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Case Discussion Group

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by philhills, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. philhills

    philhills New commenter

    I left teaching just over a year ago, for many of the reasons I have found others struggling with on these dilemma pages. Although I was pretty well supported at the school I worked at, I hated the system and the politics, and realised I was becoming part of the problem rather than the solution. I felt that I couldn't talk about my worries and fears then, and succumbed to the culture of fear and secrecy that permeates teaching.

    With the distance of a year, and having retrained as a counsellor, a colleague and I have set up a case discussion group. In it, teachers can explore the emotional issues of teaching far away from the school and performance management and targets. It's the kind of thing I really needed in my final couple of years in teaching but never found. I hope it may be of some use to people arriving at this part of the website. If you're interested you can find information here.

    I find it amazing, though, that so little appears to exist to support teachers with what can be such an emotionally draining job - as a counsellor I am required to talk through my emotional issues for an hour every twelve hours of contact time (with someone who is not part of performance management, or even the same organisation). Teaching is no less demanding, and yet there is no such requirement at all. How do we deal with the stresses, then, except by bottling them up?
     

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  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    We moan constantly at our colleagues and develop a reliance on cake and wine.
    It can be a very effective informal support network but I can see the value of the something more structured.
     
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    There is a lot of support for teachers out there… from their GP through to the Teachers support line, unions and various forums already in existence. However, whether they are willing or feel able to access that support is another matter.
     
  4. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    My school has a support group. It meets in a neutral environment away from the pressures of work. We talk through our issues and sometimes people, under qualified supervision, take medication to help them relax and open up emotionally.

    This neutral environment is across the road. It's called the Bunch of Grapes.
     
  5. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    Support from your GP??? My GP is lovely but I can honestly say she did not have much time to offer me any support other than sign me off sick which I was grateful for. I don't think that could be compared to counselling.
     
  6. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Many years ago, when I worked in the not-for-profit sector I received supervision sessions every six weeks. Always struck me as ironic that in my role as a class teacher I am more exposed to 'issues' involving the protection of children than I ever was, but no one has every suggested that I might need to offload to someone who is trained to listen.
     
    ilovesooty, varcolac and Dragonlady30 like this.
  7. robhumph

    robhumph New commenter

    The Teacher's Support Line is great, and maybe a GP would help (though this seems far fetched to me). But my beef is with the fact that there is no support built in to the system. Like snowyhead says - we're exposed to a huge amount and expected to bear that burden. To ask for help felt, to me, shameful, even if it was available. Maybe that's more to do with me than with the support, but I think there's a systemic problem too.
     
  8. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    As a previous deputy for safeguarding, I was involved in several distressing child protection cases which caused me an awful lot of anxiety and sleepless nights. Never once was I asked if I was OK or if I needed any support. Shameful system.
     
    DaisysLot likes this.
  9. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    Teacher support line was great, but sent me to gp (nothing eye they really could do)

    Gp was no support. I now am struggling to go back, even to see a different one. I feel like a fraud, yet teaching this week I've been fighting to hold back tears (frustration/ helplessness).

    Can't speak to anyone in school. They would be on to me. Scrutinising, seeing whether I'm up to it (I'm not, but I want help, not to be pushed out). You can't admit to a weakness at work...

    Who do you turn to?
     
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I have been qualified in counselling and psychotherapy for about 30 years - practised on and off during that time before going into teaching and intend to return to it in my dotage. I know from experience that not only students but teachers would really benefit from having in-school counselling service but will the schools pay for something that would de-stress the students and help to keep the staff healthy too? Will they heck! I would love to offer that service in schools but I can't do it for free!
     
  11. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Now I'm not one for generally wanting American cultural ideals thrust upon me… but this is indeed something we could take note of that happens in American schools increasingly as standard. Most schools have a counsellor who students and staff can access readily when needed and there is little shame in doing so!

    Dare I say it.. we could learn from that.
     

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