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constant stress and anxiety - advice

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by jarcher1980, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Just looking for some advice really from anyone who has been in the same boat. Have been teaching for over 8 years now and initially coped despite ever increasing workload. A few years back, I had to go off long term sick due to extreme stress and anxiety around a challenging end of key stage two class (I'm being diplomatic here). Was in KS1 before this.
    Since being moved to a lower key stage 2 class, I've survived without long periods of sickness; I've just had the odd day off. In recent months though I've struggled. Workload has literally increased about fifty percent. I always feel as though I'm struggling just to keep my head above the water. I know we're all working long hours, but 7am to 9am is really grinding me down. I don't seem to have any time for my wife.My anxiety is peaking regularly, and then reducing. This pattern just continues.
    I think I'm just coming to the conclusion that I'm not coping well with the job anymore. I used to enjoy it so much but recently I've dreaded going in (especially after holidays). I really can't see how I can continue like this.
    If I decided to change career, could I resign whilst off sick? Has anyone else changed career, or retrained? I'm just looking for some advice I suppose.

  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi J
    I think you need to get yourself well before considering ant career - teaching or otherwise.You then need to address your workload, decide how many hours you want to work, how many hours do you want to spend with your wife and family, how many hours do you want to spend on your own hobbies - it is all in your hands J. Nobody should be working 10 hour days everyday - no job is worth that.
    I assume you have been to your GP - maybe you need time off to reduce your anxiety? You say you once enjoyed teaching and I believe that when you are well (properly) that enjoyment will return. I know how you feel about dreading going back after the holidays - I always feel like that and about week 3 is my lowest point then it picks up again and I'm back to my normal (??hmm!) self.
    Hope the holidays give you the space you need and if your doctor suggests more time off do as you are told!
    Take care.
  3. Believe me I went through these feelings for many years. I now don't believe that taking time off ever did me any good in the long run.
    I accepted that I did not want to live with the anxiety/stress/depression brought on by the job any longer.
    I tried part time/supply/different schools - I realised that the problem was the job - I have never heard of any other job where people actually DREAD going to work. Ridiculous I now feel at having tried to 'force a square peg - me - into a round hole - the job' for so long.
    I am fortunate that my specialist subject is in high demand and I now tutor for a living - make about the same as full time supply - hours are a bit different - but please believe me when I say that I ENJOY what I do - I took a long time to recover to be honest
    I hope you find a direction which you enjoy and can feel comfortable - anxiety is a horrific condition take care
  4. tigerbaba

    tigerbaba New commenter

    When I read your story, I thought I was reading mine. I am in my 12th year of teaching and have taught primary and secondary. Well I feel that the control of teachers' lives is in such people's hands now-a-days who only want the ACADEMIC results in Englins and Maths as prescribed by the Conservative government. There is very little scope left for creative and holistic teaching. Part of the problem with education in England is its very fierce 'competitiveness' and tries to force pupils into it and makes them old before their age. We are particularly backward in this regard in Europe!
    Yes the workload is horrendous, so much so that I suffered for years and now have led me to a CP but have decided to resign instead. Going to supply for a while and try and find my confidence again. I am considering a change of profession as well but not just yet! Sorry this is not an advice. Have you asked your union for advice? The problem with going long term sick I find is that you are then out of touch with teaching and it doesn't help. May be you should consult the Union employment adviser who can show you your options. Sorry about my moans!
  5. I am in my 11th year - tried supply and found the confidence just got lower - sorry tiger! Don't mean to be negative - but I found the discipline issues and lack of respect from both staff and students made me even more anxious and stressed.
    I have finally made the decision to never return to the classroom - I cannot put myself through anymore.
    Sorry I do hope that the original person who started this thread is finding some help / support

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