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Seriously considering leaving teaching

(25 Posts)
didiimaginethis Mon 01-Dec-14 06:38:55

I've just had my second child and on mat leave. I was working 3 days per week.
Before going on mat leave I thought about resigning so much, just to find a job where I can leave work, go home and not think about work at all.
I've been teaching for 12 years now and it's not how it used to be anymore. I still lve teaching but I hate the constant scrutiny, observations, feeling that nothing is good enough. Plus the amount of time I have to spend working on my days off and in the evenings.
I will miss the salary of course and the convenience of being off during school holidays.
I went into work with my children and it was soul destroying - hardly anyone in the staffroom, all bolting back their lunch and looking stressed, the hideous notices on the board about data, targets, Ofsted, observations. So many people told me I looked happy and well. It's because I wasn't working there!
Sorry this is a rambling rant, even though I would take a massive pay cut I really am considering not going back. Am I mad?

Buttercup27 Mon 01-Dec-14 06:40:41

No, not mad. We have this discussion in our staff room at least once a week.

DustInTheWind Mon 01-Dec-14 07:33:34

Ridingthestorm Mon 01-Dec-14 09:03:57

You are me!!! Really you are me!!! I am pregnant with number 2, teaching 14 years but work full time considering switching to three days because I too am fed up with the 24/7 stress of scrutinies, observations, nothing being good enough, targets every half term, having to explain why every single child in your class hasn't made that 1 point increase in progress every half term (despite 'that' child having a major home life issue at the time and could actually make a 2 point increase the following half term). It truly is ridiculous what teachers have to do and put up with.
It was once family friendly. Not anymore. Last time when I went into work on at leave, nobody was interested. They were in their classroom trying to get their afternoon subjects up and ready and mark as many books as they could so they didn't have the usual 90 books to mark come 3:30pm.
We couldn't live without me working so part time is the best that I can do at the moment and resigned myself to the fact that if capabilities happen because I am finding 24/7 isn't long enough, then hand in my notice is what I would have to do otherwise I would find myself out of a career for good.

rollonthesummer Mon 01-Dec-14 21:49:08

We couldn't live without me working so part time is the best that I can do at the moment and resigned myself to the fact that if capabilities happen because I am finding 24/7 isn't long enough, then hand in my notice is what I would have to do otherwise I would find myself out of a career for good.

Yes, I could have written this.

Am desperately plotting an escape plan.

I hate the fact that the job I love has been systematically destroyed by people who largely
a) don't care or even realise what they've done
b) whose children will probably never go through the state system
c) probably won't even be in government in 5/10/15 years.

Had they not completely f*cked the job up in the last 2 years, I probably could have kept going for another 20 years.

phlebasconsidered Mon 01-Dec-14 22:25:35

I left and went part-time in a new school. Life changer.

If you can, go to part-time.We downsized, but it was worth it. I now work 2.75 and get my planning done in half a day out of work and that itty bit in it on my part day. I have a life, a weekend, and take my kids to school some days. On the downside, my pension is shit and I don't get paid much.

Full time was too much for my sanity.

And depending on where you are, it's feasible to take a part-tme job and also pick up supply if you need it if you are urban (I am not).

phlebasconsidered Mon 01-Dec-14 22:27:33

Badly read! You ARE part-time. Maybe another school would help. I was bogged down in a school in SM, a new school has been amazing.

Sometimes it's the environment of one school. I appreciate what you are saying though, teaching has changed out of all recognition in the past ten years. It's a short-term burn out career now.

MademoiselleG Mon 01-Dec-14 22:33:33

THIS IS ME! (bar the second child. That's a -sad- long story). But I really feel like this since the start of this year, miserable about work and really demotivated. Now it all makes sense: stupid tracking, data analysis and value added and all that jazz. Hate it!
Don't know what the actual answer is... I love still having a salary and the pay is relatively ok for the hours I work.
I guess I am going to power on through until my next Mat Leave (if and when...) and then we will make some serious re-evaluations.

Sorry - not actually a very helpful response, but I do hope you find a solution that works for you and your family!

didiimaginethis Tue 02-Dec-14 02:53:07

It's so sad that there are others who feel exactly the same, teaching for me has changed almost beyond recognition in these 12 years.
But realistically leaving altogether is a pipedream, we just wwouldn't be able to afford the massive drop in salary.
The school I'm in has A LOT to do with how I feel, SLT are observation obsessed slave drivers. I am going to request a change to 2 days per week from my current hours in the hope that this will help me cope a little. In the meantime I'll keep my fingers crossed for a lottery win smile

PotteringAlong Tue 02-Dec-14 03:39:15

I'm on mat leave with number 2 as well - wrnt back full time with number 1 but want to give up my tlr and do 3 days a week when I go back. I just don't want to do it anymore! Other than the actual teaching - I still love that! I don't even mind the planning and marking. It's the rest.

Ridingthestorm Tue 02-Dec-14 09:26:52

Five days of constant work (7am out the door, 10pm close books but still not finished) leaves me burnt out on Saturdays and Sunday's but still have planning to do on those days.
My DH is not 100% committed to me going part time. We could very much afford it but still, it is a drop in disposable income that frightens him. I don't think he realises how money obsessed (and materialistic) he actually is!

