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Why teachers resigned: “I have friends in the north who can’t afford heating bills” | Training


Matthew Roberts, 44, is an English teacher at Green School for Boys, a public high school in Hounslow. But the last few years he has suffered over whether he should quit smoking – and in 2019 he wrote and performed a single play was called Teaches on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Each evening, he talked about the bullying, pressure, stress, and frustration that teachers feel, and then asked the audience if he should quit smoking. Most of the time he felt that the audience desperately wanted him to stay teaching. And that, he said, gave him the strength to move on.

But he understands exactly why many teachers have decided to leave. “Number one is the lack of agency and the system of efficiency management. It is very narrow, ”he says.

He could only afford to rent a one-room apartment in London, and until he was 40, he lived in the share. “It is supposed to be a professional payment. But I shop at Poundland and Lidl. ”

He will not be able to support his family on his salary or buy a family home in London, and he can easily understand why the men who started the family decide to resign. “I have friends, teachers in the north, who are cutting their homes because they have three children and they can’t afford heating bills.”

Teachers, like NHS workers, deserve higher pay for their work during the pandemic, he says. “We were on a coal face.”

But it’s not just about payment and terms. He believes that another reason why men leave the profession en masse after the pandemic is to see the world and have adventures. “Getting Covid throws your life into the spotlight. If you haven’t seen the world outside the classroom and you’re showing it to people at Powerpoint, you feel a call for wildlife. ”

Lack of teacher support is another big problem. He has changed schools several times in the last two decades and has not praised his current colleagues, but said: “If you feel bullied or persecuted – if you are in a toxic environment, or you feel that you are not valued – such pressure to break you ”.

He admits that despite the fact that his job as a teacher he gets great pleasure, if he could afford to resign and work full time as a playwright, he would do it.

Instead, he lives very frugally and accumulates to get a Ph.D. “I’m very grateful that I made a profit these days.”

Earlier this year he contracted Covid for a long time – now he has tinnitus and severe hearing loss – but back in class, teaches Macbeth for teens and doing his best to get through every day.

Despite all his reservations about teaching, his motivation to continue is simple: “It’s about returning.”

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