

I did it. I was an accountant. After having my kids I did a course in childcare and do bank creshe work. Some weeks I am working a few hours every day, and some weeks I work a few hours 1 day a week on minimum wage. Fits in with school holidays and I absolutly love it. :D All the extra money is a bonus as I wasnt earning anything as a SAHM whilst the kids were babies.

As long as you have worked out your finances and can live on a lower wage (taking into account your emotional wellbeing) go for it.

Yakshemash Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:33

I left teaching. I was a HoD. Best thing I ever did.

kilmuir Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:58

You can be a professional and be on a low wage.
You have one life, chose the option that is best for you .
Best of luck

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 18-Jan-13 21:29:19

Go for it. Against just about all advice, a couple of years ago I dropped a grade at work and reduced my hours. It hasn't been easy particularly as they keep trying to get me to do my old job on my new salary hmm but the feeling of being genuinely p/t is brilliant and being able to leave on time and not take work home and worry all the time was well worth the change.

Schooldidi Fri 18-Jan-13 21:32:43

If you can manage on the salary drop, even with a bit of belt tightening then go for it.

I had a few months when I was in my second year of teaching where I was thinking about crashing my car so I could avoid work. I changed jobs. I moved to another school but I had in my head that if I wasn't happier by Christmas I would leave teaching comletely and do something else, anything else. Luckily for me the new school was right and I love my job now, but if it hadn't been I would have taken anything just to get out.

Teaching isn't an easy job if you have other issues going on in your life. It sounds like you really do need a break.

VicarInaTutu Fri 18-Jan-13 21:33:13

this is interesting reading for me. im currently a police officer but im really struggling with depression, and only since i started the job. in all honesty i dont want to go back either.

i started volunteering at a local livery yard and i much prefer it....i think its spurred me into looking at my options.

DH says i should look
the gp told me to wait so i know its not just my depression talking but i only got depressed since starting this flaming god awful job.

exoticfruits Fri 18-Jan-13 21:35:54

Lots do it.For example lots of teachers work as TAs to get a life. I would go for it. You can always get back into teaching.

Charmingbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 21:43:31

I'm curious as to why you can't do less than 4 days. I was initially told I couldn't return part time to my teaching job by my head but once I made it (politely) clear I would take it up with governors it wasn't a problem. I may have only halved my hours, but my stress levels are down by 90% and previously never ending teachers to do lid is no longer constantly hovering over me.
If there is still a part of you that enjoys the job try and find hours that suit you ( getting rid of management post frees up even more time and stress). If however you don't want to be in the classroom anymore you need to get out,
Don't forget you can always look into tutoring if you ever need any extra cash. A few part time teachers aty DS1s secondary privately tutor SN children in the afternoon whilst their own DCs are at school,

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 21:46:15

I can't do less than 4 days and keep my management. I can't drop management because I was employed as that job and there is no one to take on the head of dept job. I have asked, I asked after my last maternity leave.

Charmingbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 21:48:39

Have you formally requested it with the governors? Ultimately it is their decision.

ArthurandGeorge Fri 18-Jan-13 21:49:34

Make the change now when you have the opportunity.

I often think that people don't really take mental health problems seriously enough. If you had had a heart attack and your current job meant that you had to run until you got chest pain you wouldn't think twice about leaving.

ArthurandGeorge Fri 18-Jan-13 21:50:23

Sorry, not meaning that you personally aren't asking my problems seriously enough OP. I mean society in general.

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 21:52:11

At my school it isn't with the governors, it is what the head wants. The head has been known to give people 0.8 over 5 days.

raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 21:53:02

What I mean is part time requests get a cursory glance at governors meetings.

Charmingbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 22:02:18

If you make a formal request in writing it has to be taken seriously and you have to be given a written explanation as to why it is not possible if they refuse. My head tends to rule the governors roost, and doesn't like part timers, but I knew I couldn't sustain full time and made it clear I would go down a formal request route.
If you're in a union could be worth sounding them out about your options, because legally the school have to meet certain criteria before they can refuse you.

scottishmummy Argentina Fri 18-Jan-13 22:08:18

you need to balance mental health,if this fulfills you without strain go for it

Viviennemary Fri 18-Jan-13 22:08:23

If you do want to carry on I thought they were under some sort of obligation these days to be flexible to people with children. Still if you hate it that much and can afford to, it would be better to do something else that you would enjoy and not find so stressful.

dontcallmehon Fri 18-Jan-13 22:13:08

I was a teacher, second in department and felt the same as you, OP. I tutor now and plan to set up a tutoring centre. I have gone from being utterly miserable to being relaxed and happy. Should have done it years ago.

BunFagFreddie Fri 18-Jan-13 22:42:33

As another person with bipolar I would say that looking after yourself comes first. If you become to ill to work, you won't have a career anyway.

Having bipolar and a period of serious physical illness really changed me. If you can mananage financially, you have nothing to gain from carrying on as you are and you must think of yourself and you family.

I used to worry about what others would think when I gave up my web designing job. But, really I was just doing what I thought others expected of me. If people think less of you because you have a more 'lowly' profession or you then they are not worth knowing.

CooEeeEldridge Fri 18-Jan-13 22:45:39

Haven't read any other posts but op. but really, go for it! Life is far far too short. If you're ok on new salary then really just stop and slow down for a bit. Good luck!

No job is worth your physical or mental health. Do what is best for you.

WhatNow2013 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:59:36

Gonna out myself now, I was a midwife, now I work in theatre. Sod the pension. You want to be alive to even draw the pension. I too suffer from mental health problems. I'm entirely sure if I'd stayed in my old job I would have lost everything soon enough as it was making me so ill. If you can afford it then do it. Nothing work wise has to be forever and your mental health and happiness is the baseline thing that matters most. Xx

LibraryMum8 Fri 18-Jan-13 23:06:14

If you can financially manage it, go for it!! Before ds, I worked full time making decent money, not great, but decent. After I had ds, I quit and became a SAHM for 6 years.

When ds was in first grade, I went back to work PT. Before I was a civil servant, and was in a professional position. Now that we have ds, a home that I do all the housework, cooking, shopping - everything inside the home - I will NOT go back to work FT. I run myself ragged as it is working PT. DH is great but really doesn't step up doing consistent housework. He will help here and there when I ask, nothing is voluntary. I'd be digging my own grave if I went back to work FT.

We can afford it, it is harder for holidays, etc. but honestly I'd be a basket case working FT now. Working inside the home is already a FT job, and having a PT job makes me having a job and a half. I'd doing all I can, and your situation sounds much more serious than mine. I'd get the other job in a heartbeat if I were you!!

