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A small dilema, but it's bothering me.

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Ladykaza, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I have been signed off work for a couple of weeks by my GP with depression and WRS. This is a big deal for me as this is the first period of sick I've had in over 25 years and comes after 3 occasions over the last 3 years when she wanted to sign me off and I refused.

    For anyone struggling with this I can definitely say it was the right decision. I have felt guilty, a failure , a fraud and fearful that parents would find out but.... I slept through the night, more than 8 hours for the first time in over 3 years last night. I'm glad I surrendered, I'm not going back before the end of term and I hope to return in January on the road to recovery and more resilient.

    Anyway.... Here's my dilema. The staff Christmas party is on Saturday. The teachers have asked me to still go. Part of me feels very uncomfortable - I'm off sick so should I be going out, some of the support staff are parents or related t governors. On the other hand I am a bit anxious that it will be awkward for me when I return in January and this will give me a chance to touch base, thank them all for their support etc.

    I did think perhaps I could go for a quick drink then leave them to it, but I'm really torn.

    What do you think? Stay away or pop my head round the door.?

    All advice is welcome particularly @TheoGriff or @Middlemarch if you're out there.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Regardless of what you decide to do, have a good break and hopefully you will feel better in the new year.

  3. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    If signed off sick then do not go.
    Call in the venue the day before and pay for some wine, leaving a thank you note.
    Would be appreciated by all and would not compromise your position.
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I would go with Mr Keys' suggestion. Or leave the note and a couple of bottles with your Deputy to take in.

    But don't go yourself.

    Apart from the sick leave issue, you might hear something, or someone might unwittingly mention something, that makes you stressed.

    I'll add that as a general rule I wouldn't go to staff parties. I would go for 20 minutes, buy drinks/leave a few bottles, and then go away to allow them to have the party without the Head.

    Saves them getting into embarrassing situations if they drink too much . . .

    Best wishes

    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  5. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Thank you folks, I think I just needed others to confirm what I knew I should do.

    In this state the very smallest thing can make you confused, anxious and doubt yourself. So many kind and worried staff members were saying how lovely it would be to see me - which his very sweet- but actually started feelings of guilt that I should at least try to show my face.

    Now I have decided to give it a miss I feel much calmer. Silly isn't it , how easily influenced you are, and how much you need the back up of others? This is such an alien concept to the 'real' me.

    Anyway, thank you as always for your wise advice. This site is such a support.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I do hope you begin to feel better soon, Ladykaza. Have a good rest away from school.

    I have to agree with the others. I would not go to the social. I always find them a bit difficult as a head anyway and never stay late. Even though small schools have a different 'feel' to larger establishments, I think you would run the risk of someone saying something out of turn or something adding to your stress.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Agree with MrKeys and Theo, etc and support your decision.

    I never spent more than 20 mins at any staff do, either (after becoming a head).
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    I can understand avoiding staff rooms, but avoiding social occasions sends the wrong us and them message, in my opinion.
    As for the OP. Avoid going anywhere near the party whilst you're on sick leave.
  9. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Take care of yourself. You may not yet be ready to go to such a function. You could set yourself back in your recovery.
    The other posters pointing out the problems going while on sick leave make good sense to me.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Brilliant advice above.

    Take care of yourself first. If you are 'stressed' anything to disturb the equilibium is to be avoided at this stage , so you can go back in Jan as you wish to do.

    EDIT. Apologies for straying over to this forum.
    I'm still trying to work out how to navigate this new site, so was lnavigating via 'New posts', noticed this and your name, which I remember from Jobseekers and posted before I realised it was from Head's forum.:oops::oops::oops:, which I did when my reply came up as 'posted'. didn't want to delete it and leave an empty space to be suspicious so have added this edit.

    Will have to ask Community for better ways to navigate. Once again HUGE apologies.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  11. josienig

    josienig Star commenter

    Lara, I may be wrong, but I would think that this forum, like any forum, is open to anyone to comment. Sometimes the posts are specific and only other Heads can offer a solution but others, like this one, are open to a myriad of thoughts from anyone..in my opinion.

    Ladykaza, there'll always be one to harrumph and question whether someone was really ill if they are well enough to turn up to the do!(even if they had broken limbs) So, buy the wine and look forward to hearing a sanitised version of the night out at a later date. Enjoy the break and plenty of nights of 8 hour sleeps, it seems clear you need a proper rest.
    As an ordinary classroom teacher, I'd find it strange if our Head man avoided the staffroom, as alluded to by another poster. He has his cups of tea and occasional lunches with whichever staff are about, which is his way to touch base with what is happening in the day to day life of the school.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I have to agree.

    In the early 1970s I completed my third and final teaching practice before qualifying and the head teacher of the school gave me some very good advice which has lasted through my teaching career.

    Consequently as a head myself, I have attempted to be at the school gate in the morning to meet the pupils and any parents who want to talk, in the staff room at morning break to give staff a chance to talk if they need to and to be sociable, and then keep out of the staff room at lunchtime so staff can have a moan without feeling constrained.

    Seems to have worked well.
    josienig and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    No need to apologise.

    It may be a forum on which head teachers post for advice, but as both you and @josienig show above, good advice can come from all quarters. Some advice can be unexpected and quite 'refreshing' and only a fool of a head teacher would refuse to consider it.
    josienig and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Thank you @nomad.
    Apologies too for the typos in my edit. I was typing too quickly when I realised from which forum it came, aware there was only a short window in which to edit.
    @Ladykaza hope the rest has been, and continues to be, just what you needed.As staff we all know the Christmas term tends to be the longest, potentially most stressful and how much more so for a Head these days.
  15. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter


    How are you doing? Still able to sleep? Are you trying medication? Have you access to any counselling etc?

    I know the day that prompted your OP has gone, but just want to add that should be having a break from work! It's lovely that everyone from work wants to see you, but I do hope they are also giving you some space and that you are not just "working from home"

    If you want to PM me please do .. I know every situation is different, but I fully empathise - have been there too
  16. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Thank you all for your kind words and advice and I agree @Lara mfl 05 , all advice is welcome. We all work in this crazy world and I am always grateful for for everyone's support.

    I've been off the boards for a while, trying to have a break from all things education. I didn't go to the do and was glad not to. I felt much better by the new year however my first week back has been a nightmare and I have suffered a real setback. I will be starting a new thread here and on workplace dilemas' as I am need of advice again sadly.

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