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Don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by lighthouse_keeper, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font><font size="2">I feel it's a
    long and complicated story. I had stress in the workplace when a few years ago
    I had 50% of my timetable in a subject I wasn't qualified in (I had a GCSE but that was it). My HoD was totally unsupportive and I found it
    impossible to do a good job, as I didn't know what I was teaching, which really
    worried me, and had a massive impact on my confidence in the classroom. I began
    to dread going in, lessons made me anxious, and I was worried all the time that
    the kids would know that I didn't know what I was doing. My specialist subject
    was being fazed out at the school and I didn't know what to do. I had a term
    off sick with anxiety and stress, and whilst off work, I knew I needed to come
    up with a plan, as I knew the problem wasn't going to go away. I talked it over
    with my partner and family, and decided to do a Masters in more common subject
    area. The decision was partly prompted by the fact I was completing an
    "AS" level in this subject for "fun" as I regretted
    dropping the subject when at school and had always wanted to complete it at
    A-Level. I got onto a masters course, worked part time at school, and finished
    my A-Level as well. I then felt I should get a full-time job because being
    part-time meant that my partner and I were having to "manage" on 1.4
    salary instead of 2 full time salaries, and the school could not offer me more
    than part-time work for the next year. So I went job hunting, got a few
    interviews and secured a job in the very last week of the May term. My partner
    also managed to get a new job as we decided to move areas to be closer to
    family, which we had been considering for a while. Another factor was the
    totally unsupportive HoD who really contributed to the stress I experienced. </font>


    <font size="2">I now feel I have made massive mistakes. We miss where we used to
    live terribly. My partner does not like his new job (and I think he did not
    really want to leave old job/area but did it to please me). I feel completely
    out of my depth in my new job - I am effectively an NQT in the subject as it's
    my first time teaching any of it, but I have a full timetable - the busiest
    timetable I have ever had in 6 years of teaching. I frequently feel I don't
    know what I'm doing- KS3-4 I have some schemes of work and I follow those
    carefully but I feel there are things I am not communicating properly, and
    sometimes I feel I can't explain how to do things - I know how to do it myself,
    but explaining it to the kids is more difficult. But 6th form is so difficult -
    there are no schemes of work, I know I have to teach a certain
    "thing" but there's no resources / scheme for how to do it, and I
    don't understand the markschemes - this is not a fact-based subject, so it's
    difficult to know sometimes what I'm looking for, and everything to mark feels
    really vague - oh, this is so difficult to explain in itself :( I'm not doing a
    very good job. I feel like I'm right back where I was a few years ago, and that
    it's all my fault - why didn't I learn from my mistakes? I worked hard to get
    these qualifications and now I feel like I've dug my own grave - just because I
    have them doesn't mean I should be teaching them, and whilst I know one of my
    biggest problems is I try to do everything perfectly and beat myself up when it
    isn't, I also know that I am messing with kids' lives if I don't do a very good
    job, and I can't stand the thought of letting anyone down.</font>


    <font size="2">So every day I feel trapped. I feel I have made a massive mistake.
    I know I want to leave after
    this year, I know I don't enjoy the school even besides not knowing what I'm
    doing - it just isn't the right place for me (you know how you just know?) and
    I don't enjoy teaching the students - the behaviour is very challenging and
    it's just not the right place. I'm finding it so hard, and I am unhappy, and my
    department can see i'm finding it all difficult. My HoD seems very capable but
    where I really need lots of SOWs and resources and things like that, there's
    not much in place, and they have sat with me lots of times explaining things,
    it hasn't really helped. </font>
    <font size="2">So if I should not do this, what should I do then? I worry I have jumped into this
    subject area with too little experience - yes I have an MA but I have only
    studied in a year and most people have a 3 year degree and maybe an MA on top,
    I feel like my knowledge is limited. If I try to get another job in this
    area, surely I'll just have the same problems again next year? If I don't get
    one, how will we manage financially? Ideally I'd like to be part-time, as I was
    so much happier last year when I was part-time and I felt like I could do my
    work and then separate it from the rest of my life - now I feel like I did when
    I was originally off work - I can't stop thinking about work, I feel anxious
    all day at school and all evening/weekend when I'm not there. I can't get away from the
    fact that the situation is my problem and I don't know what to do. I worry so
    much about what i should do - we want to move back to where we used to live -
    we regret ever leaving, but it was my insistence that I should get a full-time
    job which meant I left my last school, plus I was embarrassed about the time
    off I'd had and wanted to get away from there. I am still friends with people
    at my last school and I miss it terribly now (HoD aside - if I had done this
    new subject area at my old school, I wouldn't have had anything to do with
    them). I could have "learnt my trade" more gradually without being
    thrown in the deep end with lots of 6th form teaching and a full timetable -
    don't get me wrong, it's nice of the new school to just treat me as a regular
    teacher but at the same time, I'm not, I'm finding it completely overwhelming,
    and I don't know what to do. </font>


