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AIBU?

Not enough teachers are leaving

216 replies

sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 17:29

Listening (again) to teacher friends (again) and school children (again).

Anarchy in the classroom, shouting, swearing, children walking out and running around the school, back breaking workload, constant, contradictory criticism, abuse from parents ( and from managers - many of whom are not teachers) no resources, children destroying the resources that do exist, heating / lighting/ IT continually failing, marking too heavy to carry...constant pressure to "achieve" results that are not in any way under your control, low pay, children who want to learn being denied the opportunity to......

Surely these conditions would not exist if teachers didn't collude with keeping them in existence - not all schools are like this. Why don't teachers simply refuse to go along with it? The children that are stuck in schools like this are not being given a fair chance in life, even the really naughty ones are only children, and deserve to be in a system where they can be disciplined and trained, and educated.

I know its hard when you are working 80 hours a week and have no time to think about it, and when you have a mortgage to pay. I've been there. But with hindsight, I should have simply refused to put up with it, long before I did.

More teachers should leave!

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

587 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
57%
You are NOT being unreasonable
43%
LambriniBobinIsleworth · 23/01/2024 19:52

Oh yeah, that's the answer! You're a genius @sharptoothlemonshark! There aren't enough teachers and in 2023 only 62% of the necessary amount of people signed up to train to be teachers (with the number as low as 17% for secondary Physics and equally abysmal for several other subjects) but hey, let's encourage the ones we've got to fuck off.

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Naptrappedmummy · 23/01/2024 19:52

(Btw I’m talking about ‘that’ type of parent homeschooling, I know not all home schoolers let their kids watch telly all day!)

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oakleaffy · 23/01/2024 19:53

VeterinaryCareAssistant · 23/01/2024 17:50

When I went to my grandson's school for a Christmas event there was a little girl being naughty. The teacher wanted her to sit down and stay in her seat but the girl was messing about. Rather than plonk her in the chair and tell her sternly to sit there and do as she's told, the teacher was softly softly saying "you're making red choices, please make green choices" over and over with the girl taking absolutely no notice.

''Gryce Pudding'' the Head in 'Kes'.
This was the norm in the past..it's gone from the one extreme to the other.

The Head is so say very accurate from those who lived in that era in tough 'Secondary modern' schools.

Kes. (1969) Headmaster Canes School kids scene.

Considering none of these were proper actors, this scene is(and the whole film) is a real kitchen sink tour de force. Actual Corporal Punishment old school s...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CM6PIAi8sg

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WandaWonder · 23/01/2024 19:54

There is troubles in schools there are also parents who never believe their child causes trouble and blame schools for the issues

I wonder if there is a connection

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sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 20:00

LambriniBobinIsleworth · 23/01/2024 19:52

Oh yeah, that's the answer! You're a genius @sharptoothlemonshark! There aren't enough teachers and in 2023 only 62% of the necessary amount of people signed up to train to be teachers (with the number as low as 17% for secondary Physics and equally abysmal for several other subjects) but hey, let's encourage the ones we've got to fuck off.

Because nothing good is going to come of people martyring themselves to prop up a collapsing system.

We need to make it crystal clear that change is needed now.

Continuing the mass human sacrifice of thousands of staff and hundreds of thousands of children is what has lead to the state we are in now.

OP posts:
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Flatulence · 23/01/2024 20:01

You give an extreme example. Most schools are not like this, at all. Yes, there are challenges. But you paint an extremely bleak picture that doesn't reflect the vast majority of schools.
Most teachers also feel an obligation to the kids. For too many kids, the school environment is the only consistent thing in their life - the only time adults encourage them, or where they feel warm or safe. Even for kids with lovely home lives, teachers often feel really invested in their futures; most won't just walk out.
I agree no teacher should put up with the kind of chaos you describe, or with 80hr weeks. In reality, that's not what most teachers' days are like and a huge number great great satisfaction from their work, despite the many tough parts.

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willingtolearn · 23/01/2024 20:06

No one cares. If they leave, they will be replaced by cheaper alternatives or they will seek teachers overseas.

That's what has happened in the NHS - people left thinking that if they voted with their feet someone would notice/care and change the dangerous working conditions. As Therese Coffey said of staff leaving “It is their choice of course if they want to do that, but then we also have an open route for people to come into this country who are professional staff.”

