You Know it’s Time to Quit Teaching When…

May 9, 2009

If you are a teacher and any of the following applies to you then it is time to get out:

1) Your nightmares about going back to work after a holiday start before the holiday.

2) You fondly imagine what it would be like to be off work with a broken leg.

3) You physically recoil if somebody outside of work calls you “Sir” (or “Miss”) or you hear your surname.

4) When the news reports on the tragic death of a child your immediate thought is to hope that it is one of your year 10s.

5) One of your colleagues, who is in the Territorial Army, is called up to go to a war zone for six months and your first thought is “lucky bastard”.

6) You decide where to go shopping/on holiday/for a drink entirely on the basis of minimising the chance of running into one of your students.

7) You start everything you say with “Okay, it’s time to move on.”

8) You have your union rep’s number on speed dial.

9) You spend time working out your chances of being off work with a bereavement (to the point of working out which relative you’d miss least).

10) The laughter of children causes you physical pain.


  1. Perceptive and very accurate! Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10 certainly strike a chord with me.

  2. 11) You find yourself writing a blog about how bad teaching is.


  3. Have you actually read the blog? I love teaching. It’s the obstacles to teaching that I hate.

  4. 11) The phrase “swine flu pandemic” only gives you happy thoughts.

  5. 12) When some of your friends starts to complain alot, you tell them to stop talking since you are not at work and don’t get paid to listen to that crap.

    • Acutally, I’ve become a lot more choosy about who have friended on things such facebook and livejournal on the basis of ‘I hear whiny people all day, at least I get paid for it there…’ If they’re not a good real life friend or a there are good reasons for their constant complaining, I just stop reading them…

  6. 13) It takes you less than two seconds to figure out how many teaching periods you are away from the next half-term. 39, if you’re interested!

  7. I was there! These all applied to me about a year ago. I’m writing a series for School Gate right now where I examine how I saved myself from packing it in and leaving teaching forever. Maybe some of these posts will mean something for you; the introduction is here:


  8. Oh dear, too many ticked.
    Nightmares happening earlier,
    Local Ann Summers out of bounds to me (but not year 10)

  9. Ticktickticktickticktickticktick

    “You fondly imagine what it would be like to be off work with a broken leg.”
    The last straw for me was when the gynaecologist told me he would not perform a hysterectomy (guaranteeing me nearly a term away from bottom set Y9) because I was fast approaching menopause, when nit would probably sort itself out. I am 52 and still popping them out once a month but that’s a side issue. I felt utterly robbed.
    My husband was aghast that I would prefer major surgery (“Your mother has just died of MRSA!!!”) to another year at Crud High.
    I knew it was time to leave.

  10. Your grade 3’s are talking about watching how to make pot cookies on youtube.

  11. 2) You fondly imagine what it would be like to be off work with a broken leg.

    I was watching some hospital drama where a patient flatlined and my first thought was “lucky b*stard”

  12. Number two is ringing awfully true. The other day I was walking across the quad to one of the three different classrooms I teach in, and noticed that the one of the canteen ladies’ cars was idling there, an unusual place (the quad, I mean, not one of my three bloody classrooms – I teach English in an art room and a conference centre as well as an ACTUAL ENGLISH CLASSROOM).
    I thought to myself ‘What if it exploded? Would I be blown to smithereens or get hurt just badly enough to have a few weeks off work without anybody thinking it was my fault or I wasn’t trying hard enough?’
    I decided that, being so close to the car as I passed, I probably WOULD be blown to smithereens, so I didn’t wish for it.

  13. I was watching some hospital drama where a patient flatlined and my first thought was “lucky b*stard”

    by stressedteacher March 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    That is actually hilarious!! :D

  14. I sometimes think about pulling a “Klinger” as in the character from MASH that cross-dressed trying to get a discharge only I would do things like show up in a corset and stockings for kindergarten Pajama Day.

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