    <font size="2">I feel completely stuck and I just don't know what to do.I feel
    terrible all the time. I have to get through this year of the job (which feels
    like a lifetime) but then what do I do? I feel totally stuck. And then i feel
    terrible because I have a job which lots don't, and I'm being so miserable, and
    I feel so selfish and then I hate myself even more. Also my partner who is now
    working somewhere he doesn't enjoy, has had to support me through my previous
    stress and now I'm unhappy again, and we live somewhere we don't like. I feel terrible at dragging him to a new area and then only to find that it was all a big mistake. If I could turn back time, I would - I can't believe I have done this. It feels
    like there's so much negativity. I can't see the positives in anything. To be
    honest I feel like a completely useless person who should be able to just deal
    with these things and get on with it, and because I can&rsquo;t, I feel like a total
    failure. I don't know what to do.</font>
    <font size="2">Thanks for reading if you got this far.</font>
     
  2. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font><font size="2">I feel it's a
    long and complicated story. I had stress in the workplace when a few years ago
    I had 50% of my timetable in a subject I wasn't qualified in (I had a GCSE but that was it). My HoD was totally unsupportive and I found it
    impossible to do a good job, as I didn't know what I was teaching, which really
    worried me, and had a massive impact on my confidence in the classroom. I began
    to dread going in, lessons made me anxious, and I was worried all the time that
    the kids would know that I didn't know what I was doing. My specialist subject
    was being fazed out at the school and I didn't know what to do. I had a term
    off sick with anxiety and stress, and whilst off work, I knew I needed to come
    up with a plan, as I knew the problem wasn't going to go away. I talked it over
    with my partner and family, and decided to do a Masters in more common subject
    area. The decision was partly prompted by the fact I was completing an
    "AS" level in this subject for "fun" as I regretted
    dropping the subject when at school and had always wanted to complete it at
    A-Level. I got onto a masters course, worked part time at school, and finished
    my A-Level as well. I then felt I should get a full-time job because being
    part-time meant that my partner and I were having to "manage" on 1.4
    salary instead of 2 full time salaries, and the school could not offer me more
    than part-time work for the next year. So I went job hunting, got a few
    interviews and secured a job in the very last week of the May term. My partner
    also managed to get a new job as we decided to move areas to be closer to
    family, which we had been considering for a while. Another factor was the
    totally unsupportive HoD who really contributed to the stress I experienced. </font>


    <font size="2">I now feel I have made massive mistakes. We miss where we used to
    live terribly. My partner does not like his new job (and I think he did not
    really want to leave old job/area but did it to please me). I feel completely
    out of my depth in my new job - I am effectively an NQT in the subject as it's
    my first time teaching any of it, but I have a full timetable - the busiest
    timetable I have ever had in 6 years of teaching. I frequently feel I don't
    know what I'm doing- KS3-4 I have some schemes of work and I follow those
    carefully but I feel there are things I am not communicating properly, and
    sometimes I feel I can't explain how to do things - I know how to do it myself,
    but explaining it to the kids is more difficult. But 6th form is so difficult -
    there are no schemes of work, I know I have to teach a certain
    "thing" but there's no resources / scheme for how to do it, and I
    don't understand the markschemes - this is not a fact-based subject, so it's
    difficult to know sometimes what I'm looking for, and everything to mark feels
    really vague - oh, this is so difficult to explain in itself :( I'm not doing a
    very good job. I feel like I'm right back where I was a few years ago, and that
    it's all my fault - why didn't I learn from my mistakes? I worked hard to get
    these qualifications and now I feel like I've dug my own grave - just because I
    have them doesn't mean I should be teaching them, and whilst I know one of my
    biggest problems is I try to do everything perfectly and beat myself up when it
    isn't, I also know that I am messing with kids' lives if I don't do a very good
    job, and I can't stand the thought of letting anyone down.</font>


    <font size="2">So every day I feel trapped. I feel I have made a massive mistake.
    I know I want to leave after
    this year, I know I don't enjoy the school even besides not knowing what I'm
    doing - it just isn't the right place for me (you know how you just know?) and
    I don't enjoy teaching the students - the behaviour is very challenging and
    it's just not the right place. I'm finding it so hard, and I am unhappy, and my
    department can see i'm finding it all difficult. My HoD seems very capable but
    where I really need lots of SOWs and resources and things like that, there's
    not much in place, and they have sat with me lots of times explaining things,
    it hasn't really helped. </font>
    <font size="2">So if I should not do this, what should I do then? I worry I have jumped into this
    subject area with too little experience - yes I have an MA but I have only
    studied in a year and most people have a 3 year degree and maybe an MA on top,
    I feel like my knowledge is limited. If I try to get another job in this
    area, surely I'll just have the same problems again next year? If I don't get
    one, how will we manage financially? Ideally I'd like to be part-time, as I was
    so much happier last year when I was part-time and I felt like I could do my
    work and then separate it from the rest of my life - now I feel like I did when
    I was originally off work - I can't stop thinking about work, I feel anxious
    all day at school and all evening/weekend when I'm not there. I can't get away from the
    fact that the situation is my problem and I don't know what to do. I worry so
    much about what i should do - we want to move back to where we used to live -
    we regret ever leaving, but it was my insistence that I should get a full-time
    job which meant I left my last school, plus I was embarrassed about the time
    off I'd had and wanted to get away from there. I am still friends with people
    at my last school and I miss it terribly now (HoD aside - if I had done this
    new subject area at my old school, I wouldn't have had anything to do with
    them). I could have "learnt my trade" more gradually without being
    thrown in the deep end with lots of 6th form teaching and a full timetable -
    don't get me wrong, it's nice of the new school to just treat me as a regular
    teacher but at the same time, I'm not, I'm finding it completely overwhelming,
    and I don't know what to do. </font>