LibraryMum8 Fri 18-Jan-13 23:13:03

Sorry had to add that I'm now a greeting cards merchandiser, make a small wage, but not minimum wage, and I still consider myself a professional. I dress up for my job, makeup, hair, jewelry and act professional. Professional isn't just what you do, it's how you act on the job and present yourself smile

Virgil Fri 18-Jan-13 23:19:46

Hmm, now you're all messing up my tentative plans. I'm thinking of giving up being a lawyer which is very stressful and not at all family friendly.....to teach!!!

I left teaching and I am delighted with my decision. The people who congratulated me most on making the move were some of my teaching colleagues, many of whom felt or were stuck in teaching.

Teaching is very much a performance and having a bad day is a nightmare. Now if I am feeling a bit crap I can just sit at my desk and quietly get on with my work at my own pace. I didn't want to be an old teacher - so many looked to have had the life sucked out of them and working to 68 looked impossible. I am glad I taught for a while as I wanted to give something back for the excellent education I enjoyed. Teaching also gave me a lot of transferable skills which my subsequent employers have valued. I have found that colleagues really respect my teaching background and say things like "of course Breatheslowly is good at that, she used to be a teacher" even when the skill is completely unrelated to teaching.

I found teaching all consuming, I wouldn't switch off until the holidays. In my new career I can switch off more easily. As a result I think I am more focused on my DD and she gets a much.

I'd go for it. If you aren't happy out of teaching then there are ways back in.

ImperialBlether England Fri 18-Jan-13 23:42:18

Don't do it, Virgil. I mean it. Everyone I know in education wants to get out.

I am more focused on my DD, but apparently not very focused on finishing sentences. She gets a better, happier mother as my patience hasn't been used up by other children during the day.

Feelingood Fri 18-Jan-13 23:52:42

I did it. I was in the same position as you except struggle with lingering PND. I went fro. Being HOD to FT class teacher to PT. I can't say I missed the money as my life was so much more easier manageable. I think it's hard to stay fresh in teaching hats off tot hose who do really.

It wasn't for me. I do miss it but when I've finished retraining I will be happy to find a job I really want and enjoy. I will never again stay in a job that makes me unhappy. I'm lucky as I currently have flexibility to make such decision. But friends who have gone from ft to reduced house have never regretted it.

I think having bipolar may take you assuming you are getting used to meds and peaks and through cycle a while to get used to. Teaching is so emotionally and mentally draining I think you need al your resources to keep yourself right and what's wrong with wanting to put this you health and family balancing first? It seems sensible to me.

Job will be th ere long after you gone - that's what someone told me, and no one will love your kids for you - great perspectives I think.

Must say I did and still do miss it but not enough to go back even doing supply!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 18-Jan-13 23:55:31

I'm a teacher, been one for almost 30 years. If I were you, feeling as you do I'd quit in a heartbeat. The way things are going, to job is going to continue to get harder and harder.
Get your life back, enjoy your family and stop being crushed by the weight of guilt and fear that builds up every Sunday night until you are wishing harm on yourself to avoid going into school.
There are always corners you can cut if you are downscaling, and you will enjoy finding new things to do with your children instead of surviving day to day.
Leave.

DeepRedBetty Sat 19-Jan-13 00:03:51

After doing five years SAHM until ddtwins went to school I took the option to start my own business. I've still got a couple of pre-mummy suits in the wardrobe, christ knows why as I'll never be a size 10 again, and the shoes with heels, and the matching handbags... I run a petcare/dogwalking agency, I walk other people's dogs while dds are at school and co-ordinate another six part-time dog walkers. It's lovely. No office politics!

One of my clients is a senior teacher and has this year decided to go supply only and focus on her own art rather than just teach it. She's taken a massive salary drop but is so much happier for it.

echt Sat 19-Jan-13 00:33:56

This thread makes me feel sad, not just for OP, but for the evidence of what teaching has become for so many.

And there are still people queuing up to say what a cushy deal it is. hmm

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 00:44:32

My DF hated it and got out early. On the other hand, my cousin loves it.

I don't think many people honestly think that teachers have an easy life. I think the confusion comes from the fact that there are so many abysmal employers in the private sector. A pension, more that 20 hols p/a and full sick pay is something that a lot of people can only dream of.

I think what people are trying to say is to count your blessings, because there are some ruthless companies about their who will only offer their staff the legal bare minimum.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 00:46:38

I think I should retire to bed, as I have lost the ability to type a coherent sentence.

Good luck OP and I hope you make the best decision for you.

PickledApples Sat 19-Jan-13 00:52:56

Have you looked at TA posts in the area? Lots about atm. Failing that, definitely look into this charity job, life is too short. Be happy. Be healthy. And get well soon grin (I do hope you watch cbeebies...)

ilovesooty Netherlands Sat 19-Jan-13 01:57:10

I went from teaching to working in a charity and got my life back. The money's crap, there's no job security (funding is from project to project and tighter with every bid), not much pension to speak of but I've never regretted it

Same here. I left teaching after it played havoc with my mental health. I was a HOD in a core subject. I absolutely love what I do now.

Life is too short to do a job that makes you ill and unhappy. Teaching is going to get worse not better.

I wish you luck and hope you end up as happy as I am.

Bakingnovice Sat 19-Jan-13 06:30:22

Life's too short. I left a high paying job as a lawyer because it nearly gave me a breakdown. I kept at it knowing it was making me ill. It was only when I realised My sadness and stress was affecting my Dh and dc that I walked away. Best thing I ever ever ever did.

BikeRunSki Brazil Sat 19-Jan-13 06:58:14

Do it.
I've left a job because it was making me miserable, although it was before dc, so easier to do.

My cautionary tale - my dad worked obsessively for years, all through mu childhood, and was often abroad. Shortly after my 12th birthday he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, his health deteriorated rapidly and he died 10 years later in his early 60s.

I deliberately now work pt (although professional career role) for a public body who have a fairly relaxed attitude to working hours. It means we live in a fairly small house and won't be going abroad for some years, but so be it. The small scale, day to day pay-offs are more than worth it.

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 08:21:10

I would say do it too.

I do have a question actually. I'm a qualified teacher and I'm in my second year of not working now for a number of reasons.

I have absolutely no desire to go back into teaching for a number of reasons but I'd still like to work with children in school. For those who have left a professional job due to the stress/pressures/lack of satisfaction, what reasons have you given for leaving your last position and for making such a drastic change? I don't want to end up coming across as though I just couldn't hack it!

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 08:23:44

stop being crushed by the weight of guilt and fear that builds up every Sunday night until you are wishing harm on yourself to avoid going into school

^^ <shudders at the memory>

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 09:13:40

Wow - this thread is really interesting reading. I'm dreading going back to teaching in 2 months. Can't imagine how I'll fit my working week (including the mountains of stuff to be done at home) around looking after my ds. Will be spending about 1/4 of my wage on childcare. By the time dc2 comes along that will be 1/2 of my wage & I think it'll be time to seriously consider why I'm doing it. X

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 09:57:08

yorkshire do you have a do? Then the childcare is split. Our childcare bill will be £800 a month this year, but only 400 counts as coming from my wages, seeing as childcare allows DH to work too.

