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To feel broken by teaching, and need to know how to get out?

(253 Posts)
SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 05:52:54

Name changed for obvious reasons.

I haven't slept all night after coming to the realisation yesterday that I'm finished with teaching. My school is unsupportive in every way imaginable, so I can't ask a colleague for help with figuring out what to do (it would all be fed back along to SLT), so can I please ask here?

How do you leave secondary school teaching when you're not going into another teaching role? Could I leave before the end of the school year? At this point, I don't even care if I don't have another job lined up, I just can't bear the thought of work.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 05:57:00

Really depends what you teach, how long you've been doing it, etc.

Some people can career change - graduate scheme or role where their degree is the most relevant thing.

Some people can go back to something they did before teaching (I'd be in this camp) or take their teaching skills into another area, like consulting, tuition, academic publishing, education charity, etc.

Sorry to hear you're finding it so hard. Would supply be a way of leaving your current job while looking for a route out of the sector?

Historicallyinaccurate Tue 06-Mar-18 05:58:28

YANBU to feel broken by teaching, I did also, but AIBU prob isn't the best place to post for practical advice from others in a similar position. Can you afford a drop in salary and look at TA/technician/office type roles as a springboard to perhaps retraining? Which subject specialism?

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 05:58:51

And notice dates for Easter have just gone, I'm afraid. So you'd be in breach of contract if you left before the end of the year.

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 06-Mar-18 06:00:19

I'm so sorry you feel this way - poor you flowers
If you can't speak to anyone in school.for advice, could you speak to your union?
Unfortunately, the resignation data to leave at Easter has passed so you would have to stay until summer unless you can negotiate an early release - your union may be able to help here.

My husband left without a job to go to and it has been fine - he is now self employed doing various jobs for people and is around for our son and some elderly relatives. We have less money but honestly it's been fine.

If you can't/don't want to do the self employed thing, you could try shops/cars homes etc that often need staff - even if it's just while you think about your next move.

Are you ok today? Can you call in sick today and if needs be see your GP?

Good luck, I enjoy the job but it is hideously stressful at timesflowers

TelekenesisThesis Tue 06-Mar-18 06:00:20

Yes you can leave. Check your contract. Obviously it’ll look better to avoid gaps in your employment history. Could you reduce your hours or look for a post with less hours? Or do supply just until you figure out what you want to do.

Historicallyinaccurate Tue 06-Mar-18 06:00:49

Fwiw, every single supply job I did was worse than my regular post. I wouldn't rely on that as a stopgap unless I was desperate.

TelekenesisThesis Tue 06-Mar-18 06:01:58

Sorry notice dates have gone. Although you can still request to leave at Easter. They might say no of course.

HarrassedMumof3 Tue 06-Mar-18 06:02:50

YADNBU to feel broken by teaching. I've been awake since 4am worrying about my workload and after ten years in the job I also feel that I have to get out this year.
I love teaching and working with the kids, but the relentless, insane workload and the punitive accountability system has taken all the joy from the job. Gove has ruined the profession.

SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 06:05:23

I'm secondary English, this is my fifth year.

Unfortunately, no union reps are present in the school (anyone who becomes a union rep ends up mananged out, so people gave up years ago). But I suppose I could contact them online or something.

I'd want to stay to see my year 11s through their exams, but I just don't see the point after that. The thought of going in today is making me sick and tearful.

PoodleJ Tue 06-Mar-18 06:06:08

I think that the first thing you could do is get to the Dr's and tell them about your work related stress. You can then get a bit of breathing space to make your decision about what you want to do long term.
I would also call the Education Support Partnership community.tes.com/threads/tough-day-were-listening.758262/
You could also consider supply or a different school before totally giving up teaching.
If you do want to leave teaching there are many transferable skills that lots of employers will want but you need to get yourself feeling better first.
Take care and be kind to yourself.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 06:07:34

Did you do anything before teaching? And do you have a degree in Literature or a related field?

SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 06:10:12

Am thinking maybe I will ring the GP this morning. I've never rung for anything like that before, not sure what to say.

I don't want to be dramatic, I've never felt like this before, and I know there are worse things in the world, but I found myself thinking a few hours ago that if I hurt myself, I maybe wouldn't have to go back to work for a little while.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 06:12:02

Definitely don't go in. You can discuss these feelings with a doctor and ask to be signed off.

HarrassedMumof3 Tue 06-Mar-18 06:14:31

OP I'm secondary English too. You don't sound dramatic to me, I understand completely.
I think there's a teacher support phone line - could you give them a try? Take some time off - it sounds like you need some breathing space.
We have no union reps for the same reasons but things have been so bad recently that someone has contacted the unions and they are holding a meeting next week, so I'm hopeful we will elect some. I would definitely ring.

SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 06:16:36

I was in retail before teaching, and my degree is in English Literature. I live in rural Cornwall, so am sure that will affect my ability to find full-time work immediately, but husband has said his salary will cover any short fall for the first bit. He has wanted me to leave teaching for a while now.

Can you do graduate schemes so long after finishing uni? I got my undergrad in 2011.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 06:18:15

You can, yes. There is no age limit on applying to a graduate scheme and I've seen career changers do that before. You'll probably need to be persistent and have a really good story in terms of why you want to do the job, but there's no reason you wouldn't find something!

SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 06:21:58

Oh, that's a good possibility then. I thought they were just for people straight out of university.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 06:23:51

No, employers can't discriminate directly on the grounds of age. You can apply without disclosing your actual age. And you can't be more than 30!

Honestly, don't despair. I know lots of people who have career changed.

DeloresJaneUmbridge Tue 06-Mar-18 06:25:23

YANBU OP, I am not a teacher but have friends and relatives who are. I've seen first hand how awful the job can be.

My niece (also an English teacher in secondary) is finishing this year and then moving to a pupil referral unit. She is fed up with not having the right resources or support for pupils with SEN and/or challenging behaviours.

Her current workload is horrendous. It will still be high at the referral unit but there will be much less of it.

Is a sideways move into something like this possible for you?

Or supply teaching so you can walk away at the end of the day and not take work home with you.

BluebellTheDonkey Tue 06-Mar-18 06:29:45

You need to look after yourself first and foremost, I think the nature of many teachers is that they put their students needs first - rightly in many cases but when your mental health is suffering it is time to take a step back. Your GP will be able to sign you off with stress for a couple of weeks so you have a chance to gather yourself.
I am a qualified teacher working as a TA and I can tell you now there is no way I'd go back to teaching. And that is with a supportive Head. I have seen good teachers crumble around me and it is horrendous. Please do what is right for you. thanks

chocatoo Tue 06-Mar-18 06:33:07

Could you do private tutoring? Could you work in a private school? What about teaching adults? Good luck. X

SachaStark Tue 06-Mar-18 06:37:13

I think that some kind of sideways move may be possible, though I'd have to look into the possibility of anything local to me. We can't relocate, as husband's business can't be moved.

I would definitely consider supply, as my behaviour management skills are good, and I love the thought of working with the kids, but then being allowed to just walk away. I'm not sure I'd want to do it straight away though.

snowbellj Tue 06-Mar-18 06:37:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pengggwn Tue 06-Mar-18 06:38:21

Just take it slowly. You need to see your doctor first. Then think about the rest of the year.

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