I can't take it anymore(37 Posts)
I'm a secondary maths teacher and I'm really struggling at the minute. So much so that I want to hand my notice in and leave at easter.
I feel so guilty about leaving mid year but teaching consumes every evening, weekend and though I have. My lesson planning is suffering because of assessments, making, monitoring, meetings, parent phonecalls etc. There aren't enough hours in the day. I'm miserable and keep crying.
I've considered phoning in sick /seeing the doctor about stress but I feel like I can go on. I just hate it. I was observed this week and I think it will be another satisfactory. Another action plan. I just don't want to do this job. I'm worried that people will think bad if I leave mid year/bad reference.
I've seen a few jobs around. One is a a cover supervisor. Would I be mad to apply? I could make up extra pay through tutoring. Pay isn't a big concern for me. Happiness is. Anyone every felt like this but got over it? I've been teaching 3 yrs. This is the worst I've ever felt.
I left at Easter, it's really not a problem, if that's what you want to do. However, like you, I didn't think I was ill enough to go off with stress, so never saw a GP, but in hind sight(now the stress is gone), I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and I really should have gone to see my doctor. It would have really helped me to see things more clearly to have had a few weeks off, and wouldn't have made any difference to my future career. Also, it's definitely worth trying a new school as a teacher before going for lower paid jobs or a different career, especially if the management keep putting you on action plans - it could just be that your face doesn't fit there, and a new school who actually appreciate you, would reduce a lot of the stress.
Can you reduce hours?
I left teaching and have never looked back. Teaching feels all consuming from the inside, as if to leave teaching is to 'fail' or 'give up' on some level, but there are people out there doing interesting, rewarding and worthwhile jobs that still allow them to watch some TV on a weeknight or heaven forbid, relax at the weekend.
Agree with the pps - do see your GP to get some support, whilst you are making your decision. You are not wasting their time. You can tell them that you are considering leaving teaching - you are not looking for some magic medicine to prop you up and keep you going forever - but they may well sign you off for a couple of weeks to help you make up your mind.
Changing schools could be a good idea, but there is life outside teaching. You don't have to be a teacher all of your life - you can look at other things and go back later if you want to, with other experiences under your belt.
I am an ex secondary teacher and work as a cover supervisor and love it. It can be a good way of keeping in touch with what goes on in schools, if you want time to think, and it can build back up your confidence, as you decide what you want to do. There will always be children in the classroom/a need for good teachers: but you need to look after yourself and build yourself back up.
Best of luck
Cover supervisor would give you a breathing space, and no planning and assessments.
' Pay isn't a big concern for me. Happiness is.'
Yes, I completely agree. Happiness links to your mental and physical well-being and the difference between surviving and living.
I always feel like this around an observation. Do you think you will feel better in a weeks time? I wouldnt make any big decisions while you feel quite so raw because if you are like me it will pass...until the next time. The job where you are wont change though so when you are feeling a bit stronger think about changing schools or hours first and by all means have some time off if you need it.
Should also say though I wish I had given up teaching before the demands of mortgage and just feeling it was too late...
What is this life outside of teaching I hear others speak of?
I have a friend who did supply and worked as cover supervisor for a few years, she was a history specialist and managed to return to teaching v easily when she wanted to. As schools are desperate for maths teachers I am sure you'll have no problem. The whole thing about it looking bad leaving at Easter is a myth in my experience. Maybe you should do a bit of supply and work out what kinds of schools you like?
The school is in special measures and struggling to recruit/keep staff as it is. I don't think they want me to go, they've just had to get tougher on observations.
I was offered a job to start on Jan but turned it down. I like teaching, the school, staff, SLT, just can't cope with the workload.
Drifting when did you start applying for jobs, how did you juggle the notice period and new job etc? What do you do now?
Maybe are you still in education? Did you struggle to find a new job or was it easy?
Thanks for the replies. Another sign of stress.... Waking up at 6 thinking about work on a Saturday!!
I have gone part time and find it manageable now.
If the school are desperate to keep you could u suggest going 0.8 or 0.6? Part time basically. I'm 0.8 and for the first time in over 15 years I feel like I'm almost doing it properly!
Maths tutors around here charge 35 quid an hour. Go for it!
I couldn't do it now. I take my hat off to anyone who manages to remain a teacher in this climate. It was starting like this in 2003 when I left and I have virtually never regretted leaving. I miss the teenagers and the buzz of being around enthusiastic young people, but the rest of it- assessment, overbearing management etc can go hang itself. Life is too short and we are only issued with one.
I agree with the above and have been in your position and ended up on AD. I would definitely suggest going to your GP - they will be very familiar with your situation. If money is not the main issue, I would also consider asking to go part -time or looking for a part time role elsewhere. There is also loads of supply work out there.
I left to do supply work and one thing it has shown me is how different individual schools are. I am currently working long term supply in a good/outstanding school. It is actually less pressured and frenetic because they have an organised SLT who know what they are doing and have good systems in place so the workload is more manageable.
Try to enjoy your weekend
I think you need to leave, either the school or the profession. Don't be scared into believing you won't get another job. As a Maths teacher you will be in demand so teaching is always something you can return to.