I don't think we would be much worse off. It would mean no treats, at all. We already haven't been on holiday for 5 years as we can't afford it. But I think I will do it. Just need to convince DH that we won't be bankrupt (he worries a lot about money)

Life is too short. I do enjoy teaching, but there is so much more to it now. An realistically I can't see how you can be a good teacher without working ridiculous hours.

AlphaAndEcho Sat 19-Jan-13 09:59:25

IMO if you are not going to be much worse off , but happier then of course YANBU .

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 10:25:19

Treats are just that, treats.
There are many other things you can do with a family that build wonderful, loving memories and a strong bond between you that don't involve money and will ensure you have the capacity to enjoy what you have to the full.
Folkgirl, you quit and don't talk about the stress and the feeling that you are riding the wall of death every day, or that you are stressed to the point of no sleep and panic attacks.
You talk about work-life balance, the restrictions that the job places on your creative needs, the wish to face new challenges that broaden your life experiences in new ways, that you want to stretch your wings and fly.
You have to make it seem as if you are rushing towards something delightful rather than running away from a nightmare. Positive spin.

FolkGirl - when I had non-teaching interviews I stressed the successes I had as a teacher, said that I had wanted to teach to "give something back" but now had though about what I wanted to do long term and decided for the following reasons that I wanted to do X, then gave the positive reasons for wanting to do my new job. The people I have been interviewed by for non-teaching roles don't want to be teachers, so haven't got hung up on me not wanting to be one any more. They were more interested to hear why I wanted my new job.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:36:35

I'm reading this with interest as I'm in a similar boat (PND not bipolar though) and have been teaching same length of time as op so expensive to employ. I still love the children and teaching them, but hate all the other pressures and work I have to do at home, that makes me feel like I never have a proper weekend. Problem is, I worry about shooting myself in the foot career wise as I doubt I'd be able to get back into it in the future. Also am I doing my family a disservice by leaving a secure and well paid job.

OP- I'm glad you've decided to leave as it's the best choice for you and probably me.

Other ex teachers: what do you do now, just out of interest?

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:37:53

Oh- and never seeing my children during term time (they're 3 and 1) sad

TroublesomeEx Sat 19-Jan-13 10:41:38

Mm that's interesting breatheslowly. Thank you.

I think that I'm more concerned because I'm still looking at roles that are in school. I went into teaching because of wanting to make a difference and did feel frustrated that I didn't have the time to work with the children who really needed that extra level of support and that they went to see the Play Therapist or work 1-2-1/in small groups with TAs instead.

You have to make it seem as if you are rushing towards something delightful rather than running away from a nightmare. I like this!

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 10:46:12

stop being crushed by the weight of guilt and fear that builds up every Sunday night until you are wishing harm on yourself to avoid going into school

Wow. Poor pupils.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 10:50:58

Fakebook I can guarantee you that the pupils are not the ones suffering here. Most of us came into teaching because we have a genuine love of children and wanted to make a difference/pass something on. My pupils are fine, thank you very much. It's my family and myself who are suffering.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 10:58:01

fakebook you would be surprised the number of teachers who feel like that. In 8 years and 3 schools I have conversations like that with many teachers. It isn't the job I started doing 8 years ago.

Tryharder Sat 19-Jan-13 10:58:56

Can I just point out that a friend of mine became a teacher about 3 years ago. She teaches in a 'rough' secondary school and her classes include many children with behavioural problems.

She loves it! It is her dream career and I am in awe of her enthusiasm and the fact that she is paid quite good money to do something that she really loves. Her kids at the school love her to death and she was recently given 'outstanding teacher' status at the recent inspections.

So to the poster who wanted to go into teaching and was pooh-poohed by all the depressed teachers on here, I just wanted to give you another side to the story.

mollymole Sat 19-Jan-13 11:00:06

Do it - a long time ago I left my accountancy career for lower paid work and have never looked back

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:02:57

'Can I just point out that a friend of mine became a teacher about 3 years ago.'

Burnout tends to happen within 5-8 years for many.
Does she have children of her own?

Fakebook, how would the pupils know or be affected? Can you spot the third or half of the staff in a school that feel like that?

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:05:02

raininginbaltimore yes I have a dp so I guess technically it is halved. I'm thinking from the perspective that if I didn't work I would provide childcare & we'd live on his whole wage so with me working we're better off by my wage minus childcare costs. Is that bad maths? Or a wild stab at justification? X

senua Sat 19-Jan-13 11:05:21

Gosh. What a lot of women have left high paid / high stress jobs for inner happiness.
No wonder that there is a gender imbalance in Management.

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 11:09:45

With feelings like that, I would be really surprised if it didn't have an effect on your teaching method and general personality at school. You may think your pupils are happy but how do you know you're giving 100% to teach them properly? How do you know they're learning at their full potential?

It's sad your family life is affected, but so is the education of 30 children.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:09:46

My cousin has just become a teacher and she's loving it too. She has a couple of young dd's and I think her decisions to go into teaching had a lot to do with being free during the holidays - and decent pay.

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:11:07

tryharder of course there is another side to the story. I always said to people who were thinking of teaching that it's tiring, stressful & bloody hard work but never ever boring - and that's the bit that kept me going. 3 years in I'm guessing your friend is just responsible for her class but has no management responsibilities? For most teachers that's the bit we love, but as you progress in your career you get more & more responsibilities which take you away from the children. I'd also assume, being an outstanding teacher, she does lots of preparation at home, which is the bit that worries me most now I have a child of my own. X

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 11:15:15

Argh, f off Fakebook. I always do the best for my pupils. I love them and they're the reason I'm still doing the job. I too have had "outstanding teacher status" (I mean, outstanding headings on observations). Why else do you think I'm feeling disillusioned and tired? In an ideal world I'd still teach but I wouldn't have to jump through all the government hoops. It is a demanding job (albeit rewarding) and the parents of my class are very happy with the care, attention and teaching that their children are getting.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 11:15:42

*gradings, not headings. Stupid autocorrect

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 11:18:17

Nebulous, Fakebook, how would the pupils know or be affected?

That's the problem. Ofcourse children don't know if their teacher is unhappy. They wouldn't know they're not being taught happily. I would ask how well an unhappy teacher would teach. I'm not a teacher, but even I have experienced with dd that if I teach her things when I'm happy she understands better. If I teach her when I'm stressed, she gets confused, bored and doesn't listen. If I was teaching 30 children something whilst stressed it wouldn't be a good outcome.

specialsubject Sat 19-Jan-13 11:18:49

YES. Go for it.

just stop wasting money on the fripperies; makeup, Sky, mobile internet, contract phones, unnecessary shoes and clothes. Stuff for kids can all be second hand.

