How bad is it to leave midyear?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by missrebecca, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2015

    I'm considering leaving my school because of high stress levels. I'm an anxiety-prone person and I don't want to get into too much detail, but I have panic attacks, nausea, TMJ, and other health problems from teaching, and it's been an ongoing problem for years. I've decided that this will be my last year of teaching, and in the future I'm hoping to find an office job.

    How bad is it to leave midyear? As in, how badly will it impact the students and coworkers? I feel terrible about it because we already lost one person on our team, and I've seen firsthand how hard it can be to replace a teacher. I don't want to upset my students or their families. This issue alone makes me want to stick around... but I don't know if I physically can.

    Also, how badly will it impact my ability to find another job? Does it look that bad on a resume to quit midyear, if you're switching fields? Will it be a problem if I can't get a positive recommendation from my current principal?

    I'm really concerned about leaving midyear, but after having panic attacks this week, I just don't think it's healthy for me to keep going. I've already dealt with these stress problems for the past few years of my life since I started student teaching, and I just want out. I figured some of you might have some insight. I appreciate any advice! If you've had similar experiences and quit or changed your mind, I'd love to hear about it.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 6, 2015

    Your health is your priority. If you are having panic attacks you can't be at your best for your students or yourself. It's not going to 'look good' to quit mid year but it might be what you have to do....I wish you well.
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2015

    Seconding what czacza said. Sure, it will look bad. But you health is more important. I have left positions in the middle of the year. I, similarly, get great anxiety when things aren't going right. Your job isn't worth losing your sanity.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Do you think your admin will be supportive? If so, it may be possible to explain the situation and work with them to have your replacement shadow you to create as little disturbance for the students as possible. However, this option would be available at schools few and far between.
     
  6. Bak2Math

    Bak2Math Rookie

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    Look at this in a different light. Remove your personal feelings from the thought process. At what point do you think your personal problems will impact your job. If you've already crossed, or are near crossing, the point where your work will be significantly impaired by your personal problems then it's time to stop. Simply stating your health is suffering and you need to quit should be enough. It's nobodies business what those health concerns may be.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2015

    It looks bad if you are staying in teaching, but you're not. You're wanting to leave the field and move on to something else. No one else cares about the academic school year schedule. They work on a different schedule and are used to people leaving positions at anything during the year. No one in another field will think twice about you leaving teaching mid-year, only the people at your school (colleagues, parents, students, admin) will care. Yes, it will be tough for them, but they'll figure it out.

    FWIW, I'm looking for other jobs out of teaching right now as well, and I won't hesitate to leave mid-year if I find the right one.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Do your current employers know that? If not, do you put "do not contact" when you list your current school on applications?
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2015

    No, they don't know. Although I'm not shy about telling them, if it comes down to it, either. Layoffs are looming, and I'm hoping my position gets cut so that I have an easy out. In the meantime, I'm not looking for other teaching jobs, so I'm not really filling out the typical teaching application. I'm not directly telling anyone that they cannot contact my current employer, but I don't expect anyone would prior to interviewing me first... and, if they do, so be it.
     
  10. wevans

    wevans New Member

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    Dec 17, 2015

    It's been over a month since your post. What did you decide?
    I turned in my resignation just this past Monday. Like you, the stress was just too much. I didn't have panic attacks, but everything just felt so chaotic, I couldn't process. It's a long story, too long to go into to, but I just couldn't do it any longer. Like someone posted, your health is most important. Life is short and if you have children at home, they need you. They'll be grown before you realize. Mine are, and my grandchildren went from 5 and 6 years old to 9 and 10 before I realized. Theyd be out of high school before I'd retire. I just didn't want to lose anymore time with them, being too busy and unhappy. It was hard to do. My class was the quietest they had ever been except for the crying, but they'll be fine after Christmas and they'll get just as attached to the new teacher just as they did me. After twenty years, I'm finished with teaching. Sad, but relieved. I cleared my things from my classroom this evening. It was stressful doing it, but now I feel more relaxed. Maybe an "ok, I did it. It's done." I can enjoy a whole Christmas break without worry about planning and upcoming testing. I don't know for sure what's next. I'm grateful, I don't have to worry about finding a new career, but just find a job I can enjoy and come home in evenings and weekends and have time for life. I hoped you'll be able to do the same.
    Do you visit with a therapist about the anxiety? I have one. She had said that she could send a letter to help me have some time off. You would be able to take a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you are indecisive about whether you want to leave education, that would give you time and you could have some healing time. Don't worry about the school, they will figure it out.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
     
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  11. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2015

    I did decide to leave, but it was just within this past week. On Wednesday, I had to stop teaching and leave class because I started having a panic attack. It was actually more like you described, where I was overwhelmed and couldn't process what I needed to teach, like I just went braindead and felt dizzy/shaky. My heart wasn't pounding... it felt more like low blood pressure actually. It was really awkward, since I had to ask some coworkers to help me cover my class and my principal even offered to take me home.

