I was cut off from my teaching job when I dared to procreate

I had worked as a full-time class teacher at a school I absolutely loved for 7 years. Like every other teacher at that school, I gave it my all. I threw myself body and soul into my job and went above and beyond every single day for the kids and for the head of the school. Then, I dared to procreate. After a year of maternity leave, I had a chat with the head teacher who didn’t give me any impression that I couldn’t come back part time. She said cheerily to send a letter to the governors asking to come back to my job part time. I didn’t see that there would even be an issue – especially since there were already 6 other teachers who work part time. So I sent my letter to the governors.

A few weeks later, I got a letter back from them rejecting my request. I was absolutely stunned. The letter stated that I was welcome to come back full time to my job, but that they were not able to give me a part-time position. Essentially, I felt I was being pushed out of the school.

So, I appealed the governors’ decision. It was incredibly stressful preparing for and going into that meeting – I felt I was battling for my life in a way. The governors denied my appeal once again.

The day after I received the second rejection letter, I called the head of my school, who offered me a part-time job as a booster teacher for one year, at which time the school would decide if they wanted to give me a part-time permanent teaching position again. A booster teacher role is essentially a job as a teaching assistant. Obviously I took this job, as I didn’t have anything else lined up, but I struggled with this role, as I was essentially the bottom of the ladder again, taking orders and instructions from people who I had once been working alongside. I developed extreme anxiety and started having panic attacks in school, and then I had a fourth miscarriage (I had three before my daughter was born, and just before the pregnancy that resulted in the live birth of my precious baby, my head said she was “concerned that I wouldn’t have enough resilience to try again.” Imagine if I had listened to her!)

At this point, my GP suggested I take some time off school, which I did, and then I limped my way to the end of the year, at which point my contract was not renewed and I was not offered a teaching role, or any role at the school. My head stated that I was “welcome to apply for a teaching role” that was advertised as a full-time role, which she knew I wouldn’t be able to take anyway.

Since then I have applied to a few jobs, and have been able to make it through to the last stage of application, but during the interview, I always seem to fail, and I believe that a huge reason for this is the downturn my confidence has taken due to the way the school has treated me. I feel utterly undermined, taken for granted, worth nothing, and a complete failure. Why did I work so hard for that place? I also feel that the total lack of compassion or understanding from the head left me breathless and completely broken. The last few months of my maternity leave, when I was supposed to be spending my time and energy on my baby, with whom I would never have that time again, was wasted stressing and working to try and save my career through no fault of my own.

I loved working at that school, and I feel it was completely unjust what they did to me, and, I would like to add, to another friend and colleague who had exactly the same situation as me at around the same time.

I still feel wronged and like I am grieving the loss of so much that could have been avoided if the head only communicated with me instead of unceremoniously shoving legal documents at me and cutting me out.


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