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Don't want to teach anymore, depressed

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Sillow, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Basically, I can't do this job anymore. All my enjoyment has been sucked out by monitoring, the paperwork, children's behavioural problems, mountains of marking, too much to do and so little time. We've been expecting Ofsted forever and I'm fed up feeling like nothing I do is good enough and even though I normally give up 8 hours on a Sunday to work it never feels like enough and no matter how hard I try, I'm still doing badly. I can't face going in tomorrow.
    But I don't know what to do. I need a job that pays a similar amount, because I'm the breadwinner. There isn't anything that pays so well out there that I'm qualified to do.
    I feel trapped and panicky and upset. I really don't want to go in tomorrow. I haven't done my planning today because it's felt like this big mountain that I just can't climb. I want to be spending time with my husband, not in here feeling guilty because I haven't spent my day planning lessons for tomorrow.
    I am so sad, I feel depressed. I used to love this job, but the more I think about it the more I don't want to do it anymore. The thought of going in tomorrow and starting the week all over again is horrible. I have absolutely no enthusiasm and the thought of being alone with 30 kids for several hours trying to be happy and jolly and a good teacher just makes me feel sick. This is the first time I've really felt like this, although I've had doubts for some time.
    Please, has anyone been in this position? Is there anything I can try and do to help? I am so, so unhappy right now.
  2. Amybella

    Amybella New commenter

    Oh, Sillow, I'm sorry you're feeling so low. I really know how you feel. I'm afraid I don't really have any good advice for you, but I didn't want to read your post and not leave a bit of moral support. many teachers I know (including me!) are in a very similar position, feeling that the job is untenable but that there is no other alternative. Sometimes it's the best job in the world, and at other times it's the worst, isn't it?
    Does anyone else at work know how you feel? Is there someone in management to whom you could talk when you get in tomorrow?
    If it's any consolation, you're right - you shouldn't have to spend hours and hours of your weekend working and you should be able to spend time with your husband.
    I'm sorry to not be of more use x
    caress likes this.
  3. tinkerbella29

    tinkerbella29 New commenter

    I know how you feel and apart from changing schools i don't think there is anything you can do. I am applying for jobs at the moment as there is no way I a staying in my school past this year. I too am the breadwinner and have warned my husband that even if i haven't found another job that i am not staying as working where i am is making me ill.
    I wish there was something more constructive i would tell you.
    suzuki1690 and MrsScience60 like this.
  4. You sound like you need some time out of this situation to get your head around what your options could be. It is hard when you have to worry about the money but it is not worth carrying on with something that is tearing you up so much.
    At the risk of speaking out of turn, and please only take the following as general options.... Work out the basic acceptable minimum income you want / need. Consider any and all other options for employment that you and your partner could manage. Does the school you are in contribute to how you are feeling or is it just the system? Do you have recourse to any occupational health support through the school or LA? Find out and consider using it. you do have options and you can change the situation you are in one way or another.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh Sillow. So much on your plate. No wonder it all gets to you on occasion.
    To be positive is it half-term at the end of the week? That should help give some perspective.
    As to the immediate problem of preparing for this week, some of my best lessons have been those I didn't spend hours preparing. Does your school insist on full plans submitted in advance on ridiculous formats? If not so what about having a general idea of what you hope to do this week, deciding for now just what you hope to do tomorrow. then depending on what happens tomorrow decide tomorrow for Tues and so on. If your school insisists on detailed plans could youjust re-use some previous plans, slightly tweaked or downoad some form the net and 'annotate them' as you go through the week? After all we are supposed to respond to children's needs!
    But I think your bigger problem is that being the breadwinner, teaching and all the other home stuff might just be 'getting to you'.

    JosieWhitehead and kaysupply like this.
  6. i'm just dipping in to give moral support as well Sillow. Don't be hard on yourself for the way you feel right now. There used to be a saying - the more you put in, the more you get out. You are clearly putting it all in and something needs to be given back to you. Monitor your health, because that comes first. Consider doing supply work for a time, simply to take a breather. I know it might seem to mess up your career path, but it could also lead you onto something more unexpected. Don't burn out on the job. If what you put in is never enough, it is seriously their loss. I think you will definitely survive.
    shopaholicannon likes this.
  7. casper

    casper New commenter

    Just a sort message of support. See how you feel after half term. Nearly there. The most important thing is that you look after yourself as Jack said. I have been there. I am now looking forward to doing something new. I do not want to post to much on here I have sent you a PM. Just wanted to add my support.
  8. Sillow just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. The message you have put on I could have written myself.

    I'm very close to leaving my job and teaching altogether. I don't know whether it's because of the school I work in - we're constantly put down (unless you're one of the untouchables!) and all talk is about Ofsted.

    I'm tempted to hand my notice in and do some supply to help me work out whether my love for teaching is still there. Is it the school you are unhappy with or the workload?

    I'm sorry I don't have any good advice but half term isn't far away x
  9. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Thank you, everyone. I don't think it's the school. I changed school last summer and this one had the same pressures. I suppose I'm just not enjoying it anymore. I have decided, at least, to work to live from now on. If I can't do this job in the 50 or hours I do at school in the week, then maybe it's not for me.
    Plans not generally expected to be handed in, which is good. So I am going to do it tomorrow and stuff the consequences. I am making myself ill.
    Thank you again. I still feel sad, but happier knowing there is support out there from fellow teachers. My husband is very supportive, said I should leave and it would be nice to see me more!

