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New Job Worries

Community Member



I am a secondary high school teacher who has worked for Public Education for 3 years now. I am a permanent teacher. I decided to apply for a new job towards the end of the holidays after a lot of reflecting on my role… My boss is emotionally abusive (gaslighting, micromanaging, sexual harassment, manipulation, stonewalling) and would give me and my team unrealistic work projects and expected us to work late nights after work (usually 12 hour days) amongst many other things. When we would not meet her demands, she would get intensely angry and would use her power relationship as a form of workplace bullying and abuse. So, I decided to quit my job and give up my permanent job. I’m now going to work at a private school under a permanent contract with a friend who has worked there for years and absolutely loves it. She has always been shocked with my treatment at my old job and was always assuring me about the supportive environment at her school. It is a Catholic school; I am Catholic but I am also a gay man. This is giving me some anxiety as I have read some fear mongering stories online. I have reached out to many teacher friends in the Catholic system and they have all assured me I will not face any kind of discrimination from my employer. I’m also feeling more confident with the upcoming (hopefully) reforms to the Religious Discrimination Act. I’m just generally feeling sad, anxious, annoyed, scared and overall very bittersweet. I’ll miss my colleagues and my kids, but also worried about the choice I made. Any advice would be helpful.


Thanks in advance!

4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kiwiboy0897~

Welcome here to the Forum, if you look around I"m sure you would find others with similar circumstances, particularly in our Section:




Though any dealing with workplace bullying would also be applicable.


Frankly one of two things had to happen at your old school, you (and your team colleagues) needed to leave or your boss needed to be removed. That could be possible of course but might involve a very long and drawn out process going over many upsetting experiences - wiht no firm guarantee of success.


So I would think you have done the only practical and sensible thing and moved elswhere, despite  regrets and of course apprehension.


To worry about how you will be treated is realy to cross bridges before you come to them. While you may feel nervous the fact your friend and others you have talked wiht all say the same tihng is pretty reassuring.


I'm not sure if you are aware but there is an organisation called QLIFE (1800 184 527), which has a very good reputation and offers Support, Referrals and  and Information . Well worth visiting and browsing though all they have yo offer (my apologies if you have done this already)


May I ask if you have someone in your life to care and support you (I have been lucky), or do you have to cope alone?


If you felt like keeping us up to date that would be great




Community Member

Dear Kiwiboy0897,

I'm so sorry to hear of your experience in the education system. As an ex-teacher. I know how stressful the work is without this added difficulty.

I have also experienced workplace bullying and wrote a university paper on the subject. My research revealed that symptoms of PTSD can follow you into a new position and I found for a long time I was highly anxious and hypervigilant for any possible threats in my new job. 

As you say, you are missing your former colleagues and kids, which would add to your present anxiety and even the support of your friends doesn't seem to alleviate it, so I wonder if you have  discussed these matters with your GP or tried to access counselling?  

Please continue to post as we are here to support you but I do suggest that a bit of extra support from your doctor or from a counsellor might help you during this difficult time.

Kindest regards,


Community Member

Hi Kiwiboy0897,


Congratulations! You have already done the hard thing in leaving an unhealthy workplace. Well done.  There is nothing more soul-destroying than facing a bullying boss - as Croix said, you will undoubtedly be carrying some of that damage with you to your next job. But take heart, you got yourself out of a damaging environment.


I think you've done everything you can to assure yourself you will be safe at the new school - asking others for feedback.  I totally understand your concerns.  I have no experience with the Catholic education system but am aware they do have the legal right to discriminate (unfortunately!!)  I am a gay woman and I spent many years working in aged care, which is generally run by religious institutions.  This was a few decades ago so times have changed and our circumstances are different but I never faced any issue with the religious institutions I worked for, but I do understand that feeling of 'will I be safe'. I did make the choice to step back in the closet when dealing with the clients (although not the staff) - I was often physically helping people from older generations in the shower etc. and I just didn't want to open myself up to any silliness. I don't know if you'll face the same kind of pressures in the Catholic ed. system to keep your home life low-key (thankfully I think the days of the closet are long gone!) but that will be up to you to see if you are willing to make compromises.  I'm hopeful by what your teacher friends said, that there will be absolutely no need and you will be safe and accepted exactly as you are.


I found this organisation called Acceptance online - if you don't already have supports within the church itself, it may help.  


Whether this job works out in the long run or not - and I do hope it does for you - please take comfort in knowing that you did the right thing for yourself to get out of the last situation.  Take care of yourself and keep exploring these forums because I am sure there are other people who have been through similar situations to yours and will offer you support.