With more time you'll be able to shop for food more wisely, will be able to spend time reducing your bills and can spend more time having fun with the kids.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:18:55

Someone told me the the other day that teaching has the highest suicise rate of any profession. I don't know if this is true though. They hate teaching and feel totally shafted by the gubberment right now.

I retrained as a professional in a higher paying career, so it doesn't have to be a permanent pay cut.

Fakebook - poor pupils for losing some great teachers. The teachers who feel like that are burnt out, but in my experience are channelling their energies into not letting their pupils down and sacrificing a lot of their personal life to do so. There aren't hoards of excellent, unemployed teachers braying at the door to teach the pupils instead, if only the teacher with difficulties would step aside.

People get stuck in teaching as they have to pay the mortgage and feed their children (probably like many other professions).

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 11:19:38

Erm. Don't tell me to fuck off when I'm voicing my opinion. Really low to swear at someone like that. hmm.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:20:54

I could say the same about parenting, Fakebook.
How many parents give 100% of their energy and life to ensure that their children are as well-parented as they could possibly be, learning to grow into the best citizens and humans they are capable of being?
Not enough of you, that's for sure.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:21:55

Dunno about suicide rates, but along with doctors there is a lot of ADs and alcohol in the lives of many professionals.

Part of the problem is that teachers are expected to give 100% to teaching leaving 0% for everything else.

MissAnnersley Sat 19-Jan-13 11:24:47

I would leave if I could. It's not the children or being in the classroom it's everything else that goes along side it.

If I could get out I could.

And I say that as someone who absolutely loves being in a classroom.

You should do it.

MissAnnersley Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:16

If I could get out I would.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:18

smile
I think that calculation makes yo a high level 3.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:26:54

What defines a good teacher tends to change every few years though.
Although the paperwork increases by around 20% a year at least.
Rose V Gove anyone?

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:26:57

In all honesty I think a lot of jobs are stressful now. Thanks to the recession, a lot of employers have taken the stance that you're lucky to have a job. They are paying less, treating people worse and expecting people to be grateful because there a loads of people who could do that job.

We're going backwards ffs. Even people on min waged are getting completely milked dry, for a poxy six quid an hour.

Yet the government wants to errode worker's rights even more. I thought teaching was one of the last safe professions for life. Apparently not so anymore.

emsyj Sat 19-Jan-13 11:28:31

"Hmm, now you're all messing up my tentative plans. I'm thinking of giving up being a lawyer which is very stressful and not at all family friendly.....to teach!!!"

I know soooo many lawyers who say, 'I'm going to do this for 5 years and then be a teacher'. I think it's a common perception within the legal profession that teaching is 'naice' and non-stressful, with lots of holidays. Having never been a teacher, I can't comment on what it's like, but I have been a lawyer and I can highly recommend a move to the civil service.

I now work (not as a lawyer - I did look at joining as a lawyer but didn't fancy the work) for a government department and it's great - totally family friendly (you can even do term time only working...), stress-free and no chargeable hours. It's so lovely getting up in the morning and not feeling a grip of panic at the thought of another day. It is less money, but it's still ok money and of course the pension is better than anything on offer in private practice. Does the bureaucracy get a bit frustrating? Of course, but I can put up with that 100% if it means I can stroll out of the office at 4.45pm every day to pick up DD.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:28:58

breatheslowly. You'll find that nearly all employers want you to give 100% to their job and really don't care if you have 0% left for yourself. They all want their pound of flesh!

If you find good employers stick with them.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:29:04

So, the consensus from those of us with direct experience of what you are asking seems to be run and live OP. smile
Good luck.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 11:31:54

You said it yourself. You're not a teacher. So your opinions aren't that useful really. I apologise for swearing at you but I thought your comment was incredibly insensitive. A few other posters have reinforced what I said; namely, that the dedication to the pupils is what is leaving us so worn down. There are teachers who are fine and dandy because they dont do much work out of school or in the holidays,, and their pupils are the ones who are suffering as they are rwceiving the bare minimum of an education, and schemes of work that have been around as long as I have.

Phineyj Sat 19-Jan-13 11:34:35

Op, just to say that your teaching pension will still be there, even if you stop teaching. You won't lose what you've paid into it so far. I am a teacher, worked in the NHS for a while and also freelanced, paying into a stakeholder to cover the periods when I was working for myself. I reckon when I retire and pull the various bits of pension together it will be doable.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:36:41

Agree with bunfag.

I am not a teacher and work in banking but I find my profession to be soul destroying and to expect people to work extra hours, pick up emails and voice mails in holidays and the evenings etc etc. Most professions try to suck the life blood out of their employees when a recession is on, it's called being efficient.

I have taken the drop in salary and grade and now find my job manageable. I enjoy the perks of having a final salary pension ( although gawd knows how long that will last for) and getting paid if I'm off sick ( although I never am)

I have no doubt that teaching is an incredibly hard profession and I'm full of admiration for DS's teachers who seem amazingly dedicated and hard-working. However lets not get stuck into this mindset that teaching is the hardest profession in the world, its somewhat irksome for those of us who aren't teachers and even more so I would imagine for say a nurse who is on a lower salary, mixed shifts which make it almost impossible to plan child care around and doesn't even enjoy the benefit of having school holidays off.

Definitely agree that OP should go for charity job though - sounds like a great option.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:45:29

To be honest theoriginalandbestrookie , all my jobs have been with employers like that. I've worked in design and I've had to work extremely long hours and it's often a thankless job. The people I worked for were arseholes.

I've tried finding a job for a naice company where I get a pension and all that fancy stuff, but to no avail. I now freelance and work my arse off, because DP is only temping and I'm sharting my pants about our financial situation. Oh how I dream of someone giving me a pension!

susanann Sat 19-Jan-13 11:47:22

Is it worth asking again, things may have changed. I think you sound like you would be much happier leaving tbh. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

MissAnnersley Sat 19-Jan-13 11:48:02

Where has anybody said it's the hardest profession in the world?

The OP is a teacher. She has been given advice by some teachers who agree that if they had the opportunity to leave they would.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:49:44

Bunfag it's really funny when I talk to the twenty and thirty somethings who ask why I didn't take VR last year when I don't really like my job so much.

I explain about the final pension and their eyes cloud over because they can't really understand the concept of getting old and needing money to retire.

I don't think many people find the perfect solution but I figure once you are at the stage when you spend Sunday night tossing and turning and are throwing up on Monday morning because you are so worried about the week ( I have been there) then it's time to change things.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 11:51:25

I am a teacher and know where you are coming from. I say go for it - it sounds like you know it's the right thing anyway - and be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy and I have worked in schools where I have been at rock bottom - it's not a nice place to be. Have a change!

