Has anyone changed school and been happier?

(11 Posts)
CharleySunshine Thu 04-Jun-15 18:10:05

Has anyone here ever left teaching due to excess workload and found that things improved in a different school?

I'm 27 and I qualified 4 years ago in Primary. I taught in a different part of the country for 2 years, then relocated and started at my previous school. A few months after I joined, it went from Good to Special Measures. A huge fallout ensued - lots of staff left, the Head hung in for the rest of the year then resigned, the school was left in limbo between changing into an academy or not etc. The pressure and scrutiny was huge and although I was still achieving excellent lesson observations, I was working all hours and it took its toll - both mentally and in my home life.

I tried to resign at the end of the academic year but the school asked me to stay on. I stayed until April, then left. I then started a tutoring business and have been enjoying the freedom.

I'm at a crossroads now and I can't decide what to do. I can either start a career doing something different - although I'm not sure what. I did admin jobs before teaching but found them quite unfulfilling. My degree was in English Literature and French so it didn't lead to any particular career path. There are not a great deal of jobs in my area that are education or admin related so I'd have to commute 50 minutes to the nearest big city if I chose that path.

The difficult thing is, I loved teaching and working with the kids. I just disliked all the pressure and stress. My previous school was so dysfunctional too - communication between staff wasn't great, the management weren't that supportive and we never worked together as a team. All the planning was done separately and I often felt isolated there.

In the school where I started out, it was completely different and I enjoyed going to work every day. I did still work long hours but I think that's normal for most professions. I'm wondering if perhaps that one particular school put me off? I know things in teaching have been dire for a while now but I always tried to focus on the positives. I was passionate about teaching English and organising fun stuff for the children. I could deal with the data and the stressful stuff and SLT liked me but I was always secretly fed up with jumping through hoops to prune myself.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated as I really don't know what to do. I can't survive on my tuition wage long term and I'm not keen on doing supply. Has anyone else ever found that a change of school made them happier?

CharleySunshine Thu 04-Jun-15 18:11:59

*jumping through hoops to prove myself, sorry (silly autocorrect!)

Discworld101 Thu 04-Jun-15 18:14:38

Me, 5 years ago.

I was in a school which made me very unhappy. I was bullied by the DHT. It got to the point where I knew exactly which point of the motorway I could drive off and kill myself with hopefully minimum disruption to anyone else. At this point I went to the GP, got signed off and resigned (later was awarded compensation for harassment).

Built up my confidence volunteering at my child's school afterwards, then got my current job, where I am very happy and feel like an integral part of the staff. I am like a different person. Give it a try - i know how you must be feeling flowers flowers

MrsUltracrepidarian Thu 04-Jun-15 18:32:31

I wouldn't necessarily rule out supply as a way to see schools from the inside and decide where and where not to apply.
I almost gave up teaching after my training, as I didn't enjoy my placements and couldn't see myself working in either of those schools. I decided to do supply till I decided what to do. Have found some fantastic schools that I go back to a lot and there are two that are so good that if a job comes up I would not have the confidence to apply, and in the knowledge of what it is really like to work there, and know the teachers/kids/policies already. (Conversely have been to schools that mumss on here think are amazing, but are behind the scenes so dreadful I won't even go back on day's supply, let alone apply for a FT job)

MrsUltracrepidarian Thu 04-Jun-15 18:33:39

'now' have the confidence to apply, not 'not' grin

padkin Thu 04-Jun-15 22:24:54

Me.

I'd been at a Primary school for about four years (though teaching for 15) and it got to the stage where I was loosing the will to live. I hated it. I dreaded the drive in every morning. I wasn't sleeping, I was working ridiculous hours for a SMT who constantly criticised and threatened, and had never been so stressed or genuinely worried about my mental and physical health.

In the end I resigned, with no job to go to. I thought I'd probably leave teaching, but decided to do supply while I worked out what to do. It was a complete breathe of fresh air. I very quickly discovered that there are still a few lovely schools out there, if you're lucky enough to find them. I had loads of work, experienced lots of different schools in my area, and after one term had 3 job offers from schools I liked. I chose very carefully, and 2 years on I'm still at the school, and am happy and settled. Don't get me wrong, it's still stupidly hard work, the hours are long and the pressures still there but, and it is a BIG but, I feel appreciated, and work in a supportive, positive environment with a SMT who genuinely care about their staff. There are still many many things I despise about our current education system, and I don't think I'll be teaching into my 60s, but there is life after a horrible teaching experience. Good luck with whatever you decide.

toomuchicecream Fri 05-Jun-15 07:37:06

Me too. In fact I've done it twice - left a school that was making me unhappy (for very very different reasons) and been much happier at the school I went to. Which interestingly, is the same school. The first time I went there was for a maternity cover - I was so unhappy at the school I was working at I wanted to try something very different. Loved the job and the school but the mat cover came to an end. Loved the school I went to after raft but a change of leadership and threats of special measures made it almost impossible to work there. So when a former colleague from the mat cover school got in touch to tell me about a vacancy..... The rest, as they say, is history!

tilliebob Fri 05-Jun-15 10:23:20

Yes - different school, different role. In the same town and totally different experience grin

CharleySunshine Fri 05-Jun-15 14:15:50

Thanks for your replies. I just feel so conflicted. I don't miss spending most of my free time working, marking piled of books every evening and having to be accountable under all that pressure. But I miss other aspects of it.

I've seen a job advertised at a good school for September and I'm not sure whether to apply or not. It's a big decision for me.

MsFiremanSam Fri 05-Jun-15 20:24:51

I'm in my third school. I'm happy, overall, but I think when you move you swap one set of problems for another. My last school was awful for behaviour - my current one has outstanding behaviour but the pressure to get results is horrendous. The system doesn't change.

MsFiremanSam Fri 05-Jun-15 20:25:59

I teach English as well. You can pretty much choose your school at the moment!

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