    But I feel a HUGE weight off my shoulders knowing I can finally get away from teaching. I'm just not suited to the job... I'm an anxiety-prone introvert. And this is probably the best teaching environment I'll ever come across -- I work at a 4 day a week school with lots of support in a grade level I like. Oftentimes, like the day I had to leave school, I have a great time with my students and everyone's learning, but then my body reacts with a panic attack and I'm left confused as to how to fix the problem.

    I did just start seeing a therapist... on one of those cell phone therapy services. LOL. It's actually been incredibly helpful! :) But I don't want to take a leave and come back... I just want to get out as fast as I possibly can.

    I'm going to email my principal my two weeks' notice today or tomorrow. I don't want to go back to work after the break, but I assume I'll have to for a week or two. I really wish I had just told them I was leaving in November. Lesson learned... listen to your health.

    I wish you all the best! We can do this!! <3
     
  12. wevans

    wevans New Member

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    Dec 20, 2015

    Best wishes to you, also. Informing that I was quitting was hard. Just remember that you are doing what's best for you, so No Guilt!
     
  13. Quixoticpanda

    Quixoticpanda New Member

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    Rebecca, your situation sounds exactly like mine. The only difference being I''m diagnosed with bipolar disorder and doing badly. Last year my father and mother in law died during my firstvyearvteaching and I thought that was why it was so hard for me. It wasn't. I'm not suited for this job though I love teaching, generally speaking.

    Can I ask how you are doing a year later?? I also want to not come back after Christmas and switch fields to do a physical therapy assistant program. My friends do that and make $20,000 more than me a year for less hours and stress. Seems a good fit for me.. How have you been since quitting?
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    No job is worth your health. If you give your P enough notice and work hard until the break, you will probably get your P's blessing. Then it probably won't be much effect on you getting any future employment.
     
  15. neal

    neal Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2017


    I know this is old, but I'm desperate. I'm a first year teacher in NY and I have been losing my mind with stress. I cried three times today and canceled a therapy appointment the other day because I was too anxious to leave the house. I want to leave but I only have 10 weeks left. I don't think I want to teach anymore. I'm so confused and don't know what to do. How did you handle quitting? I feel like I can't survive another day.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We're you in therapy before teaching or did your stress lead you to therapy? Regardless, do you think you can find some way to get thru yo the end of the year? What are your evaluations like? What exactly is causing you stress? Sorry fg or do many questions but the answers could help with advice.
     
  17. neal

    neal Rookie

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    My evaluations were bordering sufficient and developing. Except, a couple weeks ago I was put on an improvement plan because I wasn't meeting expectations and the plan is supposed to end mid may but it is just creating so much more work and I am under very intense scrutiny. I saw a therapist once before but was suffering such bad anxiety I couldn't leave my house for the second appt. I want more then anything to make it thru but I can barely sleep, I'm miserable and its affecting my marriage. I just feel lost :/
     
  18. neal

    neal Rookie

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    Teaching led me to therapy.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My advice to the OP in November was very different than this point in the year. If you can somehow as suck it up/ask for help/rely on team members until school lets out, that might be best. A long term sub at this.point isn't going to make that much of a difference. Unless if course you truly can't do it/fake it for the rest of the year. Or if your kids are not being well served and you have no.intention.if staying in Ed


    I wish you well. Stay with your therapy. And please consider a new Line of work when this is over. Students deserve teachers who are at their best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think leaving mid year looks bad if you are trying to keep teaching. If you will be looking for any other non teaching jobs (office, retail, hospitality), as far as I know all they're looking to see that you gave sufficient notice, they don't quite understand how the teaching world goes or it is very different from their world.
    However, if your health is jeopardized, you can't keep teaching right now, so take care of yourself.
     
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  21. Quixoticpanda

    Quixoticpanda New Member

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    I was a second year teacher and I quit in February. I just couldn't do it one more day. I struggled all through my first year but I stuck it out and told myself next year would be better. The first year, on top of normal first year stress, I watched my mother in law pass away from cancer in October, then my father died from cancer that March, then my grandma 5 days later. I thought it wasn't so much the teaching but everything else. So I kept going, sacrificing my time, health, and sanity. Except it didn't get better. I was absolutely miserable as it sounds like you are. I was crying in my classroom, having panic attacks on the way to school, waking up nauseated every morning.

