Goodbye Miss?

I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few days. It seems that quitting your job, selling your house and relocating is quite time consuming!

Yesterday was a weird day for me, as I handed in my notice at work. After 10 years I will be leaving my job as a teacher, and I’m not actually planning on looking for a teaching job after we’ve moved. People are happy for us, and I’m both happy and excited about it all too, but lots of people assume I am pleased to be leaving my job for negative reasons, when it’s actually the opposite.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’ve never said a bad word about my job. I’m proud to be a teacher, and I could probably count on one hand the times when it’s got me down. So why am I pleased to be leaving?

After I had my daughter, I went back to work part time, 3 days a week. This was partly financial but also a personal preference. We made the life changing decision to have children, and that for me, meant that I wanted my life to change, and I wanted to have more time at home.

Three years and another baby later, I’ve come to realise that teaching cannot be a part time job if you always want to put in 100%. I vowed when I became a teacher that I would do everything within my powers to help students, whether that be investing time, effort, or expertise. I remember one day about 8 years ago, when the school broke up at midday on the last day of the Spring Term. I had a room full of Year 11 students, who instead of going to the beach, all wanted to stay in school to get their GCSE coursework finished, as due to a bad computer issue, a lot of their work had become corrupted and therefore unreadable. I was their teacher, and they needed my help, so I stayed in school until they were all happy that they had done their best. I got home at nearly 7pm instead of to the pub by 12:30pm, but that was my job, and when they were pleased with their results in August, it just reinforced that I did the right thing.

The trouble is, I can’t do that now. If I am at work, someone else is looking after my children. I know they’re in safe hands and having fun, and probably not missing me at all, but I still have a limited time in which I must complete my work, or take it home. I work 3 days a week, which is 60% of a full time teacher, however, not one single responsibility has been taken away from me. I still have to teach the same amount of children, plan the same amount of courses and lessons, do the same amount of marking, write the same amount of reports, attend the same amount of parents evenings etc. The only difference is I only have 60% of the time I had before and I get 40% less money to do so!

This has left me with 2 choices:

  • Do some of the work at home on my days off
  • Don’t do some of the work

Neither of these work for me. When I am at home on my days off, I feel so guilty if I have to sit my daughter in front of a film, just so I can mark my GCSE coursework or write my reports, when all she wants to do is bake cakes or go to the park. I know I have to meet the deadlines, but I’m not being paid, and my little girl starts school in September, I’m not going to have this special time for much longer.

Unfortunately, the second option doesn’t work either. If I’m at work and I have a class full of 16 year olds, who want to achieve the highest grades possible, they don’t want their coursework back unmarked, even if it does have chocolate sprinkles in the corner! I can’t leave the work because I have a sense of pride about what I do, and I genuinely care that the students achieve the best they can.

I know that there are plenty of teachers out there who do work part time, and possibly don’t have these crises of conscience. I’m not intending to offend any of you, apologies if I do. I just feel that personally, I can’t give everything that I feel I should give to the students and my own children. As far as I’m concerned, like parenting, teaching is something that you have to be fully committed to. At the moment, I feel like I’m depriving both the children I teach and the children I gave birth to of some of the things I should be expected to offer them.

I love my job, and as I wrote in my resignation letter, I feel very privileged to have been a part of the school life and to have met so many wonderful individuals, and see them grow from children into well rounded adults over the 10 years I have been there, but this is also why I feel it’s time for me to leave, so that the students can once again have unlimited time, effort, and expertise on offer whenever they feel they need it.

I will miss teaching, but I’m looking forward to being able to take my own daughter to school when she starts in Reception in September, and to being the one who gets to pick her up at the school gates when she finishes, and to being able to go to her first assembly or school play, and not missing it because I can’t get cover for my lessons.

So is it goodbye ‘Miss’ for good? I’m not sure, maybe in a few years, it’s something I’ll go back to, never say never!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TheBoyandMe
    May 18, 2011 @ 22:11:19

    Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much this resonates with me. I’m a primary teacher working .5 and in my 10th year of teaching. I’ve gone back to RE PPA from being a Y6 teacher. It’s a really hard adjustment and I feel ripped in two. I want to do the best I can in my job, my professional pride won’t let me act any differently, but when I’m there I just want to be at home with my son. We can’t afford for me to give up my job as we don’t pay for childcare (my mum has him) and the jobs in the area are very few amd far between. I won’t find it easy getting another job. I wish with all my heart I could follow your lead as you have made such a brave decision: I admire you. Enjoy your time with the little ones.


  2. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy
    May 19, 2011 @ 08:36:38

    This is such a huge step and so brave but do you know what? Just from reading this I know that this is definitely the right thing for you right now. There is a lot to be said for following your heart my lovely xx


  3. Mary
    May 19, 2011 @ 09:50:31

    Enjoy your weird/good feelings (which are almost certainly the sign that you’ve made a sound decision for all of you), & good luck.


  4. Trackback: This is the Last Time… « itsamumsworld
  5. Trackback: Moving On… « itsamumsworld

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