Want to quit teaching? I would kill for your job

I am a modern languages teacher of many years' experience and was a deputy headteacher for 14 years. My career has been full of fun and success in the classroom. I took pleasure in developing many young teachers and supported the implementation of new and effective initiatives in the schools that I worked in. Then, for family reasons, I moved away from Scotland, back to England.

I have always been confident in my teaching skills, management, approachability and empathetic nature. I therefore believed that finding a job would be easy. I thought my CV spoke for itself - I am qualified for headship, intelligent and love working in schools. I know that younger teachers are cheaper and more ICT-savvy, but I am not cynical: I also thought that my experience would be an asset to schools. Apparently this is not the case.

Nearly three years later, I find that state schools rarely even want to interview me and independent schools are closed shops. I have come close (I made it down to the last two on a couple of occasions, apparently) but not close enough to get back to what I love doing.

So when I read about the droves of people leaving the profession, I can't help wondering what I am missing. Or rather, what they are missing. Could things have got so much worse in three years that the profession is no longer the one I remember?

All I know is that I love working with young people and, despite the problems, I really want to get back to the job that I adore. But although I have so much to contribute, I cannot find a way back into the system. It appears that I have been consigned to the scrapheap. Is it my age? Am I over the hill at 50? It certainly isn't a matter of ability, as I have never had this problem before in my career.

So remember, all you fortunate people in schools, I would trade with you any day. It's the only job I would ever want to do.

The writer is a teacher looking for work in England

Tell us what keeps you awake at night

Email jon.severs@tes.co.uk

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