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 11:57:56

theoriginalandbestrookie, I've been there. I had a lot of shit from my boss over serious physical health problem when working as a web designer. It was totally against employment law but I just didn't have the strength to fight it at the time, and it's too long ago to do anything about it. The company didn't pay a pension or sick pay. I think that's quite normal these days.

I usually worked a 50 hour week, maybe more. I was at their beck and call, even at home. If something needed doing, I just had to do it. It was a small company, and I thought I'd get the experience in the area I wanted to get into.

I had a breakdown and an episode of psyschotic depression, so that fucked that up nicely!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 12:00:52

So, Bunfag, your recommendation to the OP would be to leave and do something else before she has a physical or mental breakdown.
One more for the 'Leave and don't look back' brigade.

I and many of my colleagues (moreso the junior ones) can stand up and leave at 5.30 and not think about work again until 9am the next day. I have visited a lot of businesses in my work and this is not in the least unusual. These jobs are out there.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:03:03

To add some balance to the thread I left a pressured career that required a lot of travel to become a teacher. I was so unhappy but worried that I was being selfish in making a decision that would have such an impact on my family financially. I think going into teaching required me to take about a 70% pay cut.

It was without doubt the best thing I did, although my husband was a higher earner than me so it cushioned the financial blow. I am not sure if I would have been brave enough to make that decision without his wages coming in. I am so much happier and the children are so much happier and I love the fact that we have all the holidays together. In addition to this because I am a good teacher, because I love it, I was quickly promoted and now earn a very good wage ( although still only a fraction if what I was earning !!)

Teaching can be tough and I think that you have to love the job to want to do it and to do the job that the students deserve. I have passed through the burn out phase quoted above but would like to go part time. But because I have management responsibilities I was turned down. I went through a phase last term of wanting the car to crash so I did not have to go to work, not because I didn't like the job but because I was exhausted. I think that is a key difference, I think having daft thoughts out of exhaustion is a concern but not necessarily a reason to leave a job - but rather look at the way you work. I also had a miscarriage around this time, so I do not think I was entirely thinking straight anyway. But if you are having such thoughts because you hate the job, it is time to look for something else.

I do not think it is right to paint a picture if teaching as an awful profession that sucks the life out of people, most of the teachers I work with are very happy.

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 12:04:31

You're not a teacher. So your opinions aren't that useful really

I respectfully disagree with that. I'm a parent. I wouldn't want my child be taught by someone who wasn't happy in the job. If you're that unhappy that you contemplate self harm and dread going into work then you shouldn't be doing in that profession. It takes one flipped switch to make your thoughts into reality.

Fakebook Sat 19-Jan-13 12:05:06

doing

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 12:08:32

Basically TheNebulousBoojum, yes. At first I hated the fact that people see you differently. When I met people and they asked "What do you do?" I would say "I'm a web designer". Cue the positive noise and approving look.

Then it was a case of "What do you do?" and I would say "I'm taking a break to do voluntary work --basically unemployed--". Cue look of sympathy and "oh dear" noise. Sometimes even disaproval and "why aren't you working?"

Then I though fuck the shallow twats. Why should I have to fit into their little eye-spy book of trite stereotypes.

Now I do some freelancing and it's now a case of - look of sympathy and "oh dear" noise. Sometimes even disaproval and "what are you doing to look for work?". But, most people are twats.

At least I'm relatively sane and won't kill myself or end up in hospital.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 12:08:40

I think that's what we are saying Fakebook.
For me, I'm still keeping my balance on the highwire, but it's a week by week act.

Mosman Sat 19-Jan-13 12:10:00

We have a lot of teachers in our family and i over hear a lot of their moaning, rightly or wrongly.
Nobody should be so unhappy that work makes them want to harm themselves but teachers are in too an important role to be anything less than 110% most of the time. That's what our lot like you to believe so it must be true wink

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:11:00

Fakebook I agree with you in principle but I suspect lots of us have periods when we are just too exhausted by life to think rationally about anything, including work. The good thing about teaching is that often that happens just before a holiday so that you can have that much needed break and carry on.

At the end of last term I had a miscarriage and was signed of work, my immediate thoughts were " thank Fuck I can rest"

I can assure you that does not represent me as the person I usually am and that I am a very good teacher who usually cannot believe that I am lucky enough to have a job that brings me such contentment.

The OP has to consider whether her feelings are just a fleeting thing that perhaps come at the end of a long term or whether that are a more permanent thing. Also whether these feelings are about being tired or hating the job. She also has mental health considerations as well.

There would be a huge shortage of teachers if everyone who wasn't happy in it left. Fakebook, there is a very significant chance that your DC have been taught by unhappy teachers if they have been at school for a few years.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:12:18

I am really sorry Mosman but I have never been at 110%. I clearly am a teaching failure grin

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:13:40

I disagree breatheslowly , most of the teachers I work with are very happy. everyone will have odd moments which like me may coincide with pressures at home .

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 12:13:42

Weell, at least it shows how good the acting skills of most teachers are if the majority of parents are convinced!
The TES forums often show the unvarnished side of the job.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 12:14:43

'I am really sorry Mosman but I have never been at 110%. I clearly am a teaching failure'

As I said earlier, if we applied that standard to parenting we'd all be failures.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:17:27

But the TES forums ( the moaning parts - I don't really go on there to be honest ) represent unhappy teachers not teachers as a whole. Or represents teachers when they are having low moments.

People tend not to start a thread saying that everything is great, what would be the point. however if you look at threads on here about people who love their jobs, they tend to have a lot of posts from teachers.

Those TES threads represent a few permanently unhappy teachers who do need to leave the profession and the rest of us just having a bad day.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:18:43

I was being sarcastic TheNebulousBoojum although clearly I have never worked at 110%.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 12:21:14

Fair enough Arisbottle. smile
I just think that if there was a way of getting a truthful response from every single state teacher at the chalkface about AD use, level of alcohol abuse and general depression and misery with the job, the government interference and the exhaustion, parents would be horrified.

Bobothebuilder Sat 19-Jan-13 12:23:19

Well OP I am not a teacher but work in the NHS in a job that's equivalent in terms of pay and responsibility.
I have been doing this for nearly twenty years and still care passionately about the patients I work with.
Despite this The 'job' overall is now taking such a toll on me mentally that I am now almost certainly going to be leaving to take a position in the charity sector for just over half the pay (can't hunk far enough ahead to really factor in the pension etc as. To be honest I feel I might not make it that far if I stay in this job. if indeed there is even a retirement age at all by the time I am in my sixties (20 years or so)
It won't be easy but is just about possible for me to do this financially but I feel I need to release myself from the constant stress, anxiety (sometimes overwhelming) working at 150% capacity and having nothing left over for my family and friends.
Good luck to you I hope you find a way to make the changes you need to stay well and happy. X

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:23:22

But you could be on AD for reasons that are nothing to do with the job.

