Dear John: My year 3 class has been taken away - I'm gutted. What can I do?

Q

I am in my third year of teaching where I am teaching a very challenging year 3 class. Although it’s very hard work and I worry about them, I love them to bits.

My head pulled me into her office on Thurs and announced that I will no longer be teaching Year 3 after Feb. half term.  I am being moved to cover maternity cover and a new teacher is being bought in to teach my class.  I am absolutely gutted and I can’t sleep and all I’m doing is crying.  I have been told I have no choice in the matter.

I have a funny feeling that my teaching capabilities are being questioned this year and feel that this is a way of tackling the tricky class without having to deal with me personally.  My TA is constantly being pulled into the heads office and quizzed about what is going on in our room but I cannot bring this up as she has been told to keep quiet about it and if I say anything it will get her in trouble.

I’m guessing that there’s nothing I can do I just have to go where I’m told and like it or lump it?  I don’t really know what advice I’m expecting but I just know that I need to get it off my chest to as many people as possible because it’s going to start making me ill as I’m that upset about it all

A

I hope that getting the problem written down will at least make you feel better over Christmas. I think you are due an explanation at the very least. It could be that the head thinks the class really is too difficult for anyone to manage for a whole year and you are being switched to an easier option. Alternatively, the head thinks a new start with a different style of approach will make a difference. You don’t say whether the new teacher is being brought in from outside or is the result of a general shuffle around.

Since the head can arrange the timetable and make any changes, you cannot complain and if you start looking for a new post, you will need a reference. But, I do think you are owed an explanation at the very least. It certainly isn’t worth making yourself ill over, so eat, drink and celebrate Christmas in the knowledge that there are many others worse off than you. Or in the words of the song, ’pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again with a new class.

Best wishes for 2009

John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teachertraining and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitmentanalyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you canpost questions to him.