So today was my last day at the school I’ve been teaching at for the last 15 years. To say it was all rather sudden would be an understatement. At the February half term, I had no expectation of leaving the profession for several years. The threat of capability changed everything.
I decided that I just did not have any energy left to fight, nor could I work any harder or put in longer hours in order to meet targets and jump through hoops.
So here I am. Sitting at home after the most traumatic working day of my life. The parents were wonderful saying so many wonderful things that they made me cry. My colleagues told me how they valued my friendship and support. Children I had never taught gave me cards and presents. Children I had taught bought me cards and presents. Children I taught long ago, grown up now, made contact to say how I had made their school life so positive.
I realised that the time I’ve spent in this school has been valued by those that matter. That I have made a difference in the lives of many, colleagues, parents and most of all children. I will take that knowledge with me as go forward on my new adventure.
Not everything of value can be measured: not everything that is measured is valuable.
It’s been twelve days since I found out I am going to be put through the capability process and ten days since I was signed off sick. I should say I didn’t give my HT the chance to explain the procedure but having seen other colleagues go through it, I’m assuming I’ll get a period of ‘informal support’ before officially being placed on capability.
Being 55 in July, I’ve pretty much decided to take early retirement and cover my bills by doing supply work from September.
However I just don’t know if I can continue teaching the next fourteen weeks in a school where the SLT consider me to be failing. Being told I am holding back children’s progress is killing me. Partly because I don’t think it’s true but mostly because what if is it true? In 6 months I’ve gone from being ‘good’ to failing. How can that be? How can I be getting it so wrong?
I’m due back to work tomorrow and for the first time since my NQT year, I don’t know if I can teach well enough.
When I started teaching, a mere 17 years ago, I walked around the school expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and tell me I was rubbish at teaching.
Today was the day.
Three years ago I was so confident in my teaching that I began to apply for Deputy Headships. I had already been drafted in as part of an LA initiative to support teachers in other schools. So successful had I been, that I was asked to present at the rollout of the initiative in London schools.
Well how are the mighty fallen. Pride goes before a fall.
Today I was advised, that although he really didn’t want to, my HT was going to have to start capability with me.
I resigned as a member of SLT and as staff governor. And now I have a choice.
Stay and fight or take early retirement.
Which would you choose?