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Taking a step back from management

(10 Posts)
pfrench Thu 17-Aug-17 12:23:30

I'm deputy head and SENCo in a primary school. I started at the school 5 years ago with the key responsibilities of curriculum development, teaching and learning. I've ended up (new head, I was on mat leave) with assessment, PP and SEN. I'm not interested in these things really, but I've done them for the last 2 years. This last year I also did the NASENCO course (because I had to). I work 0.8 but am only in class 2 days a week. My teaching job share is great, I don't have a management job share.

The SENCO role in my school is pretty much being a social worker. There are few learning difficulties that aren't about family circumstances, ie they are nearly all SEMH issues. I have little interest in being a social worker, and have found the whole thing quite upsetting and stressful.

I am already up at 3am worrying about the next academic year. This last year has been very difficult, it's impacting my family life and my partner would like me to leave (for me, not for him!)

Before I leave teaching altogether (this is how bad it is), I want to take a step back to the classroom and try to remember how much I loved teaching.

Has anyone done it? Was it worth it (financially, for your mental health)?

birdybirdbird Thu 17-Aug-17 19:14:23

I wasn't quite as senior as you but stepped down from my role to go back to being 'just' a classroom teacher last year. It was the best decision I ever made! I just really wasn't interested in the big school decisions anymore, not to mention the stress of being responsible for other people's data... Longer term, I probably will leave teaching to do something else but I spent the last year absolutely loving my job.
The only thing I'd caution you against would be the reaction of your head. Can you step down, is there someone else that will take on the role?? Even if there isn't though, you could always look for other schools. My school has taken on several new staff in past couple of years who were stepping down from management.

birdybirdbird Thu 17-Aug-17 19:16:02

Oh and financially, I'm not that much worse off - fortunately losing my TLR happened at the same time as moving up a UPS point. Even so, the amount of money did not justify the amount of stress and extra work anymore.

PotteringAlong Thu 17-Aug-17 19:20:28

I went from being a head of faculty in a large secondary school to a 0.6 classroom teacher.

Best. Decision. Ever.

PotteringAlong Thu 17-Aug-17 19:21:31

And I didn't loose at much as I thought I would, especially when offset against nursery fees (which may or may not apply to you).

tripetmumof4 Thu 17-Aug-17 19:24:05

I never returned to a management role after the birth of my four children . I have been asked /encouraged to take up senior roles but resisted for the sake of family time and well being . It hasn't always been easy and I am very aware of being the older experienced class teacher . I think my school respect my choice but I have made a conscious decision to specialise in certain areas . I would have thought your school could only benefit from your experience . I hope it goes well for you . I have seen to many good teachers burn out and leave .

leccybill Thu 17-Aug-17 19:28:13

Not management but I left my f/t teaching job in a school in special measures before I really did some harm to myself.
Did supply for 2 years and loved it, found my love for teaching and learning again (as that's all you do on supply, no other crap). I like short term supply roles now, a term here and a term there - enough to keep up the novelty and enthusiasm but you don't have to get involved in any politics. Perfect for me.

pfrench Thu 17-Aug-17 22:07:54

Thanks for responses. I'd probably have to leave the school - I'd never really be able to step back, I'd still get approached for stuff. That's ok though, I don't mind leaving.

Did the maths today and if I could get UPS3 and full time instead of 0.8, I'd be better off. And that's before I take into account free nursery hours after Christmas.

LottieDoubtie Thu 17-Aug-17 22:36:57

I'm also at a bit of a crossroads in my career. I'm doing the rather sexist thing of looking around at the children/home lives/types of women I know who are in senior management (and have known across several schools)...

Honestly I'm not sure I could do it to my family.

I want to tell myself I'm being outrageous but the facts are indisputable.

pfrench Thu 17-Aug-17 23:52:59

I think that the job I had before I went on mat leave would be fine now. It's the SEN bit that has become rather overwhelming - the cost on my own mental health has been quite something. I wasn't expecting that.

The middle management job in teaching sucks a bit though, especially if you are still in class for some of your week. Still have to do planning and marking, report writing, parent's evenings, class assemblies and performances - which are usually on your 'own' time - yet also have some more strategic responsibilities as well as personnel responsibilities that are hugely time consuming. That doesn't even mention any time spent with actual children! The chance of getting any work done during your actual office days is low due to interruption, so you are doing all that in your 'own' time too.

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