November 30th 2017
As of today it is 52 days since I decided to quit my job of 5 years.
Now, I couldn’t formally submit written notice until the following week, as that decision to quit was made whilst my hair was draped over a toilet bowl at 4AM on a chilly Monday evening. I was having a panic attack. Not my first but hopefully my last.
It was as my vomit dipped hair was dangerously dangling around that I realised that perhaps I had reached my limit at this school. After 5 years, you’d think you have the feel of the place; but the growing decline of the education system in the U.K. is like a tumbling avalanche – if you don’t get out of the way you will be crushed.
My school was no exception.
Initially, wide eyed and eager to please, the first few years of my career were an amalgamation of terror and exhilaration. I was given opportunities, freedom and, best of all, praise. Learning, growing and loving teaching, I wasn’t concerned with the workload and I certainly didn’t know the difference between ‘for the kids’ and ‘for the sake of it’. Alas, I grew up, and grew frustrated, disillusioned and at times pissed off that teachers were working their arses off to look good rather than spending time actually doing good.
The vicious cycle:
Stage 1: Management know we are in a pickle and pre-empt criticism
Stage 2: Management introduce new ways for teachers to prove they tried their best
Stage 3: Teacher spend hours evidencing that they can do their job
Stage 4: Teachers neglect doing their job because they spend so long on the performance
Stage 5/1: We are in a pickle – so to quote EXAMPLE “…and the love kickstarts again…”
Unfortunately, you need real bravery to break the cycle. Neither teachers, nor managers can afford bravery when investors, governors and dreaded ofsted are breathing down your neck like banshees. So the short-sighted symphony continues for another year.
By year 4 I was exhausted. Now, well now, I’m just done.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. **Cue lightbulb moment** I have removed myself from the school environment but not given up on being able to teach. Teaching really is just part of my DNA. The prospect of leaving my job – even though I knew I needed to, filled me with panic and utter sadness. I’m actually good at teaching – when you cut out the nonsense. Students enjoy my lessons and leave knowing more than they did before. SO I’ve decided I’m going to keep planning lessons, teaching them and marking, but it will all be online. Available to anyone, private school, state school, academy, home school, any person that wants to learn from a great teacher can find me next year at https://yourfavouriteteacher.com
I want to roar “who’s with me?” but this is a blog.
If you are a teacher and you are looking for a way out please get in touch. I can’t promise you an incredible salary (did I mention I’m newly unemployed?) but I want to provide strong cross curricular content and need as much help as I can get.
email me: email@example.com if you want to get involved in fixing education.