Hi James, this is my first post on these forums as I need to talk to someone!! I am part way through my first placement in a high achieving grammar school. I am doing secondary MFL pgce. I love my school, I love teaching so far, and I am so lucky with my dept as they are wonderfully committed, helpful and supportive, and pretty good teachers to boot (I believe!). My problem is this...since just before half term, a large number of teachers in the school seem to be really, really stressed. Only once has this been sort of taken out on me, but I got over it. It was no big deal. I can't say the same really for my fellow trainees, a few of whom are starting to get really overwhelmed and down. Luckily this is not happening to me, however what IS getting to me is being in an environment on a daily basis where lots of the people around you are ranting about their workloads, seemingly heading for the end of their tethers and moreover giving the impression that teaching is so tough, you need to be some sort of machine. I am tired, flat out trying to lesson plan and do uni work. But that's all as I expected and all feedback I'm getting is great. But today for example, a very stressed out fellow trainee (who is starting to look increasingly drained) asked for some advice in a meeting and our mentor just reeled off a long rant about HER workload. Which is clearly getting to her. I suppose my question is...am I getting the wrong impression of teaching? I have been told that this is the toughest term of all...I am excited to see how things are in my second placement, as I wonder is a high achieving grammar particularly pressurised? Having said that, I am sure a comprehensive presents a whole new set of problems... I am not sure really what sort of answer or advice I am looking for. I suppose at the moment the picture of teaching being painted for me is one of constant pressure and misery. I don't want to believe that. Will I perhaps notice a general lift in mood as the Christmas holidays approach? All advice and thoughts appreciated. Thank you!