    <font size="2">I feel completely stuck and I just don't know what to do.I feel
    terrible all the time. I have to get through this year of the job (which feels
    like a lifetime) but then what do I do? I feel totally stuck. And then i feel
    terrible because I have a job which lots don't, and I'm being so miserable, and
    I feel so selfish and then I hate myself even more. Also my partner who is now
    working somewhere he doesn't enjoy, has had to support me through my previous
    stress and now I'm unhappy again, and we live somewhere we don't like. I feel terrible at dragging him to a new area and then only to find that it was all a big mistake. If I could turn back time, I would - I can't believe I have done this. It feels
    like there's so much negativity. I can't see the positives in anything. To be
    honest I feel like a completely useless person who should be able to just deal
    with these things and get on with it, and because I can&rsquo;t, I feel like a total
    failure. I don't know what to do.</font>
    <font size="2">Thanks for reading if you got this far.</font>
     
  3. Dear Lighthouse keeper
    the first year in a new job is always hard, and the first year teaching a subject is way different for all of us from learning it at Uni. Are you sure that a lot of your worries aren't just down to this?
    Once you've been through a year of teaching it, you will feel much more confident in your subject knowledge, I'm sure.
    Regarding your relocation, personally I would just be telling myself to make the best of things - the last thing either of you need now is another move.
    Do you have a counsellor in your school? If you do then I would recommend making an appointment and talking things through with them.
    Don't be so hard on yourself!
     
  4. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    Lighthousekeeper.......slow down, don't beat yourself up, and try and resolve issues one at a time. Some advice:
    1) you sound like a capable person so trust your instincts
    2) you need to stop judging yourself so harshly
    3) ask for help or talk to someone you trust
    4) explain how you feel to your line manager if you feel able
    5) if necessary go and see your GP and take a few days off to calm down
    Try to live one day at a time. If you work youself up into a frenzy you will burn yourself out!
    Take care and good luck. Be gentle with yourself.
     
  5. Hello Lighthouse keeper.

    I can relate to your situation as I left my previous job for similar reasons to you except I was the HoD (when it suited the managers).

    First of all, many congrats for having the courage to a) leave the horrible job. b) Taking the time and energy to retrain for a non specialist subject which I've not had the time to do yet (I'm an A-level Psychology teacher who did A-Level Sociology a few years ago, so that I would have a second string to my bow, so to speak, as many places want teachers who can teach both). c) Doing what you had to do to change your life for the better and remove your previous source of stress.

    That said, I get the feeling from your post that you're still recovering (it describes many of the thoughts and feelings that go through my mind when I'm having what I call a 'down' day or moment). Are you still being treated for it? If so, I think you need to have a chat with your GP or therapist, so that you can work through these issues before you run yourself into the ground again?

    Are your new employers are aware of your situation and helpful? if so, maybe you should have a chat with them, as a chat with another teacher who is used to your non specialist subject may help? Alternatively, does your non specialist subject have an online exchange forum or exam network? If so, have a chat with someone on there, as I've found websites like this invaluable when teaching topics that were new to me as well?

    Finally, you're not a failure or a useless person! You're in the position that you're in because you are a strong, reliable and conscientious person who others have taken advantage of! Look upon the way way you felt as a warning and take care of yourself! As for your partner, I'm sure he understands this. Have you spoken to him about how you feel in the same way that you wrote on here? Maybe there are things you could do as a couple to resolve or make you feel better about the situation (I'm not suggesting drastic stuff like moving again if it's not feasible for you, but just discussing my options with my family-I still live with my parents-was enough to help me when I was having a 'down' moment. Hopefully, it will be the same for you).

    When I feel like this, I also remind myself to take things as they come (not easy for me as I love to get things organised and 'sorted' immediately but I can't do this atm because it makes me feel stressed again), do things step by step and worry about each problem separately as and when I feel able to, so that I have a chance to stay happy and healthy (when I'm feeling particularly 'down or jittery', I list them as to dos and cross them off as I go which also calms me down). Surprisingly, I still get things done as quickly and effectively as I used to in the past which makes me feel loads better (it's just that I don't think as quickly as I used to because of my meds and state of mind at times. Meh!)!

    Hope this post has helped! If you want to talk some more, feel free to PM me (I don't want to go into exact details about my situation on here). Hope things improve for you soon! Take care! I'm thinking of you!
     

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