Caff2 Thu 04-Dec-14 21:04:53

I actually lost my job last year (complicated); we were very much reliant on the two incomes - but had no choice but to live on one, then I got evening and weekend shifts in retail (supermarket - by evening, I mean night time finishing at 2.30 am) which was pretty hard but we survived. I'm teaching again now, .5. It's so much better. Be careful what you wish for, I used to think teaching was so awful, until I discovered it is not. Part time helps, as does desperation and fear when you have no money.

Caff2 Thu 04-Dec-14 21:07:02

I am TERRIFIED of losing my teaching job. And so grateful to be doing what I trained to do again, really.

Caff2 Thu 04-Dec-14 21:09:33

Facing up shelves and doing stock at 1.30 am is not that rewarding, I found.

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Dec-14 21:18:26

I left in the summer, without anything to go to. I took my pension early and am happy to do odd things to just pick up a bit of money. I'm earning a bit through writing, too.

I understood the meaning of 'tipping point' and within five minutes I'd put in for redundancy and it was accepted. It was quite telling that after 28 years in the same place, I didn't get an email saying "I'm so sorry you want to go, but yes, you can have voluntary redundancy" or, heaven forbid a face to face conversation. I knew SMT had met to discuss VR and when I wrote to HR at 4pm to say, "Did they come to a decision?" I got a reply saying simply, "Yes, you can go." There was never another word said about it; I just went at the end of the month without a formal goodbye.

How lovely that that was the way they dealt with it. It made me never regret it for a moment.

Yet I loved being in the classroom and I loved the students.

rollonthesummer Fri 05-Dec-14 07:12:51

Facing up shelves and doing stock at 1.30 am is not that rewarding, I found.

No, agreed.

It's not terribly stressful though and doesn't involve hours and hours of pointless work outside of your working hours. Luckily it's not necessarily a choice between one or the other though.

Ridingthestorm Fri 05-Dec-14 09:55:47

I worked in tesco when I was doing teacher training. It wasn't rewarding and yes tiring doing the thigh light shift but it was nice to be able to finish and go home without a thought about what needed to be done the next day. Walking out the door meant that the rest of the day was 'life' part of the balance not 'work'.
I love teaching and part of my stress is insecurity with the job (long story and snippets said or done to me making me think I am being pushed out) but I have come to the realisation that part time is best for me. I considered it eighteen months ago but like any decision, it is hard to know what to do for the best. Now I know. I have. Pre-schooler and a baby on the way. They are more important and I want some family time back.

KareninsGirl Fri 26-Dec-14 13:01:48

I left last year and don't regret it at all.

Ohnonotagain2 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:37:18

I am considering not going back. I currently do 1 day PPA at my old school on supply pay. What is worrying me is that my DS (3) has been diagnosed with ASD and I can't see how we are going to manage me being a full time teacher, him being at a different school to the one I end up working in plus all the appointments etc he has to go to. I found it hard enough before I had him. I'm hoping a part time contracted job comes up at my current school and then try to get him in the same school as me (we have tiny classes at the moment). But the other part of me hankers after a 9-5 office job and I'm looking into doing some SAGE training etc, but then who has DS in the holidays?! Argh!
If he wasn't autistic, I wouldn't mind him having wrap around care on the 2/3 days that I could work part time.

Brandysnapper Mon 29-Dec-14 10:49:47

I sometimes wonder if this is a storm I can weather - maybe teaching with older dcs won't be quite so hard (and the joy of the holidays with them will continue) sometimes leaving/cutting hours feels like running away and sometimes it feels like the most sensible thing for your mental health. It's very hard.

rollonthesummer Mon 29-Dec-14 11:50:37

I honestly don't know how people do it full time-still actually teaching ft, I mean. I don't think SMT (certainly in the primaries I know) is comparable to a ft teaching teacher, because a non-teaching role seems to be a totally different role. In my school-the less you teach, the higher your heels get, the smarter your clothes and the earlier you go home. The lady who used to teach next door to me but is now a non-teaching deputy says it's a complete piece of cake (that weren't her exact words!) and to get out of the classroom ASAP if I could, but I'm prepared to believe that's just my school as the management are rather crap!

The full time teachers I know (proper teachers, not the SMT non-teachers and I apologise in advance to any members of SMT on here with a large teaching timetable, as that isn't my experience and not who I'm talking about) are either late 50s and counting down the days-many are on 'support' plans or part time. Others are desperately trying to get pregnant so they can go part time or have left!

weegiemum Mon 29-Dec-14 12:08:17

I left, but we could afford life on dh's salary. I now teach basic skills to adults for a charity, 2 days a week and do some tutoring privately. Much, much better!

rollonthesummer Mon 29-Dec-14 13:18:45

This is one way to solve the pension problems: make sure everyone leaves, goes part time or is got rid of quietly via capability by the time they're of pensionable age!

Guilianna Tue 30-Dec-14 00:09:09

rollon - not just your school, no! grin

rollonthesummer Tue 30-Dec-14 11:25:50

I'd be very interested to hear the differences between teachers and non-teaching management in other schools. We have a lot of management (large primary) who don't have their own class (head, 2 deputies, 3 assistant heads, 2 sencos, heads of key stages) and nobody seems to know what they do! The ones I've spoken to say they are a lot happier since leaving the classroom. They have a lot of meetings and wear completely different clothes to before though ;)

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