Secret Teacher: why is getting a new job such a heinous crime?

This week’s Secret Teacher in the Guardian asks why, ‘just because I have resigned, doesn’t mean I should be isolated from my colleagues and made to feel as though I’ve betrayed the school’…

Dear Boss,

I know you have taken me handing in my notice last week quite personally (well, that’s an understatement). While I didn’t expect you to get the champers out, I never imagined you would react in the way you have.

I have worked for you for a long time and have been promoted up the ranks under your “illustrious” leadership. You have always spoken to others about me in a positive way, and everyone would have said that you thought I was doing a great job. So you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from my potential new school telling me that my reference was “less than glowing” and, more importantly, you appear to have been unable to recommend me for the role for which I applied.

Luckily, my new gaffer can see past the bitterness having been through the same thing herself (twice) so your plan has been foiled. Even so, I never thought you would stoop so low. If you would not recommend me for the new position (which is exactly the same as I am doing for you), why on earth would we have been discussing potential progression opportunities earlier this year?

It’s not my fault that the position you wanted to offer me included responsibility for something that I have no interest in doing (even if it is on your senior leadership team (SLT)). As I told you, it doesn’t “float my boat”, and more importantly, were I to have accepted, it wouldn’t have been in the best interests of the school or students – I know my strengths and what was on offer was not one of them. It was the right decision and me looking for another job was not me “throwing my dolly out of the pram”. I want a new challenge. You know that…

Up until now, I held you up there with “the best of ’em” in terms of honesty and integrity. But in the last few days you have shown your true colours, so I will finish this open letter by saying that no matter what you say or do, I will be walking out of here in July with my head held high, knowing I have done the right thing. I will not allow myself to be goaded into making a fool of myself and until I leave, I will continue to be the consummate professional I am: can you say the same?


Secret Teacher…

More at: Secret Teacher: why is getting a new job such a heinous crime?

Hmmm – how do you react to this? Is it just me, or does the writer come across as a pretty chippy and self-absorbed character? Is it not just a fact of life that when people are working together as a team – in any walk of life – and one decides to leave that team, it often creates a negative reaction in those staying behind? Or, if the ‘boss’ really did write an inaccurately unflattering reference, does the secret teacher have every right to feel aggrieved? Please share your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Teaching.


  1. CarlJLander

    SchoolsImprove Its good to know that the local schools I am involved with have leadership that supports staff development and progress

  2. jacquiburkefp

    SchoolsImprove As a small school we know teachers move on to take up opportunities we can’t offer. This doesn’t reduce their commitment.

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