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MondieBee · 23/01/2024 20:07

Having to enforce a multitude of new, ridiculous rules must have an impact on the ability of teachers to do their jobs? Policing whether or not kids are wearing their blazers on the field on a warm day, chasing up detentions for any and all tiny infringements must be exhausting and distracting. I think this kind of thing is what parents are railing against, not so much ending nappies or dummies, which is more neglect/poor parenting and probably follows sure start centres closing.

The hyperbole around teachers jobs also does nothing for parents sympathy. It seems unlikely most or even many regular teachers are regularly working 80 hours a week. That'd be 16 hours a day over 5 days, 13.3 hours a day over 6 days or 11.4 hours a day over 7 days. Are you telling me there's teachers getting to school at 7am, leaving at 6pm with no break, and then working at home a further 5 hours, say 9pm to 2am, five days a week, every week? Or working 3 hours every evening, seven days a week and then just under 12 hours 5 days a week? There might be the odd day like that but not continually, or certainly not a single teacher I know.

The narrative that teachers have literally the hardest job in the world does nothing to increase respect. Every parent who is a social worker, police officer, nurse, healthcare assistant, soldier, etc just rolls their eyes internally - many of us have it tough at work.

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Sugargliderwombat · 23/01/2024 20:08

sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 17:42

That is what I said, not all schools are like this. But far too many are. Teachers should be refusing to work there, and walking out.

Edited

You're paying all their salaries then? And you don't mind if it's YOUR child who gets a shit education while all this mass walk out goes on?

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sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 20:09

Sugargliderwombat · 23/01/2024 20:08

You're paying all their salaries then? And you don't mind if it's YOUR child who gets a shit education while all this mass walk out goes on?

Children will continue to get a shit education while teachers continue to collude with propping up a crumbling system.

OP posts:
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Sugargliderwombat · 23/01/2024 20:10

MondieBee · 23/01/2024 20:07

Having to enforce a multitude of new, ridiculous rules must have an impact on the ability of teachers to do their jobs? Policing whether or not kids are wearing their blazers on the field on a warm day, chasing up detentions for any and all tiny infringements must be exhausting and distracting. I think this kind of thing is what parents are railing against, not so much ending nappies or dummies, which is more neglect/poor parenting and probably follows sure start centres closing.

The hyperbole around teachers jobs also does nothing for parents sympathy. It seems unlikely most or even many regular teachers are regularly working 80 hours a week. That'd be 16 hours a day over 5 days, 13.3 hours a day over 6 days or 11.4 hours a day over 7 days. Are you telling me there's teachers getting to school at 7am, leaving at 6pm with no break, and then working at home a further 5 hours, say 9pm to 2am, five days a week, every week? Or working 3 hours every evening, seven days a week and then just under 12 hours 5 days a week? There might be the odd day like that but not continually, or certainly not a single teacher I know.

The narrative that teachers have literally the hardest job in the world does nothing to increase respect. Every parent who is a social worker, police officer, nurse, healthcare assistant, soldier, etc just rolls their eyes internally - many of us have it tough at work.

I think you have it wrong about those professions rolling their eyes. In my experience everyone is very together united against the government and their shocking policies and handling of the public sector.

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MistressIggi · 23/01/2024 20:12

coxesorangepippin · 23/01/2024 18:35

Rather than plonk her in the chair and tell her sternly to sit there and do as she's told, the teacher was softly softly saying "you're making red choices, please make green choices" over and over with the girl taking absolutely no notice.

^^

Woke bullshit.

Kids need simple effective language:

Sit down
Don't do that
No
Now!

Child with PDA?

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sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 20:13

MondieBee · 23/01/2024 20:07

Having to enforce a multitude of new, ridiculous rules must have an impact on the ability of teachers to do their jobs? Policing whether or not kids are wearing their blazers on the field on a warm day, chasing up detentions for any and all tiny infringements must be exhausting and distracting. I think this kind of thing is what parents are railing against, not so much ending nappies or dummies, which is more neglect/poor parenting and probably follows sure start centres closing.

The hyperbole around teachers jobs also does nothing for parents sympathy. It seems unlikely most or even many regular teachers are regularly working 80 hours a week. That'd be 16 hours a day over 5 days, 13.3 hours a day over 6 days or 11.4 hours a day over 7 days. Are you telling me there's teachers getting to school at 7am, leaving at 6pm with no break, and then working at home a further 5 hours, say 9pm to 2am, five days a week, every week? Or working 3 hours every evening, seven days a week and then just under 12 hours 5 days a week? There might be the odd day like that but not continually, or certainly not a single teacher I know.

