It’s finally here. 20th July. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this date for a long time, at least since I first decided to quit teaching.
And yet, this evening, the scale of the decision seems to have hit me.
Tomorrow is my last day as a teacher.
It’s not the last day of teaching this class. It’s not the last day of teaching at this school. It’s my last day of teaching. Ever.
Of course, people keep reminding me that I’ve got the qualification, and that I’ll be able to come back to it one day, when the timing is better, or perhaps when I’ve got a young family and want the ‘flexible’ working hours. Honestly though, as a qualified accountant, I can’t imagine it would make much sense financially to head back to a career I know to be stressful, and where I’d be starting back at MPS2.
And so, I leave the job under the very realistic assumption that I won’t teach again.
I thought I would be thrilled by the arrival of this day. After all, I’ve been counting down the weeks since March and counting down the days since ofsted.
Ironically, I’m really sad to be leaving. I’m sad to be leaving the school, even though I’ve hated it for most of the year. I’m sad to be leaving my colleagues, even though they were less than welcoming when I started. I’m sad to be leaving the class, even though they’ve done my head in on lots of occasions. I’ve started to doubt my decision, second guess myself. After all, I recently received a ‘good’ lesson observation from a headteacher that is renowned for being hard to please. She, for the first time, acknowledged that it was a shame I was leaving the profession. Her approval, something I didn’t have when I went to her with my resignation, has fed the tiny seed of doubt about my choices. And that seen seems to be germinating.
The past 6 weeks have been intense. I survived ofsted, and have gone through all the usual end of term stresses: getting the assessment data in the system, sorting out class lists for hand up, filing and refiling every possible piece of information about each child in my class, just in case it’s ever relevant again. Sports day. Twice. One of which was rearranged twice! Staff v Y6 football and netball. Some of these things make me glad I won’t be doing it again next year. But for the past two weeks I’ve finally been able to relax with my class. And I’ve finally remembered all the things I liked about teaching.
Some of these things I’ve been pushing for all year, but other people around me disagreed. This, I’ve found, is one of the down sides of a big school. Unless everyone wants to try things, it’s hard to give it a go! Of course, we all have different styles, so it’s understandable that not envying wants to try everything! But my teaching this week has involved a lot of colouring in, making things up on the spot, and leaving the kids to it while I’ve been tearing down displays, throwing out all the rubbish that I’ve gathered in just a year and doing all the filing I was talking about. What I found was, left alone with an interesting, but seemingly easy, task, the kids thrived. A girl in my Y3 class drew a perfect net and made a box for her packaging. We haven’t taught that. I didn’t know she could do that! So I felt justified in my opinion that we should leave the children to simply get on with tasks, with limited teacher input at times. I certainly haven’t been allowed to do that much this year, if at all. And yet, these kids are capable of so much more than we give them the opportunity to show.
However, tomorrow I will say my goodbyes to the profession. I’ve got things to move onto, but I’m not sure anything will ever provide such a roller coaster of emotions.
Thank you for listening to my ramblings this year, which have sadly been more tales of my woes than encouraging or helpful posts. I hope I won’t be banished from educational discussions now I’m an ‘ex-teacher’!