Maybe I work in a school that does not reflect reality but I work with people who genuinely love their job, you can feel the positivity in the air.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 12:25:09

There are a lot of very unhappy, overworked and stressed teachers at my school. I am on maternity leave at moment, so in theory having a rest. I love teaching, but I can't do it well enough in the time on given. So I feel like I am always doing a crap job. I just don't have the ability to work every evening and weekend like I used to.

Bobothebuilder Sat 19-Jan-13 12:25:26

Also I think people are maybe confusing being unhappy with the job and under performing in the job. It is perfectly possible (although far from desirable) to perform well and care massively about the field you're in, but still suffer because of it or feel unhappy overall.

VestaCurry Sat 19-Jan-13 12:28:08

I have a friend who was a deputy head in a primary, but was at breaking point. She moved to another school, and in the application process explained she wanted to return to being a classroom teacher, without all the additional responsibilities. As a deputy head, she was 75% timetabled to teach, was the SEN co-ordinator etc etc.
A salary drop back down the scale was negotiated, and I think she agreed to take on a specific aspect of SEN, supporting the SEN co-ordinator in the new school.
She's happy and relieved and the money is still good enough, plus she has much more of her life back,

Just thought I'd post this as an alternative view.

Mosman Sat 19-Jan-13 12:31:53

I don't think it is possible to be that unhappy that you are hurting yourself and be performing at a satisfactory level tbh. In any job.

I was being highly sarcastic myself in the "most important job" comment but teachers do set the bar for themselves pretty high so if they aren't hitting the spot they fall further than most I guess.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 12:42:04

"Wow. Poor pupils."

I think Fakebook is right.

It must have an effect on pupils if teachers are so stressed and unhappy in their work that they dread the working week and wish accidents upon themselves to avoid it.

It is a massive, massive failure by the people paid goog money to run our schools and manage our education system if teaching has become an unattractive job where the rewards don't make up for the drawbacks.

Teaching is a creative job. That means teachers need mental space to develop their ideas and practice.

Our children deserve better than this.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 12:42:34

Raininginbaltimore maybe the job isn't the problem but the school.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 19-Jan-13 12:49:08

Do it. I left teaching as I couldn't stand it any longer (worked in FE and could no longer take administrating students through the "equivalent" of three A Levels when most of them were lazy and gumption-free). Yes, I don't have the regular pay, but I also don't spend every moment at work furious and every non-working moment thinking about work.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 19-Jan-13 12:54:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 13:24:21

Unfortunately I can't really move schools. I am on UPS 2 and don't want the responsibility anymore. No school I know is going to employ an ordinary teacher on that. There are so many teachers looking for jobs round here they could easily get cheaper.

I hate all the data, fft grades, value added, sub levels, constantly assessing and reporting. I no longer have time to so some of the experiential leaning that I used to do. I am constantly asked for levels an data etc and plans as to how I am going to improve them.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 13:34:49

We have standard teachers on UPS2 and if you were good enough we would certainly pay for you . Management in another school may be different.

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jan-13 13:40:54

I went into teaching slightly later, age 25, having tried my hand at accountancy and a marketing role, so not without experience of other workplaces.

Very few people could have been more enthusiastic than me on entering the profession. But enthusiasm, commitment and training did not prepare me in the least for the needy children I encountered, the hostile parents, ineffectual school management and relentless workload. Behviour was terrible and soul-destroying to cope with. By the end of my NQT year I was almost at breakdown point - fantasies of crashing my car on the motorway en-route to work, even though I was getting married that summer.

Time passed and things became a bit easier, although I had to handle a major bereavement in my second year of teaching - back in my classroom two days after the funeral. There was some talk around reducing teachers' workloads and PPA time came in, which helped, although workloads were still massive at least some unnecessary stuff had been removed.

I moved schools and began to look towards promotion - this was probably the best point in my teaching career. I was still working 60 hours a week, but felt well supported and valued by colleagues and parents.

I moved house and was rapidly promoted in my new school, but then hit my seventh year of teaching and burnout hit. Change after change happened to the curriculum and there were higher and higher expectations of what pupils should achieve. I was enjoying my management role, but finding the core role of coming up with interesting and enjoyable lessons for my pupils was becoming harder and harder. The intrusion into my personal life was huge - I never had a weekend to recuperate, it always involved hours and hours at the computer on a Sunday. This lack of time had an impact on my marriage. But it was as if my imagination was exhausted, I just couldn't come up with it anymore. I would often get stress-related stomach pains throughout the school day. But throughout all this I was always putting on a positive face - pupils and parents would not have known.

To cut a long story short I left teaching after ten years when I was refused pt after maternity leave. I love my new working life and never want to go back.

I am glad I did teach, but wish that i had left years before!

Have you considered a move to the independent sector? If you aren't ideologically against it then it might be worth a thought. There are still stresses, but they are different. I have friends who I never would have expected to move to the independent sector, but love it. Many independent schools value a strong classroom background and are willing to pay for it rather than trying to get cheaper staff.

MissAnnersley Sat 19-Jan-13 13:49:22

There will be a percentage of people in all kinds of jobs who will be deeply, deeply unhappy. Some of them in highly responsible, important jobs.

Have I missed a memo somewhere that teachers are some kind of special case and can't be depressed but still functioning in their role?

Viviennemary Sat 19-Jan-13 13:49:22

I stuck a job for 20 years I didn't like. Friends said leave but there was always a reason I couldn't. But if I could have afforded to leave I would have I hated it so much at times. But I don't think we could have afforded the mortgage and other bills on one wage at the time. I did used to make a very half hearted attempt to look for other jobs. So in a nutshell you either take the step and move jobs or leave or stay where you are and be miserable. I know what I would do.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 19-Jan-13 13:58:43

Poor pupils, whose progress is ignored by the government/ofsted because they haven't reached national average. Poor pupils, having to cram for national tests aged 10. never mind poor teachers who bust a gut to get them there and still feel that what they do isn't good enough

Nobody has implied that teachers work harder than anyone else, or that they are a special case. I stand by my assertion that there would be so many more teachers completely satisfied with their jobs if they didn't have so many pressures/targets/boxes to tick etc etc.

I do feel that I love my job but am being worn down by it. If we didn't have these holidays we would burn out far sooner.

florencedombey Sat 19-Jan-13 14:30:57

Another miserable lawyer here, trapped in my job by the need to pay the mortgage and lack of funds to retrain. No advice, OP, but lots of sympathy.

Emsyj, are you the lady who left law for HMRC? If so, I would love to hear how you are finding it, as this is an escape route I am looking into.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 14:34:10

I'm sorry I said that teachers were saying they had the hardest job in the world - I was exaggerating and that was unnecessary.