The narrative that teachers have literally the hardest job in the world does nothing to increase respect. Every parent who is a social worker, police officer, nurse, healthcare assistant, soldier, etc just rolls their eyes internally - many of us have it tough at work.

some work those hours yes.

My last but one school, for example, arrive 5 am leave 6pm every day - no break. A previous school work straight through the night at least once a week throughout Sept- Feb, then at least twice a week march - July.

All together I spent 10 years in those schools. I thought I was fighting for the good of the children. I was so wrong. I was fighting against the good of the children and their education.

OP posts:
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AllAroundMyCat · 23/01/2024 20:16

Another one here who had senior SLT wfh!
I was an HLTA. Resigned due to poor behaviour, appalling SEN behaviour which wasn't addressed and appalling and entitled parental behaviour ( which really got my goat.)

Over twenty years . First ten years were wonderful and rewarding.
Last ten years was full of angst.

Education needs an overhaul ... desperately.

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Combattingthemoaners · 23/01/2024 20:17

I don’t understand your post. Schools are in a terrible state so you think the answer is teachers should leave? How would that fix anything?

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NinetyNineRedBalloonsGoBy · 23/01/2024 20:18

In my "good" oversubscribed secondary school we have so many unfillable vacancies that every single student will have at least 2 supply teachers EVERY DAY.

Most Year 11 students have random supply teachers for 4+ of their GCSE subjects.


Supply teachers don't mark books so that work then gets added to a permanent teacher's workload without the time or money to compensate.

Then, when the GCSE results are not good enough (because the class had constant supply teachers) the Head of Department gets blamed and threatened with job loss for failing to sort it out with no staff.

Teachers are then told they must run after school interventions (AKA unpaid extra teaching) to make sure results don't bomb again next year.

The teacher burns out and can't cope with all the additional teaching hours ("intervention") plus all the additional marking to cover the supply teachers, so they quit for a job in the civil service where their new colleagues think they must be exaggerating the situation for comic effect because surely no one would put up with that??

That teacher's job is advertised with all the benefits we can offer which cost nothing (free croissants from Olio on Fridays!!) - and a couple of people come to look around but they cannot believe how terrible the behaviour is (due to gentle parenting, endemic poverty and lack of a functioning CAMHS?)... so no one applies for the job

That teacher's role is then replaced with ... another supply teacher.

The parents (understandably) email multiple complaints to the Headteacher about the constant supply teachers, lack of marking, terrible behaviour, low grades, lack of interventions, "stupid rules", lack of equipment, the fact that the building is too hot / cold / full of actual holes.

Eventually enough parents complain to OFSTED who inspect the school and they, too, find it lacking. The Head quits due to the stress. The Headteacher's job is advertised offering the world (well, free Olio croissants anyway). Potential candidates visit and can't believe how terrible the behaviour, staffing and environment is. So they don't apply and we don't have a Headteacher..

Rinse and repeat.

This is the last 12 months in our "Good" school in an affluent suburb.

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sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 20:19

Combattingthemoaners · 23/01/2024 20:17

I don’t understand your post. Schools are in a terrible state so you think the answer is teachers should leave? How would that fix anything?

Because it is only possible for schools to continue limping on in this state because of teachers basically sacrificing themselves to prop the system up. If they stopped doing that it would simply not be possible for this state of affairs to continue.

OP posts:
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TotHappy · 23/01/2024 20:24

I feel there should be more the unions could do.
Each burnt out teacher moving schools is too hard, but collectively, it feels as though we should be able to demand more.

I left 7 years ago, after 5 years in the classroom. It was bad then but unions were weak and turnout in union issues very low. Scabs were the worst- I hated fellow teachers telling me, when the union had voted for strike action, that they wouldn't be striking because 'its the kids who suffer '. GET OUT OF THE UNION THEN! If you're not prepared to stand with us, don't pretend! As if we're not all striking for the kids, and the whole future of the sector. As if one of your chemistry practicals stands between these children and an empty future. I don't think so, Mr Glassman.

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Combattingthemoaners · 23/01/2024 20:29

sharptoothlemonshark · 23/01/2024 20:19

Because it is only possible for schools to continue limping on in this state because of teachers basically sacrificing themselves to prop the system up. If they stopped doing that it would simply not be possible for this state of affairs to continue.