  10. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    The workload is unrelenting. You dig them a perfect ditch, and your reward is to be given a bigger shovel.
    I agree with Casper. It's half term soon, limp on until then and have a good break. If you still feel you are burning out, then look at alternatives, supply, etc as previously suggested. A teacher friend of mine worked out she could manage (just!) on a TA's salary, so swapped roles at the school and now sees more of her family.
    Life is too short.
    brightandbeautiful and Bonnie23 like this.
  11. Cupsy

    Cupsy New commenter

    I just wanted to add to the OP that this post could have been written by myself at the moment.
    I've been teaching for many years now and the constant pressures and threat of OFSTED is also seriously making me want to reconsider whether to continue in a job I once loved or find an alternative. I think the endless observations and book/planning scrutinies has left me questioning my abilities as nothing ever seems to be good enough!
    I don't have any magic answers unfortunately, but I just wanted the OP to know they are not alone with these feelings.
  12. I am going to echo what has already been written here. I too have felt like this and this time last year was so low that some of my colleagues noticed.

    I felt that nothing was good enough etc. I did look for another job but the planning for interviews as well as my normal workload made it worse.

    I made a conscious decision to stop worrying - easier said than done I know. My school struggles to find good teachers of my subject so at least I was safe.

    This feeling will pass, try to stick it out until half term and aim to do as little as possible for the whole week..

    Keep telling yourself that you are human and can only do so much. Never question your abilities, the fact that you have posted here shows how committed you are to giving your students the very best. Nothing else really matters. Be confident in yourself on this. Have a couple of days off if you need to and ask your GP for a referral to a counselling service. The Teacher Support Network are also great if you need to talk.

    And, most importantly - keep posting on here - it really does help to chat and receive support.

    You are not alone.

    Love AC
    brightandbeautiful and watermill like this.
  13. Sillow, I too have been where you are so I do understand. Please take some time for yourself and allow yourself to feel better enough to cope by taking some time out if you need to do so.
  14. I know how you feel, but this week is different. Having made the decision to quit teaching this Summer, happiness has returned, i feel lighter already and I'm already planning to have a year off, starting with a long trip to India then South America for the World Cup. I'm in my 50s and am sick sick sick of the idiotic amount of paperwork the Head constantly demands, just in case ofsted arrive. And as someone else said, when you dig the perfect ditch, she gives you yet another bigger shovel. Gone is what is best for pupils and in its place, targets, reviews of targets, progress checks, tracking sheets, this policy, that policy, the other policy, all of which must be followed, reviews of policies, reviews of people you line manage to check they are using policies, meetings about policies, meetings about meetings, reviews of meetings about meetings to see if we are on target to meet the school's goals, departmental reviews, assessment reviews, folder trawls, drop in observations, line management performance management, joint performance management to check we are all doing it to the same standard, and on and on and fu@@ing on it goes. I work in a school full of bright children. The dumbest person in the entire school is our Head. All she cares about are appearances and making sure you give every waking hour to paperwork. I hate her with a passion and what she has done to the school, the children and the dedicated teachers she has seen off, one after another over the previous few years. Well, I shall resign in the last 10 minutes possible in June and then onwards and upwards. Good luck with your situation.
  15. ellephantf

    ellephantf New commenter

    Really sorry to hear how low you feel - I know exactly how you feel and it's all consuming. I have actually managed to get a 0.6 contract sorted so there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel...however, it's my half term and I am sat here feeling guilty for not working! Awful!
    Is there anything that can be done to ease the pressure? Signing up to planbee was good for me planning wise (Primary?) as a lot of resources there... hope things ease up x
  16. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    To the OP....
    Mentally try to detach yourself from the ******** that goes with teaching. Remember that the constant reminders about ofsted are from frightened senior managers. They have more to lose than you!
    I am sure you are doing a good job. Statistically you spend more time at home or on holiday than you do in a school. Just work the hours and treat the job as a means to an end. Time will soon pass.
    Think carefully before going off sick. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary, but there are times when it can actually make things worse. Take care of yourself and good luck for the future!
  17. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Thank you to everyone's comments. It really does help to feel some support, as I don't feel able to say this all at school.
    Today was okay; I have decided to do the bare minimum with regards to paperwork, with absolutely no work at home. And I have started to look out for non-teaching jobs, just to get a feel for what is out there. It's so hard because if I don't hand in my notice soon, I'll be at the school until August. But it's good to actually just feel like there is life aside from teaching and my husband is so supportive, thinks I should apply for anything vaguely interesting! So I felt a little lighter today than normal, because I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, as someone said on here.
    It doesn't mean the next few months won't be hard. But at least if I continue to do badly, I am focussing on a way out and the fact that I'm considered 'requires improvement' won't count for anything with non-school employers. Every day is going to be a struggle to go in, I reckon, but half-term isn't far, then it's 5 weeks 'til Easter and then I can job search with a vengeance.
    Thank you again. I will keep you updated. I feel sad to feel so happy at the thought I could be leaving teaching this year! I honestly thought I'd do it for a few years yet.
  18. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I'm sorry sillow. The profession is changing out of proportion. The forums really do provide good advice especially from those who have been through this and there are lots of us. Keep your chin up. Enjoy your half term. Put as much effort into that as you do in teaching and you will reap the benefits.. Believe in yourself no matter what. Good luck. I hope your working environment gets better soon.
    brightandbeautiful and watermill like this.
  19. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    Amthebookbinder - Amen to that - best post I've read.
    watermill likes this.
  20. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Oh Sillow, I am really sorry to see you like this!
    And you were so happy last May when you got this job - your first TLR position I seem to remember you telling me it was.
    I do hope that you have something GOOD planned for half term.
    Best wishes .
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
    I shall be doing the Moving into SLT seminar on 23 March. See you there!


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