I guess the point I was trying to make was that teaching is certainly not unique as a profession in people finding it demanding, having to work long hours, not being appreciated enough etc. etc.

It's always tempting to imagine that another career is better to ones own and I just thought it was important for people to know that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 14:36:34

'It's always tempting to imagine that another career is better to ones own and I just thought it was important for people to know that the grass is not always greener on the other side'

Ditto to all the lawyers and people thinking 'Hmmm, I fancy a doss of a job with long holidays and 'making a difference'
Ohh Teaching' smile

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 14:39:08

Well exactly thenebulous ....

Maybe I'm just jealous, nobody has any sympathy for bankers, ever, even those of us who are very far from minting it in on the public coffers

ssd Sat 19-Jan-13 14:40:09

op, do it, you sound like you'll manage money wise

you'll wonder what took you so long in 2 months time when you're enjoying your life and your kids again!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 14:41:27

'nobody has any sympathy for bankers'
grin No, not much.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 14:45:44

I wasn't a lawyer but I was someone well paid and working hard in the private sector who wanted a job with long holidays that would enable me to make a difference. By and large that is what I got when I made the move into teaching. It is hard work but most professional jobs are.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 14:48:41

Aris, just out of curiosity, are you in the State sector?

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jan-13 14:54:19

No one is saying that all teachers should be happy all of the time. The OP asked if it was reasonable for her to think of leaving, so a few ex-teachers said that they had done similar things and the reasons why.

If something isn't fitting you anymore, then shouldn't you change? That is why we, er, choose what we do for a job rather than being randomly allocated a role by the government

emsyj Sat 19-Jan-13 14:55:51

"Emsyj, are you the lady who left law for HMRC?"

Yes, that's me! grin It's great, feel free to PM me if you want details/questions. I am on the graduate scheme.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 14:55:52

Yes I am in the state sector.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 14:57:47

smile thanks Aris. Nice to know you are content and motivated after all these years.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 14:58:21

I am not saying that she shouldn't leave but that perhaps it is unrealistic to expect to skipping into work every morning feeling full of joy . I suspect it is more serious than that for the OP and that considering her mental health issues she perhaps should consider a career change. however if possible it may be good to try a different type of school or even change sectors.

nkf Sat 19-Jan-13 14:59:53

OP, it sounds as if teaching isn't for you. But do try to plan your exit. And remember that two day a week charity job will be hotly fought for. It's ideal mums work. And plenty of people will have charity experience. Just plan to get out. I agree with the posters who say this level of unhappiness is not necessary.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 15:01:22

I have my down moments, I posted a thread on here before Christmas I think. During term time my day starts at 5am and ends at 10pm at the earliest. It is quite common for me to be utterly exhausted by the end of a term and to wondering if I did the right thing. That long day is not just given over to teaching though, I have a large family and lots of commitments. I think I thrive from being on the go , although my weekends and holidays are much quieter.

Most if the time I utterly adore me job though .

SaladIsMyFriend Sat 19-Jan-13 15:03:48

OP, you should go for it. As you yourself said, life is too short.

I gave up my well paid but waaay too stressful job last year, am currently doing nothing much and loving it. A good pension is pretty worthless if you've keeled over with stress earning it, or spent your life wishing you'd been brave enough to do something else that could ahve made you happier.

So YANBU and do it!

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jan-13 15:06:52

Oh, it is also a big relief to feel free of that public perception that teachers are responsible for the world's ills.

Riots, schools closed when they shouldn't be, schools open when they shoudn't be, grades too high, grades not high enough, too much health and safety, not enough health and safety, poor behaviour in school, poor behaviour out of school...none of it is anything to do with me anymore!

I think a good way of staffing schools would be the option of 6 year short term commissions, a bit like Teach First or the armed forces short commissions. Schools would benfit from keen staff, but they would teach for a finite period of time and receive a payout for retraining at the end. 'Lifers' would have a reduced timetable and access to full pension etc in return for a commitment to longer service.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 19-Jan-13 15:17:25

'I think a good way of staffing schools would be the option of 6 year short term commissions, a bit like Teach First or the armed forces short commissions.'

Yes, I've often thought that would be a good idea. No burnout, no bewilderment as the systems and the rules and the goalposts changed all the time, the new intake would be without a backhistory.

Still waiting for the promised delivery of Officer Beefcake we were promised by the government BTW.
Decent eyecandy teaching me how to teach might go some way to improving my attitude. smile

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 15:22:01

Only on MN do people think that teachers are responsible for world's ills and then to be fair it is only a few posters.

I know that I do a good job and that is good enough for me.

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jan-13 15:30:20

Hmm, don't think it is just MN - news headlines and the rest of the media don't help. Also, I had some outright rudeness at times when I told people what I did for a living.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 15:45:36

Yes - we are not exactly loved as a profession.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 15:50:40

And breatheslowly offers good advice - this is what I did and would not set foot in another state school again due to the constant government intervention and the endless 'new initiatives'. And I was employed on UPS3 as a classrrom teacher so they will pay the extra and value your experience -unlike state schools which employ endless NQTs because they are cheap.-

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 15:59:51

I have worked in a private school before and would consider it again. Not sure if I'd get interviewed with "bipolar" on my application.

I keep looking, but there aren't many jobs in my area at the moment (Yorkshire).

Schooldidi Sat 19-Jan-13 16:04:30

Do you have to put the bipolar bit on the application? I don't remember ever having to disclose any medical information when I've applied for jobs. There aren't a massive number of jobs round here either.

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 19-Jan-13 16:07:33

Yeah I would leave, if you can get the 2 day a week job. You can always register for odd days of supply teaching to top up your income if you're worried about being broke.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 16:14:53

I've often had to fill out a part of application with any medical conditions, number of days absent etc. I have a very good sick record in the last couple of years, but wonder if just seeing that diagnosis will put places off.

slambang Sat 19-Jan-13 16:15:51

Taking a different tack - as you have bipolar you would perhaps be entitled to consideration under disability discrimination legislation. Just a thought - but could you explain that this is the reason that the school needs to treat your situation as requiring additional consideration and that your 'reasonable adjustment' to allow you to continue to work whilst having a mental health condition could be returning part time (or without managerial responsibility.)

I'd ask your union for help on this.

slambang Sat 19-Jan-13 16:17:13

It is no longer legal to ask about health until the point of job offer. (Since the new diversity legilsation.)

