Hasta La Vista

I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 9. Quite literally never thought of another career (even when the careers advisor suggested ‘tree surgeon’). I love teaching- the moments where you make difference to a child confidence, their love of books, their will to learn, their behaviour, their knowledge, their thoughtfulness for others, their self confidence and their ability to work as a team.
I love seeing the progress they make and their responses to feedback which genuinely takes them further than they thought, their crazy, unique and quirky take on things that makes my lessons better Than i imagined. I even like having to adapt lessons halfway through when I realise they’re not ‘getting it’. It’s been my life for 16years. I have sacrificed honeymoons, special days with my family, holidays and nights to my vocation- for thats what I feel it is- but I’ve done so without complaint because I love teaching.
But
After a tough term in a new school it hit me like a truck- my family are suffering because of the hours I work. teaching is now out of control -60 hour weeks when I only get to see my 3 and 6 year olds and husband for a Few short hours at a weekend, where I leave the house as they rise and get back as they go to bed.
I’ve had a ‘tough class’, a really tough class, but it’s not because of them that I have made the heart wrenching and terrifying decision to leave full time class teaching, Key Stage Leader and a position on SLT. On Monday morning after a weekend away that I thought would relax me, I had a panic attack on the way to school. I called the doctor who signed me off and from there, things have moved fast. A call to the Education Support Network ( who were absolutely amazing. Completely brilliant.) confirmed what I think I knew already. My family are my priority and I need to actually put them first for a bit. Instead of ‘carving out a couple of hours of ‘me time” as was suggested on #dojochateu last week, what I need to do is ‘carve a couple of hours of work time out of my life’. It should all be ‘me time’, I should be able to choose how I spend my time. I should not have to miss my child’s swimming lesson, hearing them read – (Sorry Mrs. Burnett), realising that their shoes are too small and have been for weeks.
So, after a kind of nightmare 3 days I made the decision, the hardest of my life to hand in my notice. I was shaking. Nervous doesn’t come close to how I felt on Thursday as I went into school to tell the head. The feeling of guilt was tremendous- almost over whelming. I felt that i was letting the school down, the head who had appointed me, the deputy was is only recently back form maternity, the other staff who are working so hard on improving the school. I felt a failure. What would people think? That I’m weak? That I’m feeble minded? That I can’t stick with things when they get tough? The I read some blogs by @thosethatcan @mikestuchbery‍ @andyknill‍ @pookyh I realised that mental health is more important than ‘what people think’, more important than earning a stack of cash, and actually- mental health is an issue that people are far more aware of now, especially in teaching, and I knew that when I tell the world that I’m ‘jacking it in’ they won’t think I’m running away, that I’m a quitter. They’ll think I’m strong for putting my family first, for making a decision early that will save me from a much worse thing later on. My head, who was great, and kinder than I feel I deserved when having my notice in at the start of May, has given me s 4 day week till the end of term, which will mean, hopefully that I can make the end of term in one piece
So, the future?
Well, I still love teaching- just not full time right now. I’m signed up to a supply agency, I’ll tutor- which I love, I’ll do marking and I’ll sell my pots. It will just about cover the mortgage and we’ll be shopping in Lidl but I can actually see the boys. I’ll be able to cook them dinner and hear them read and learn their spellings and take them swimming and have time to just ‘be’ with them.
At some point, I’ll be back, I’ll be a deputy, I’ll bring my enthusiasm and ideas back to a school. Just not for a while.
I’ll still be bothering people on Twitter and Staffrm and at teachmeets. I want to stay in the loop and steel ideas and stash them away for later.
It’s not goodbye, it’s ‘see you later’.
The irony of this happening in #teacher5aday stress awareness month is not lost on me. The #teacher5aday team @martynreah‍ @jenna‍ @annanolani and the rest of you have kept me going this long- keep up the brilliant work- I’ll be back!

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And so it begins

So, I have been following a lots if bloggers and edu types on twitter and have decided that maybe having my own blog may, may, stop my own edu ranting. I expect that it will include a large amount of Gove/Wilshaw rants, as well as the ‘I’m just so overworked /there’s not enough hours in the day/ I have so many good ideas and can’t fit them into the topic web’ type.
@teachertoolkit and co have inspired me and u intent to write this as if people will read it. Even though I may not publish quite yet!