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Dilemma: early pregnancy+support plan

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TroubledTeacher1, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    Good morning

    Just as the thread title- I'm facing a dilemma in that I've just found out that I am pregnant and in the early stages of my first trimester.

    I've also been placed onto a support plan (which lasts a term) before it is shifted onto formal capability. The support plan is broken up into parts and is reviewed as/when to determine whether to place teachers onto capability before the fixed time of a term is up.

    I'm really worried. I contacted my union about the support plan and they recommended that I try to fulfil the targets.

    I really cannot afford to lose my job now!
    I also really am worried about my health too.
    I'm in the infancy of my career having only qualified recently. I'm not on UPS or anything so I must be bad at the job

    I haven't even had an ultrasound scan because of how early on it is (1 month!) so the school does not know.
  2. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Don’t worry. At this stage I imagine you just keep everything as it normally is (unless any health issues occur with your pregnancy which mean you need to tell your school). You don’t have to tell anyone you are pregnant at this stage. Often people wait for the first 12 weeks to be absolutely sure.
    As your union recommends, continue to work normally and fulfil the targets you’ve been set.
    Do your best and take things a day at a time.
    All the best!
  3. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    I've basically been told I have 5wks before I am placed onto capability which is why I'm worried
  4. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    That's very stressful for you, and I really feel for you.

    If you can, try to be pragmatic about this. There is hopefully no suggestion yet that you won't reach the targets, so it could be that you will and all will be well.

    Have you only just recently be placed onto it? If so, I imagine it will come to an end just before October half term.

    Now, obviously, the worry is if they decided to make capability formal, that's something you really want to avoid, but you're not in a position to be changing jobs.

    I would ensure they know about your pregnancy as soon as possible. Pregnancy related discrimination is one area schools do have to be mindful of.

    I am assuming your baby is due in February. I wonder if things looked "difficult" you might be able to be signed off or go on early maternity leave?

    Please try not to worry and it doesn't mean you're "bad" at your job - definitely not you. A good school with recently qualified staff would be wanting to invest in them and develop them not make them nervous or anxious.
  5. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    In your situation I would inform them. This is for two reasons:
    1. They will have to be extra careful around you because of the threat of discrimination.
    2. In my experience early pregnancy and the last few weeks before the birth can be the toughest parts of pregnancy. You may need arrangements to be made e.g. rooming, not going on end of term trips etc
    Good luck. I second what has been said about the possibility of early maternity leave.
    Just remember, above all else, your baby is more important than a job. Please try not to get too stressed.
  6. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies!
  7. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    I'm very nervous :/
  8. youmakemesmile

    youmakemesmile New commenter

    Yes, I agree with 8sycamore that you let them know you're pregnant. Your baby is more important than any job and they ought to understand that/the need to avoid pregnancy discrimination.

    Also, it can be hard in the middle of a busy school day but don't let the pressure/stress stop you from listening to your body, getting plenty to drink throughout the day. It can be so easy to go for long times without a drink if somehow events conspire to rob you of a break
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Assuming you teach in England or wales the support plan will not kick in until September by which time you will be even more pregnant!
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Tell them you're pregnant. As others have said first and third trimester can be exhausting. I felt like I was in a fog in the first trimester and now, at nearly 32 weeks that's coming back!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way! Easier said than done but try to meet the targets without absolutely wiping yourself out. If needs be, doctors and midwives will be supportive in signing you off. My midwife literally said to me in my first appointment that she knew teaching was very stressful and to be careful. By 25 weeks, it was, "You're working too hard. If you need signing off, say the word and we'll sort it."

    Baby is so much more important and they're unlikely to be able to get rid of you during your pregnancy. Capability takes long enough anyway and by that point, they'll be risking looking like they've discriminated. If you sack a pregnant woman, you've really got to have your ducks in a row. Is it worth the effort for them when you'll go on leave in just a few months? Probably not!
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. Babycakes77

    Babycakes77 New commenter

    I am sorry to hear about your situation, I think you will receive some constructive advice on here, which may allow you to have a broader range of ideas and solutions to address the concerns you may have. It sounds an easy thing to say, but try not to worry. Try to enjoy the early stages of your pregnancy if you can, you have a lot to look forward to and growing a small person is hard in itself. The first thing I would do is to inform the head that you are expecting and make an appointment to see them. Take someone you trust with you if need be as moral support, perhaps another colleague. I would raise the issue of your support plan with them and say how you hope that you can use it as a tool for your future improvement (cross your fingers under the desk and put your tongue in your cheek at this point). Try to work smarter and not harder during the next 5 weeks. The first trimester can be very exhausting as your body gets used to your pregnancy hormones. Do the best you can and no more. You are not bad at your job, you are just being made to feel as if you are. Save as much as you can, put as much money away as you can afford as a safety net. Look to go on mat leave as early as you can by looking at your dates carefully and budgeting around your varying maternity pay amounts. I went on interview when I was 7 months pregnant for a new job, I wore a leopard print tent, instead of a business suit and still beat off the other candidates. I looked like a whale with a board pen, but that little person inside kept saying, “Go for it mamma, let’s do this!”, and I got a better job and was promoted twice (no big deal), but don’t stay somewhere nasty. There are nice schools out there, where your skills and talents will be appreciated. After the baby comes, you will want a decent work/life balance and not to be looking over your shoulder all the time. Let pregnancy make you fearless, don’t be pushed around by bullies, creeps and the terminally unpleasant. Aim for a better set of circumstances, you owe it to yourself and the mung bean!!!! I wish you lots of love and luck, let us know how you progress. L xxxxxx
  12. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    Thank you for your kind words. Thankfully I am managing ok for now (very easy days at the moment). I am hoping things pan out ok!
  13. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    Thank you for your encouragement! I am getting on ok for now....I think only September will really tell!

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