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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%
WearyAuldWumman · 23/01/2024 20:57

littlestrawberryhat · 23/01/2024 20:51

I think they like the holidays too much to leave.

When I was working full-time, I spent a large amount of my holiday time prepping for the new term, going over results, prepping stats for examination by senior management and the LA Ed Officers...

During term time, I was going in before school and working up to 7.30 in the evening.

I'll never get that time back or the other things that teaching have robbed me of, more fool me.

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MistressIggi · 23/01/2024 21:02

@Combattingthemoaners my response was to a posters suggesting we (I also teach) just need to say "no" to children - and they were responding to someone judging a teacher for how they dealt with an individual pupil they happened to see in an assembly. Something that looks like an odd way to deal with behaviour can sometimes be the best approach for the needs of that child. I didn't think the poster should make assumptions.

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captainflash · 23/01/2024 21:02

As the only senior leader in my school, the place would fall apart if I taught 3 days a week. I don’t think anyone has any idea as to what magnitude of work I do all day. Or I suppose I could just teach 3 days a week and do all that strategic and operational work in my own evenings and weekends

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WearyAuldWumman · 23/01/2024 21:06

captainflash · 23/01/2024 21:02

As the only senior leader in my school, the place would fall apart if I taught 3 days a week. I don’t think anyone has any idea as to what magnitude of work I do all day. Or I suppose I could just teach 3 days a week and do all that strategic and operational work in my own evenings and weekends

I only work two days a week now. I'm finding that I'm spending too much of my 'days off' prepping for work.

At one point, I was a middle manager. It was agreed that I could go down to a 4 day week. (I was supposedly winding down.) I finished up doing 5 days' work in 4, including setting and marking the work for my 'day off'. Not worth it.

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captainflash · 23/01/2024 21:11

That was supposed to be a reply to @Depressedhusbandbringingmedown
didnt quote properly.

It’s a really tough balance. I do cover at least once a week and try to cover all classes over the course of the half term. But there is a huge workload demand in leaders too. Who are leaving in droves!

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abouttogetlynched · 23/01/2024 21:16

I think it’s party because there are no such things as naughty children who can be disciplined anymore, all the ones once labelled naughty are all now neurodivergent and therefore can’t be disciplined because their behaviour is not their fault.

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WearyAuldWumman · 23/01/2024 21:18

abouttogetlynched · 23/01/2024 21:16

I think it’s party because there are no such things as naughty children who can be disciplined anymore, all the ones once labelled naughty are all now neurodivergent and therefore can’t be disciplined because their behaviour is not their fault.

In my LA, we're being told that all bad behaviour is 'trauma response'.

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LoopyGremlin · 23/01/2024 21:21

I make £48k as a teacher. What other job can I do, which doesn't require additional university training, and will pay similar? I do like my job most of the time but I used to love it. If I had my time over I would not choose it now ☹️

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Naptrappedmummy · 23/01/2024 21:22

abouttogetlynched · 23/01/2024 21:16

I think it’s party because there are no such things as naughty children who can be disciplined anymore, all the ones once labelled naughty are all now neurodivergent and therefore can’t be disciplined because their behaviour is not their fault.

We need to think really carefully about the culture that is unfolding here. If we say a violent 14 year old can’t be held to account because he’s ND (for example), then why would he be held to account at 18/20/40? He’ll still be ND, either it’s a condition which excuses such behaviour or it isn’t, you can’t grow out of it. In which case we are about to see a lot of mainly men use their ND conditions as mitigation in court for aggression, domestic violence and similar. Will posters on here be defending them then? If not, why not?

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ilovebreadsauce · 23/01/2024 21:29

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.

IBecause the girl probably had special needs and this is what her legally binding care plan or the school SLT say she has to do. Teachers often just do not have much autonomy in how to deal with stuff like this

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ilovebreadsauce · 23/01/2024 21:32

My DN is a primary ECT and the school's discipline policy literally does not allow teachers to sanction children. It is based on some psychologists work

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Aparecium · 23/01/2024 21:35

Green choices/red choices work - if red choices are backed up with negative consequences and green choices are backed up with positive consequences. And not consequences tomorrow - now. 3 red choices = removed from the hall. If the staff is begging, they're making a red choice.

ND children can still learn appropriate, acceptable behaviour. But that requires an investment of time and consistency by trained staff.

As a parent I would fully support consequences such as litter-picking and cleaning duties. But who would supervise? Again, an investment of time and consistency by staff.

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Devonshiregal · 23/01/2024 21:36

Gummybear23 · 23/01/2024 17:45

Easy to say that when you are not in the situation.

Yes precisely. And what easier ways? You wanna work in a bar and work every holiday, weekend, Christmas, NYE? Nights and early mornings? Have people treat you like shit? Threaten to bottle you? Spit at you? Click their fingers at you?

or maybe retail? Again where you get spoken down to all day by spoiled adults and have ridiculous management to deal with?

or maybe just a “cushy” office job - except you’re pay will be shit and you have no autonomy or creativity?

it’s not just teachers who have it shit you know.

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Serena1977 · 23/01/2024 21:42

I've been a teacher for 14 months. Leaving at Easter. Worse aspect for me is the constant pressure from scrutiny from non teaching managers and behaviour of disengaged children and parents.