Ah okay I understand what you mean now. The tone was hard to grasp.

I work in a “good” oversubscribed secondary school and it is terrifying how much it has declined in a relatively short space of time. I think what you have suggested is already happening though. Anyone near retirement age has left, NQTs have lasted 1-2 years and have left for alternative careers, well-established and excellent teachers are talking about leaving or have already left. The situation is dire and only going to get worse.

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ArseInTheCoOpWindow · 23/01/2024 20:36

NinetyNineRedBalloonsGoBy · 23/01/2024 20:18

In my "good" oversubscribed secondary school we have so many unfillable vacancies that every single student will have at least 2 supply teachers EVERY DAY.

Most Year 11 students have random supply teachers for 4+ of their GCSE subjects.


Supply teachers don't mark books so that work then gets added to a permanent teacher's workload without the time or money to compensate.

Then, when the GCSE results are not good enough (because the class had constant supply teachers) the Head of Department gets blamed and threatened with job loss for failing to sort it out with no staff.

Teachers are then told they must run after school interventions (AKA unpaid extra teaching) to make sure results don't bomb again next year.

The teacher burns out and can't cope with all the additional teaching hours ("intervention") plus all the additional marking to cover the supply teachers, so they quit for a job in the civil service where their new colleagues think they must be exaggerating the situation for comic effect because surely no one would put up with that??

That teacher's job is advertised with all the benefits we can offer which cost nothing (free croissants from Olio on Fridays!!) - and a couple of people come to look around but they cannot believe how terrible the behaviour is (due to gentle parenting, endemic poverty and lack of a functioning CAMHS?)... so no one applies for the job

That teacher's role is then replaced with ... another supply teacher.

The parents (understandably) email multiple complaints to the Headteacher about the constant supply teachers, lack of marking, terrible behaviour, low grades, lack of interventions, "stupid rules", lack of equipment, the fact that the building is too hot / cold / full of actual holes.

Eventually enough parents complain to OFSTED who inspect the school and they, too, find it lacking. The Head quits due to the stress. The Headteacher's job is advertised offering the world (well, free Olio croissants anyway). Potential candidates visit and can't believe how terrible the behaviour, staffing and environment is. So they don't apply and we don't have a Headteacher..

Rinse and repeat.

This is the last 12 months in our "Good" school in an affluent suburb.

I refused to let my daughter take part in any interventions!

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Combattingthemoaners · 23/01/2024 20:49

MistressIggi · 23/01/2024 20:12

Child with PDA?

Do you not think teachers want to be stricter and sterner? We get parental complaints for raising voices or telling off children. We get parental complaints for enforcing the uniform policy. We get parental complaints for asking children to bring in equipment. We get parental complaints for asking children to complete homework. If a child has been naughty we get asked “well what did the teacher do to cause it?” Heads bend to this because they are terrified of parents complaining to OFsted so we are all encouraged to stay calm, use “positive language” and allow children to “reset”.

Poor parenting is a large contributing factor to the state of the education system.

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solsticelove · 23/01/2024 20:51

These threads always turn into the blame game. Teachers V parents. And nothing changes.

I think the OP has a point though. To an extent teachers DO collude with the system by limping on and burning themselves out. But I also agree with those saying that parents shouldn’t be ‘colluding’ with the system either. Most of the adults involved (teachers, SLT and parents) ALL need to say enough is enough and start to advocate for the poor children who are being forced to endure this horrible situation we have put them in. I’ve said it before on here but it’s as if we’ve all got ‘collective Stockholm Syndrome’.

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littlestrawberryhat · 23/01/2024 20:51

I think they like the holidays too much to leave.

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NinetyNineRedBalloonsGoBy · 23/01/2024 20:51

@ArseInTheCoOpWindow THANK YOU for your support Flowers

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WearyAuldWumman · 23/01/2024 20:54

Bluevelvetsofa · 23/01/2024 17:38

Maybe, just maybe, they feel a responsibility to those students who want to learn.

I think the tipping point has been reached though. I’ve said it for a while, but I really think it’s at the point of collapse now.

I've gone back to teaching, three years after being widowed. I'm only doing it part-time.

The only reason I've stayed is because some of the kids are obviously desperate for continuity. Don't know how much longer I can hold out, however.

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