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To hand my notice in at Christmas and leave at the end of spring term

(37 Posts)
DennyDifferent Sun 01-Nov-15 18:20:47

It would mean I would be leaving at the end of March.

I am a teacher and I think my school is probably more supportive than average and the work load/expectations a,t least as manageable as most schools. However, this year I just cannot get my shit together with regards to feeling anxious and stressed. I am able to do my job, management even think I do it well, but inside I am in turmoil, I'm having panic attacks and anxiety. I just don't want to be a teacher any more.

I feel that I should stick it at least until Christmas as I could change my mind and "snap out of it". I think I should hand my notice when we come back in Jan, that way they have 10 weeks to fill my post. The thought of doing a whole year is nearly enough to make me cry, If I do it this way I will be finished in 5 months, waiting till the end of the year would mean nearly four months more.

AIBU to leave at the end of the spring term?

Just for background this is my 5th year teaching, second in this school. I have felt this way before, did some supply and felt a bit better then joined my current school full time.

cece Sun 01-Nov-15 18:23:52

Could you ask to go part time? I found this helped my anxiety a lot!

Mistigri Sun 01-Nov-15 18:27:18

If you are having panic attacks, then the very first thing you should do is see your GP.

If you can afford to leave and do supply work then I wouldn't blame you if you resigned - the recent thread on teachers leaving the profession was an eye-opener!

Orangeanddemons Sun 01-Nov-15 18:28:31

I found going part time didn't change anything. I still have anxiety about the whole thing

Junosmum Sun 01-Nov-15 18:33:36

It depends. Do you enjoy teaching (all the aspects of it)? What would you do instead? My husband has just left teaching to pursue another career, it took serious planning and time to execute but it was certainly for the best. If you can afford to live without a job for awhile or on supply coming up to summer then go for it.

On the other hand, if this is possibly a mental health difficulty and with support you could enjoy your job again then I'd get support and make the decision in a few months.

superram Sun 01-Nov-15 18:33:47

You can only leave at February half term with school agreement and leaving at Easter is actually contractually 30th April-not the end of term. Why didn't you resign yesterday and go at Christmas?

MrsBartlettforthewin Sun 01-Nov-15 18:37:36

Please go to the doctors if you are having panic attacks. You would not be unreasonable to do as you are planning, you'd be given the school plenty of notice to fill your post and if some time out/a step back is what you need and you don't need to worry about the drop in income then go for it.

Just out of curiosity do you teach secondary or primary? If secondary could you make it to then end of the summer term as I always find that once exam classes have gone on study leave that my gain time really gives me a chance to re-evaluate the year and try and get a jump on the following year.

DisappointedOne Sun 01-Nov-15 18:40:40

You'd need to get your resignation in by 31st Dec, wouldn't you?

ilovesooty Sun 01-Nov-15 18:43:37

No she wouldn't. The next resignation deadline date is 28th February.

DennyDifferent Sun 01-Nov-15 18:58:10

Thanks for concern regarding the panic attacks, I think I've been in denial about them being something I should ask for help about.

I enjoy working with the children, I think its the weight of the responsibility that is doing me in. The responsibility of caring for them, being physically responsible for them as in their well being and safety while in my care is fine, it the responsibility for progress and the feeling of being scrutinised that I cant cut. A really good point was made on the teachers leaving thread about personality types. I definitely have a personality that cares far too much about what other people think and fears scrutiny. I'm a bit paranoid and lack self confidence, even when people are telling me I'm doing well I still worry.

superram good point about it being 30th April, I always think of it in terms of terms. I think if I gave notice just before/after the Christmas holiday they would be good enough to release me from the end of the term, makes it easier for them with regards to recruiting too.

I didn't hand my notice in yesterday because I have only felt quite this bad this half term. I had a horrible time during my NQT year then supply built my confidence and enjoyment back up and last year was up and down, mostly up. This half term I have just gone to bits and I am hoping that it will right itself before Christmas, but if it doesn't I want to know I have an exit plan.

Junosmum I'm not sure if it is a teaching thing or a mental health thing. Nothing else has ever really made me feel this way.

Viviennemary Sun 01-Nov-15 19:12:27

I think it all depends on what your future plans are. If you are having panic attacks then certainly go to your GP. It seems the more conscientious teachers are the more they worry about doing their jobs properly. And they're the ones doing a very good job. But you don't want your health to suffer. It's difficult to advise you what to do. If you hate teaching going part-time isn't always the answer. But don't make any rash decisions. Think in ten years time will I be sorry I left or think I did the right thing. That can sometimes help with a decision.

BumblingBee89 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:21:41

DennyDifferent - I had to reply, because I could have written your post. I am also a teacher in a fairly supportive school, I am suffering from anxiety and am strongly considering leaving.

Anxiety and panic attacks aren't things that you can 'snap out of'. I understand what you're saying because I often tell myself I need to 'pull myself together'. But you can't, no more than a person with a broken leg can fix it by telling themselves to.

Obviously I can't tell you what to do. But I can tell you to trust your instincts. If you want to leave and you think it would make you happier, then do it.

In short, YANBU at all to leave at Easter. This is your life and your health and you've got to put that first.

I'd also suggest seeing your doctor about your anxiety and panic attacks. I was really nervous when I saw mine, but they were great and I'm now having CBT, which is going really well.