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WearyAuldWumman · 23/01/2024 21:52

Devonshiregal · 23/01/2024 21:36

Yes precisely. And what easier ways? You wanna work in a bar and work every holiday, weekend, Christmas, NYE? Nights and early mornings? Have people treat you like shit? Threaten to bottle you? Spit at you? Click their fingers at you?

or maybe retail? Again where you get spoken down to all day by spoiled adults and have ridiculous management to deal with?

or maybe just a “cushy” office job - except you’re pay will be shit and you have no autonomy or creativity?

it’s not just teachers who have it shit you know.

I would hope that you are at least allowed to have police input when that happens. School management tries to prevent staff from calling the police.

I got hurt stopping an assault last week. The following day, I was hurt stopping a fight.

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SemperIdem · 23/01/2024 21:54

My exh is a teacher and nothing opened my eyes more to how challenging a job it is than having that proximity to someone going through it. It’s been hard for years now, and seems to only be getting worse.

Grateful to those who stay in the profession but fully understand why so many have left or are planning to.

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JacquiDaytona · 23/01/2024 21:59

In my school, we all teach at least 15hrs still - because there are no teachers!!!!

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orangeblossom23 · 23/01/2024 21:59

LoopyGremlin · 23/01/2024 21:21

I make £48k as a teacher. What other job can I do, which doesn't require additional university training, and will pay similar? I do like my job most of the time but I used to love it. If I had my time over I would not choose it now ☹️

A PGCE is additional university training even with SCITT programs there are assignments to write.
Nowadays its an extra year post Bachelors degree.
The bursaries are generous but many do not take up a teaching post or leave within their first years...

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AllProperTeaIsTheft · 23/01/2024 22:15

A PGCE is additional university training

Not for someone who's already got one. The poster clearly meant 'I am a qualified teacher. What other job could I change to, which would earn me £48k and not require me to do additional training?'

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Jeannie88 · 23/01/2024 22:22

Because it's expected and if anyone raises an objection there can be trouble for them! The saying at one school I worked in was 'don't lift your head above the parapet'. Some places are unbelievably toxic and led by managers who have never taught.

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noblegiraffe · 23/01/2024 22:23

Another thing teachers are doing wrong 👍

Some of us have kids in school. Do I want their teachers to all quit? No. That's not going to solve anything for my kids.

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Confusedddddddd · 23/01/2024 22:31

LoopyGremlin · 23/01/2024 21:21

I make £48k as a teacher. What other job can I do, which doesn't require additional university training, and will pay similar? I do like my job most of the time but I used to love it. If I had my time over I would not choose it now ☹️

Tech (some don't have age/experience limits on their grad schemes) starting pay £30k, was on £50k within 3 years.
Work 9-5 flexibly, rarely take work home. It's bliss in comparison.

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Mumoftwo1312 · 23/01/2024 22:38

Op 's logic doesn't hold water for me.

She says - if all the teachers quit, "this state of affairs can't continue". Sure. But it does not follow that the state of affairs will get better. For that, we would need actual strategies and solutions to improve teacher retention, children's behaviour, quality of management, funding and resources.

Op's strategy seems to be "set fire to the whole thing, let it burn and we'll rebuild...somehow"

Come on. All that would result is even worse conditions for the teachers that remain, even worse management replacing the ones who leave, even worse children's behaviour when they realise no one cares about them enough to stay.

Never assume things can't get worse.

I did leave the state sector over 10y ago to teach in expensive private schools, that treat me better including pay, conditions, pupil behaviour. But I'm under NO illusion that I've done some kind of favour to the state sector by leaving.

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Oneblindmouse · 23/01/2024 23:07

I was a TA. The children were badly behaved. They wouldn't sit down and engage with me or the class teacher.
It was completely hopeless and so stressful. That was five years ago.

I left and went into care work supporting adults with learning disabilities. I loved the job and the pay was not much less than the TA work. I feel for anyone working in schools now.

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Mumoftwo1312 · 23/01/2024 23:17

Mumoftwo1312 · 23/01/2024 22:38

Op 's logic doesn't hold water for me.

She says - if all the teachers quit, "this state of affairs can't continue". Sure. But it does not follow that the state of affairs will get better. For that, we would need actual strategies and solutions to improve teacher retention, children's behaviour, quality of management, funding and resources.

Op's strategy seems to be "set fire to the whole thing, let it burn and we'll rebuild...somehow"

Come on. All that would result is even worse conditions for the teachers that remain, even worse management replacing the ones who leave, even worse children's behaviour when they realise no one cares about them enough to stay.

Never assume things can't get worse.

I did leave the state sector over 10y ago to teach in expensive private schools, that treat me better including pay, conditions, pupil behaviour. But I'm under NO illusion that I've done some kind of favour to the state sector by leaving.

Ps the "burn it all down and start again" strategy is what brought us academies and multi academy trusts.

Was that a success?

Burn it all down and start again - this led to a pointless overhaul of many curricula including primary phonics.

Also abolishing the modular A level system, effectively nullifying AS levels.

Were any of these an improvement? Unequivocal improvements?

No.

Burn it all down and start again is a crap strategy for improving any aspect of education.

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