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I have escaped!

(19 Posts)
unicorncupcake Fri 12-Jul-19 19:26:45

It was my last day today at a school environment so toxic that the stories seem almost unbelievable. I felt like I would never find another suitable job but managed to secure one elsewhere literally at the 11th hour before resignation date. Today was so exhausting and upsetting saying goodbye to lovely families and children who have no idea of what’s been happening to many of the staff and kept saying over and over again ‘but why are you leaving’? It used to be such a happy school, but it goes to show that a change of management can have absolutely catastrophic consequences for staff morale and mental health. So for anyone else going through similar and feeling horribly trapped like I was, please don’t give up. I have managed to escape smile so you can too.

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noblegiraffe Fri 12-Jul-19 19:36:11

Bet you feel like a weight has lifted! Onwards and upwards.

monkeytoad35 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:49:44

I am currently in a school that sounds very familiar to yours....I resigned before May half term and I don't even have a job to go to! I cannot wait until the end of term it will be such a relief I can't tell you! Onwards and upwards! grin

herculepoirot2 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:54:20

Same here! My last day was such a big relief, knowing I never again have to deal with their incompetence. 😂

Purplepjs Fri 12-Jul-19 20:00:40

Congratulations! Really hope the new job brings some joy back in to your work. Management make all the difference. My last teaching job started out as the best of my life. A change of management was so damaging I left teaching altogether. Three years later, I’m just beginning to accept it might not be teaching that terrifies me, but just the management at that school. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to try teaching again. Have a wonderful summer break...sounds like you need it.

unicorncupcake Fri 12-Jul-19 20:06:50

I am hoping that new school will be better 🤞 I am really hoping! But even if it’s not I know that I can escape to somewhere else if necessary.

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unicorncupcake Fri 12-Jul-19 20:15:14

My last teaching job started out as the best of my life. A change of management was so damaging I left teaching altogether.

I’m so sorry to read this and I can empathise absolutely. This has been exactly my experience. A culture of mistrust and micromanagement, impossible short notice deadlines, endless shifting goalposts, and being pulled in to be told off about myriad things have made a once idyllic workplace a nightmare. I used to come home from work tired, because you know, teaching is quite tiring. The last two years I’ve been coming home from work just disbelieving about all the mad things that keep happening. I’ve had terrible stress symptoms, been smoking again, eating so much sugar, waking up at 4.30am every morning, has panic attacks, headaches, I keep forgetting words Mid-sentence. I’ve just been lucky that I’ve had a good enough relationship with the kids and that they are really nice so they’ve not caused me any trouble, because I think if I’d had that to deal with as well I’d be leaving teaching and never coming back. I had a full blown crying panic attack at work this week just seeing the title of an email in my inbox from a certain member of SLT. I’ve been a teacher for 15 years, a HOD for 8, consistently rated outstanding. And I’m hyperventilating over the title of a sodding email. Who can stay in a workplace like that?!

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herculepoirot2 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:19:51

Nobody should stay in a workplace like that.

I remember a bloke in my first school who was like this. He was a bully, plain and simple. I told him, and he didn’t like me. Oh well. 😂

herculepoirot2 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:22:02

He’s a HT now. If I knew anybody planning on working for him, I would tell them to let a rabid hedgehog go full pelt for their furry areas before doing anything of the sort.

Chovihano Fri 12-Jul-19 20:26:30

Aw, well done OP. I bet they'll soon regret losing you.

Huncamuncaa Fri 12-Jul-19 21:13:47

Well done you! I did the same last year, except I'm taking a break from teaching completely. It was the right decision but I didnt realise how mentally unwell the job had made me until I left. I was still having nightmares about SATs in August! I was really down for ages and then felt so angry about how I had been treated and how it had affected, not just me, but my whole family.

Someone described leaving teaching as being like leaving an abusive relationship. That's exactly how it was for me.

I'm better now and know I made the right decision but I wish I had behaved differently at the end. I was keen to leave on good terms for my reference but I regret not fighting my corner. While in the job I suffered from multiple miscarriages and other health complications. I'm now 9 months pregnant and blood tests are showing I'm fine. Terrifying what a job can do to you.

Good luck for your new job. I worked at some fantastic schools and fantastic heads, just sadly ended up at a toxic one. Enjoy the summer!

unicorncupcake Fri 12-Jul-19 22:25:04

@Huncamuncaa wishing you all the best with your baby-am so glad you escaped and are so much happier now smile most teachers in my experience are people pleasers and hugely conscientious. It’s so awful when we are made to feel like we are failing the children when we are genuinely doing our best.

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HollowTalk Fri 12-Jul-19 22:49:38

I escaped from somewhere that was suddenly a toxic environment based on new management, too. It was terrible. Many people are still on anti depressants, years after leaving.

leccybill Fri 12-Jul-19 22:59:16

Good luck! I was like that a few years back, as I drove out on the last day, I cried with relief. I took 10 weeks off to heal (definitely had some form of PTSD) and then did supply the rest of the year before finding a lovely school who actually value me and in which I'm now HOD.

ReganSomerset Fri 12-Jul-19 23:01:57

Good luck, OP! Hope your new school is much better.

unicorncupcake Sat 13-Jul-19 07:43:09

I felt so sorry for my colleagues I left behind and my exam classes of kids. sad i didn’t cry yesterday which surprised me, I think the reality will hit later. This morning I feel better, have had 8 hours sleep for the first time in three weeks and am drinking tea in bed, planning what to do with our first day of freedom!

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DaphneduM Sat 13-Jul-19 07:50:37

Congratulations!!! You've absolutely made the right decision for you. I did similar after our school became an Academy with terrible SLT - it was a good decision and have never looked back. It's terrifying what working in a toxic school environment can do to one's psyche.

Frenchie85 Sat 13-Jul-19 07:59:39

I also had my last day yesterday at a place I've been bullied at for the last 2 years and nothing done about it when I complained.
My only sadness & tears came from the overwhelming display of love from my students who were so sad to see me go!! Their words and love was so so lovely.
I couldn't wait to get out of there, and felt light once I got home, like this horrible, toxic weight, had finally come off my shoulders.
My partner said after reading all the cards & messages from the students: "to think you were ready to quit teaching!"
I was! the toxic environment and bullying affected my mental health so much I had to go off sick with anxiety for 4 weeks this last year, as was getting suicidal, desperately looked for any job that would take me away from there, and started to believe teaching just wasn't for me.
I was lucky enough to secure a new post as HoD in another school, and I am so so glad to be out of that place!!! gringrin
Well done to you, and enjoy the next step!

unicorncupcake Sat 13-Jul-19 08:06:59

My only sadness & tears came from the overwhelming display of love from my students who were so sad to see me go!! Their words and love was so so lovely.
Me too!
My year 10s were my absolute fave class, and they just kept coming back for a hug when they said goodbye. So sweet. They wrote me really lovely cards and were so funny as a cohort.

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