I was an English teacher and got to the point where I was literally thinking about it constantly and it was taking over my life. I handed my notice in without anothrr job but quickly got a ta job and tutored in the evenings. It felt like the biggest relief when I had my first half term and realised I had absolutely no work to do and obsess over. I then taught in a special school which I found much less stressful than mainstream and more rewarding and it led me to retrain as a speech therapist.
There are always other options and life is too short to do a job which makes you miserable.
As the wife of a teacher who's just had a breakdown and could easily have had a stroke or heart attack as we found out subsequently, I would encourage you to go and see your gp. The world won't end if you have two weeks off for stress. It will help you see more clearly. Onwards and upwards!
Thanks so much for your replies. It's very reassuring knowing I'm not the only one! The only thing putting me off going to the Dr's is the pressure it will put on everyone else. We will be issuing assessments to all years next week, followed by reports. If I'm not there to do them then the HoD and 2nd will have to do it. They're stressed out enough as it is. I'm not trying to be a martyr or anything but I'd hate to cause another person more stress!
I'm going to apply for a few job over the weekend. I think I've decided that I'll be going at easter. Getting through to easter sounds like it will be tough enough never mind the summer!
It's the weekend and I Have No Work To Do. Just like last weekend and the one before and Christmas. Being on supply is challenging and ghard work in all sorts of ways, but there is no guilt or fear in it for me, and no sense of me being vivisected on a daily basis.
Yes, there is less money now, but I'm good at maths and budgeting.
Beans on toast or baked potatoes are delicious if you are truly enjoying the rest of your life.
Definitely look at your options. Basically life's too short to be unhappy if you can possibly think of ways to make it better. So I'm glad to see you're now thinking of leaving at Easter, that's hopefully an achievable goal. Or talk to SLT about how stressful you're finding the assessments. Or ask to go 0.8 or 0.6. I've often changed jobs within early years to get the balance more right for me and family. I enjoyed working as supply nursery teacher in London - lots of variety was interesting - but I quite like new things and meeting new people. Am now working mornings in pre-school which is OK but not perfect! Have also just started some tutoring which is great. Good luck, and thanks for the thread - I'm sure it will help others too
I applied for jobs before I left, but TBH my heart wasn't in it, and I also wanted part-time, which hardly ever gets advertised in secondary. When I was still teaching (and very stressed) I couldn't see the woods for the trees, and had it in my head that I had to have some kind of career even though deep down, I just wanted to spend time with my own kids. So, I ended up leaving without a job to go to. However, since I packed in I've had a school offer me a job without me even applying(which I again decided to turn down because it was full-time), and was also approached by a company for a non-teaching job (again full-time though).
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a career break, but since I get bored easily, I've spent some of my spare time designing and making a new product, which I may be able to sell, and turn into a business, although if that doesn't work out, I would consider going back into teaching (only when my kids are fair bit older though) or I'd look at FE, or I'd look at some kind of role in the industry I worked in prior to teaching.
Threads like this really put me off teaching though! If I do decide to go back into teaching, I'm pretty certain I'd get a job - like you, I teach a core, shortage subject. I think I'd supply first to get a feel of what different schools are like in my area, because my biggest worry is ending up in a bad school,again.
Basically, when I say it's not affected my career, I mean often when you have a big life change eg. Like packing in a job, often other doors open, and you start to see opportunities that you never would have dreamed existed if you hadn't packed in the job. It would never have entered my head to try to run a business for instance. The speech therapist poster is also a good example.
Packing in was definitely the best thing I ever did. It's allowed me to spend loads of time with my own kids, whilst also spending time doing things I really enjoy. Like you, I didn't need the money, so it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if you left with no job to go to.
It's not that I don't need the money, I do! Ha but I don't need as much money as teaching. I could do cover/supply and manage. Our mortgage is smallish and I have the tutoring work. To those who left due to stress or pressure. What did you put on applications as your reason for leaving?
Another one here who is happy with the decision to leave. I'm training in something else now, and doing bits of tutoring and supply. To those of you who do supply: are there any tricks to getting regular work?
Good luck with your decision OP.
'To those of you who do supply: are there any tricks to getting regular work? '
Being a good teacher; teach well, mark the work properly, be positive.
Flexibility with age groups and what's expected of you that day.
Admiring stuff that the teacher or the school are doing well, out loud.
As a supply teacher I do that, get work five days a week, repeat bookings usually so no longer rarely need a call at 7.30, and if I feel like a day off, just don't accept a booking for that day.
Re the money, yes, doesn't pay as much, but much lower outgoings as not so stressed as to have to drink a bottle of wine every night, or resort to ready meals and other ways that you need up spending money when you are time poor.
Great feeling to leave a school at 3.30, even if going back the next day - even if some classes have been tricky, tomorrow is another day, and the evenings and weekends are freeeeeeeeee.......
'even if some classes have been tricky,'
I had one of those for a week last term. But it's not anything like as soul-destroying as knowing that you are trapped with them for a year, that all observations and progress will be judged by your abilities and not take the class dynamics into account. You do the best you can, and then leave to another location entirely.
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