Be kind to yourself flowers

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 01-Nov-15 19:25:40

Denny I could have written your first post. I don't know that I can leave, as I can't see that I could get another job which earns as much doing something else. I also am not sure that I can stay.

Sorry not a very helpful reply.

This article made a lot of sense to me -
www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/oct/27/introvert-teacher-how-to-find-peace-and-quiet-in-school

It's the "performance" aspect that's so hard. If you're anything like me, school will not have noticed that you're struggling as you put the performance on to get through the day, but it's exhausting.

I agree with others who say that you should see your GP about panic attacks (although I am not very good at taking my own advice because I haven't been myself!)

StompyFreckles Sun 01-Nov-15 19:28:54

I left my part time teaching post to do supply - feel so much better now.

MooPointCowsOpinion Sun 01-Nov-15 19:32:45

If you broke your leg you wouldn't say 'I can't teach with a broken leg, I'll quit my job and keep the broken leg.'

You have a mental illness. It's something to seek treatment for, not change your job for. Seek treatment from now until Christmas. Consider leaving later by all means. But on your own terms once you have some decent support for your anxiety.

Meow75 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:38:25

I'm two years on from your post. Had a rock bottom day on 09/12/2013, where it came to light that I don't have the balls to end it.

I resigned one week later advising my HT that I was terminating my contract as of the end of the calendar year.

Since then I've claimed JSA, temped for Interflora as their UK HO is 5 miles from my house, and am now in a NMW job working for Vodafone.

But the most important thing is I'm not teaching anymore. I don't wake in the morning DREADING the day ahead and feeling trapped in a job that was making me mentally ill to the extent that about one month after writing my resignation letter, my husband of 15 years commented that he finally had his wife back.

Don't let it go as far as I did. I should have resigned about 18 months before.

cardibach Sun 01-Nov-15 19:40:24

If you give notice just after Christmas, they don't have to be 'good enough' to let you go at Easter. They have to - notice is half a term (I know it's not exactly that, it's in months, but that's how it works out.
I second getting your anxiety treated before you make the decision though. Take time off if you need to.

ListObsessed Sun 01-Nov-15 19:51:57

Watching with interest as (I know I'm not the first to say this), I could have written this post word for word. The constant feeling of anxiety and pressure is awful. I'm so torn, because like you, I love teaching, but hate all the rubbish that goes with it. When I work out my actual hours worked, I'm earning minimum wage! Why put myself under all this stress for that. Looking for my escape route!

Badders123 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:56:17

My friend left ft teaching job (hoy) in July.
She is now doing supply and loving it.

NanaNina Sun 01-Nov-15 20:04:11

I feel so sorry for all you teachers experiencing stress and panic. Teaching shouldn't be like this. My son is a primary school teacher and has had a bumpy ride over the last 11 years of teaching. I won't go into detail but he's done a couple of years on supply (not consecutively) and both times it has been positive, in that he got his confidence back. Sadly he was bullied by an HT who only wanted teachers that she had appointed. He is now doing permanent PPA and so the stress level is reduced and he's actually enjoying teaching again.

tethersend Sun 01-Nov-15 20:07:34

From the NUT:

Where any teacher resigns at the end of the spring term and is leaving teaching, the school could, and probably would, expect the teacher to be available for work up to 30 April given that the teacher would be paid for the whole of that month. In some circumstances, however, it might be possible for the teacher to leave at the end of the spring term, particularly if the replacement teacher is starting after the Easter holiday.

cheapskatemum Sun 01-Nov-15 20:07:55

Hi! I could have written your post 5 & half years ago, which was when I last taught. I was covering a maternity leave and as the teacher was returning 1 week before the end of the summer term ended, I asked if I could leave then, rather than working the final week of term - that's how desperate I was! It was a long term supply post, so they couldn't stop me. They were surprised & said they would like me to work that week, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I had seen my GP in the January and was fortunate to get 6 weeks' counselling at a time when I had non-contacts. It helped a bit, in that I learnt breathing techniques etc, but at the end of the day, the stressor was teaching (horrendous timetable - long story) and once that was gone, so was the stress, anxiety, insomnia etc. The lack of money was nothing in comparison! I did voluntary work and discovered I had a heart for the elderly. I became a dementia friend and now do agency care work in residential care homes. The hourly rate is not as good as teaching, but I love my work. I also worked out that counting up all the hours spent doing marking and lesson preparation, parents' evenings etc when doing long term supply, the pay isn't that much worse. Also, you can't put a value on mental health!

cheapskatemum Sun 01-Nov-15 20:10:54

Also, Good Friday is 25th & Easter Monday 28th March, so it's extremely unlikely, imo, that the school will expect much work from you in the last week of March.

tethersend Sun 01-Nov-15 20:11:05

So the school certainly does not have to let you go at Easter- however, it's probably worth appealing to the head's better nature not to make you work until the 30th April.

Interestingly:

[...] in cases where teachers have missed the deadline for notice or wish to leave other than at the end of term, the strict notice requirements can be waived by mutual agreement with the school. The NUT would hope that reasonable consideration would be given to doing so.

If I were you, I would go and see the head tomorrow and ask if you can leave at Christmas. They can only say no.

DrSausagedog Sun 01-Nov-15 20:13:19

I could have written your posts word for word too. There seem to be too many of us.

I'm just about getting by working 2 days a week plus the extra evenings obviously, but keep getting panicked about observation soon after half term. Even though I've never had a bad one, there's the huge fear of being put onto capability and all the extra stress which would result from that.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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