What keeps me awake at night: the ever-increasing demands have pushed me to resign

7th February 2016 at 16:01
Teachers quitting their jobs
One food technology teacher on the straw that broke the camel's back

As a teacher, there are a multitude of things that keep me awake at night: the never-ending pile of marking that must also go through peer- or self-assessment, followed by more feedback, pupil improvements and my marks again. The constant pressure to ensure all pupils make expected progress and beyond – no longer is the pupil responsible, instead we are.

The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred just over two months ago when I was asked if I could now also start recording my interventions during practical sessions.

I teach food technology. Now alongside lessons of 1 hour and 15 minutes plus clearing the room and ensuring it is ready for the next class (with no break), supporting leavers to make progress with verbal intervention, self-assessment of skills and steps to make progress recorded by pupils with my comment added when marking, and photographic evidence of products, I was also being asked to record what I said! No, was my answer. If despite all this you can't see the progress and all the evidence recorded, I am not providing any more.

Outstanding is not enough

My results at an outstanding school are above target (in the top 10 per cent nationally), the highest residuals in the school. We are judged again and again as outstanding but it is never enough. Despite my and the school’s successes, this last request was a step too far.

So after 32 years as a food technology teacher, I finish at Easter.

I think pupils deserve the best, but not totally at the expense of my sanity and work-life balance. I earn less than the minimum wage for the hours I work.

What has happened to our education system? It is being destroyed.

The writer wishes to remain anonymous

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

Loved these articles?

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you’ll get access to more news, courses, jobs and teaching resources.

Login/Register now


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now