VestaCurry Sat 19-Jan-13 16:24:23

Have you talked to your union raining? My friend did and got a lot of support in terms of considering her options. She certainly felt she got good value for money (from the subs she had paid over the years). I expect you know you don't have to go through the school rep, just ring regional office.
Private sector is a good suggestion.
The charity job sounds fine, but have you thought carefully about what you'd really like to do as an alternative? Do you have the funds to go to a career analyst? SIL did this and found it invaluable, changed careers completely, did need planning though.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 16:50:14

Countrykitten I work in a state school that does employ the best teacher for the job. A good department has a balance of teachers, NQTs and experience. We appoint both. A good school will also shield teachers from endless new initiatives and interventions.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 17:11:09

In the state system no-one can be shielded completely from government initiatives - they have to comply and I abhor the way successive governments have kicked education around. I think most teachers will agree that many state schools (obviously not the one you work at) will often employ a cheaper teacher over a more experienced teacher as funds are tight. This is also how cover supervisors have become so popular in schools and supply teachers are now all but extinct. But that is another topic entirely!

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 17:14:43

We have 2 cover supervisors but they are trained teachers, but I agree it is an issue at many other schools. I am not saying that we don't employ NQTs but if we need a more experienced teacher or a more experienced one applies we will and have employed them.

If a government initiative comes along that is useful we will put it into action, otherwise standard teachers are generally shielded from them as much as is possible.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Jan-13 17:15:12

I don't think the issue is teaching as such, but poor management in some state schools.

slambang Sat 19-Jan-13 19:32:08

FYI from www.rethink.org

The Equality Act 2010

The EqA has restricted the questions that a prospective employer can ask about health or disability in an application form, therefore you do not normally have to provide any information about your health on your initial application form. An employer may still ask these questions but they should only be asked for specific reasons e.g. to enable the employer to make reasonable adjustments in the interview or to establish that an applicant can carry out tasks necessary for the job.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 19-Jan-13 19:41:40

You know what I think raining and you should sit that DH of yours down and go through everything just as you have here. Teaching is just going to make you more and more miserable and you owe it to yourself to avoid that.

storynanny Sat 19-Jan-13 20:54:13

Just make the decision to leave and cut back on non essentials, you will be so much happier. I've been a teacher for 34 years and left a senior post last year as I could no longer agree with all the rubbish that I was expected to do in the name of "progress". I now do the bare minimum on supply in a few local schools and make a point of not working on Mondays so I never get that Sunday afternoon sinking feeling. Unless you had intended working at a high level your pension would not be that amazing anyway. Best of luck to you in your new job.

Viviennemary Sat 19-Jan-13 21:24:42

grin at Countrykitten. Years ago an old school type Headteacher told somebody I knew struggling during their first year teaching. 'You're not here to be loved or even liked. You're here to teach and they are here to learn.' Don't suppose that would go down too well today!

IAmLouisWalsh Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:33

Do it. Seriously, just do it. Fuck the pension, it is worth bugger all - certainly will be by the time you retire. The time with the kids and the lack of stress will be the key things here - should make a massive difference.

My plan is to teach for another ten years or so, then get a job in John Lewis.

zalana Sat 19-Jan-13 22:57:50

Having not so long ago left a well paid job in teaching to work part time for a charity, I would wholeheartedly say go for it, my only regret that I did not do it years ago. I feel so much better and enjoy life now, teaching is not the job it once was!

WillowFae Sat 19-Jan-13 23:18:56

I'm in my fourth year of teaching and I am seriously considering quitting. I want my life back while my children are still young. I want to enjoy the weekends with my family without worrying about the work I have to get done before Monday. But I don't know if we can afford it.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 23:26:54

I need to take a serious look at our finances. We have already given up sky, contract mobiles, we haven't been on any kind of holiday for 5 years. I think we could do it because the difference in childcare.

And I could still do exam marking and tutoring.

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 01:16:00

At four years in you should be able to have one day a week completely free of work IME, are people being expected to do too much?

I have never worked Saturdays, even at peak time, and never do very much in the holidays.

Schooldidi Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:13

raining I would do it, seriously. Look at your finances realistically, factor in the change in childcare, would there be less travel costs? How much tutoring could you reasonably expect to do? Could you sign up for a supply agency to do a little bit of extra if you needed to (this very much depends on the supply situation near you)?

Arisbottle I agree that you should be able to have one day completely free every week. I rarely work during the day on Saturday or Sunday and just work slightly longer hours on weekdays to get it done (mark 2 sets of books every Friday night - rock and roll). I don't do a massive amount in the holidays either, I always feel vaguely guilty when other teachers talk about how much they do in the holidays because I don't, but my classes are all making the expected progress, some exceeding their targets, so I must be doing something right.

TheArbiter Wed 23-Jan-13 17:24:09

raining - do it. Get out of there. I did. I ended up with staggering anxiety and depression because of teaching. I left and have steadily progressed in a non-teaching career ever since.

I would class training to teach as my biggest regret in life: I should have gone into publishing or journalism, which I actually have a flair for. Too many* teachers are very unpleasant people to work with (and I say this having worked with journalists).

*not all teachers, and not even the majority of teachers - just too many of them.

BranchingOut Wed 23-Jan-13 18:29:43

The thing is, Arisbottle, I regard one day per week free of work as fitting very low expectations of what my life should be... From time to time, yes, work at the weekend, but not every weekend in term time.

In the end the anxiety was creeping in to Saturday, because I was so conscious that day was my finite relaxation time and the work was already looming on Sunday.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 23-Jan-13 18:37:33

If it's financially viable then go for it, in fact even if it's not you could take it for the short term perhaps while you find a middle ground.

Mental health & wellbeing vs career = no contest.

Arisbottle Wed 23-Jan-13 19:05:37

Well that is fair enough Branchingout, we all want different things and there is no point carrying on in a job that does not meet your basic life expectations.

I am happy to work six days a week for six weeks because I do bugger all in the holidays. To have a six week period with nothing else to do than be a parent is a huge luxury.

Yfronts Wed 23-Jan-13 20:04:40

Do what is best for your health.

storynanny Thu 24-Jan-13 12:22:27

By the way, I agree with aris about the holidays with your own children, that is not going to happen in any other job you take outside of teaching. But unless you resign and take a part time post in school it still may not compensate for all the other complications of having a teaching career when your children are so young.
Re being expensive - in my experience unless the school is very small, it is not a major consideration when employing staff. I was initially concerned when I took early retirement from my TLr2 SENCo role last year that I would cost a school too much for supply. However the 4 schools I have become a regular at have told me they would rather employ an expensive supply teacher who is reliable, is flexible, can follow a plan at short notice and has good behaviour management, than going through an agency and getting someone they don't know just to save some money. All the admin officers told me they don't take the cost of a good supply teacher into consideration.
If you work part time in teaching you will pay so much less tax.
If I was in your position I would go with the charity job and a couple of days supply which would enable you to keep up to date and have a current teaching cv should you wish to return to teaching full time when your children are older.

I just read that you could do tutoring.

This is actually quite well paid, in London the going rate is £40 per hour, and my sons tutor who used to be a secondary school teacher, has 3 students three days per week. (Cash in hand wink ) She taught in an independent secondary, and most her students are children sitting the 11+ for entry into the independent sector.

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