    I did everything I could but the night before going back from Christmas break, I just kind of lost it. I thought I CAN'T go back, I just can't. The stress was affecting me all the time. I took a medical leave advised by my psychiatrist and tried to get stronger and healthier, for myself and for the kids. I wanted so badly to go back and finish the year. I loved the kids and didn't want to leave them, but with that time away, I also saw very clearly that the job was slowly killing me. I thought and thought and thought about it, the pros and cons, everything. I tortured myself over whether I should stay the year or leave. Was I being selfish?

    Luckily, or somewhat divinely if you believe that, I was offered another job as an insurance representative. The salary was only slightly less. The man who hired me didn't care that I left teaching. He saw my skills and how they transferred careers. He told me I could start Monday. I felt so much relief and excitement and I knew I had made my decision. So I wrote a resignation letter and took it to my principal. It was surprisingly easy to leave. I got a few things from my classroom, brought back my laptop, returned my keys, and that was it.

    I had been on health leave for about a month prior so my kids had already had a sub. I didn't have anything to do with my replacement or notifying families or anything. I quit and that was it. Maybe I should have quit in a "better" way, but the anxiety I felt was so severe I did the best I could. The worst part was I wasn't allowed to see the kids after I quit since it might "unsettle" them if I wasn't actually coming back. I miss them but I know they'll be just fine without me.

    I don't regret quitting one single bit. I spent SO much time trying to force it to work. All the stress, tears, anxiety, nightmares. The actual process of quitting took only about 10 minutes and then all the stress was just... gone. My job now has its moments of being stressful but compared to the stress of being a teacher it's nothing. And at 5pm I'm done! No lesson planning, no grading, no parent phone calls, no condescending administrators, no panic attacks on Sunday night. My work is work and my home is home.

    I'm so much happier. And the kids are fine. We had fun times and they know I love them. They know I went on health leave because I was sick (just didn't know the details) and that's why they got a new teacher. I hope I can see them at the end of the year so I can give them all big hugs but I don't regret it or feel guilty about leaving.

    You do what you have to do!!! If you can make it through the end of the year and look for a new career then, great. If you can't do it that much longer without causing yourself serious harm (and YOU are the judge of that, no one else) then resign. If it's making you sick, you need to make a decision with your own best interest in mind. That's not selfish.

    Sorry so long! But it can feel so disorienting and foggy in the midst of all that stress, but I'm here to tell you there's life on the other side!! Do what you feel is best. If you're going to resign, do it with as much tact as you can. Don't intentionally burn bridges. The rest will work itself out.

    Good luck!
     
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  22. neal

    neal Rookie

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    Thank you, I'm a man who probably cried 6 times in my entire life, and now I've cried 6 times in the past 2 days. I feel so lost:/
     
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  23. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    It's a tough job! I am way more introverted that I used to be since teaching high school. I was once considered your normal happy go lucky extrovert. Now I feel like there are some days, even weeks that I have to force to put a smile on my face to look content. People who think it's easy aren't in reality. What's going on Neal? Bad environment, bad students, horrible adminstrators?
     
  24. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Apr 19, 2017

    Whether or not you can leave during the year depends upon the overall health of the profession in your state.

    When I started teaching in Indiana, I was told that you never left during the school year—it "looked bad" and would be nearly impossible to get another teaching position.

    And then, in 2011, state legislators set out to destroy public education and demonize teachers. They were very successful.

    Today, universities report a 50% drop in applications to their teaching programs. Many young people are realizing that teaching in Indiana often involves being overworked under the weight of standardized testing while being underpaid, disrespected, ridiculed, and unsupported.

    Now, it is easy to leave a district at any time during the school year. In a face of a very real teacher shortage, receiving districts won't so much as bat an eye when interviewing a transferring teacher. Districts have become cannibalistic, with strong districts gobbling up qualified staff from districts unable or unwilling to support their teachers.

    What was once taboo has become the norm. It all depends on the availability of teachers, it would seem.
     
  25. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Apr 20, 2017

    Leaving mid-year isn't the end of the world, but you need to give your administrators some heads-up so they can find a long-term sub. You MAY be fined for leaving, but you need to read your handbook to see how your state and district handles leaving before your contract is up. You may be dealing with some license issues, and though you say it's your last year teaching, I think you really want to make sure you've got it as a backup plan in the next few years.

    I hate to ask, but have you considered going to some cognitive behavioral therapy sessions to help you get through the next few months? Are you on medication? Even a low dose of anti-anxiety meds can help, even if you don't take them at school. They have extended release medications that are helpful if you're that stressed.

    I had these feelings MANY times, like I wanted to quit mid year. But I pushed through to finish out the year without a black mark on my resume. You may not be teaching in the future, but you also want to be able to ask your former employers for recommendations. Something to think about.
     
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