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Dreading going back

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Hi,

    I feel bad for posting on here again. Some of you may have seen my post about feeing home sick at the beginning of the summer holidays and now things have gotten worse.

    The A-level, especially AS results weren't great, I don't want to go into detail but on the exam element they did very badly. The GCSE results were good, better than expected.

    I know I'm going to be held accountable for this and I'm dreading it; I don't know how the school will react. I was honestly under the impression that the students, those that put the effort in, would do well in the exam, the paper was almost nice, the students knew the content that came up, I still need to view the data to analyse it but ultimately I feel extremely guilty for it, this has never happened before. I can't shift the thoughts from my head and I feel like it's destroying me.

    I can't remember the last time I wasn't thinking about going back to school and what would happen. The summer holidays have been horrific for me, especially since the results came out, lack of sleep, not wanting food, no relaxation, I think I feel more wound up than when I left. I'm on edge at all points and I can't stop thinking about work. I'm stressed at work and out of it.

    I have already decided I'm going to leave teaching, hopefully by Christmas, I can't keep going on in this cycle, I love teaching, being in the classroom however the stuff that happens before and after is no longer worth it, the stress is turning me into a horrible person. I am still in my 20's and I feel like I have lost my life. Although most people love the long holidays I have never enjoyed them.

    I don't know how to prepare for returning to work or even if I should prepare anything.

    B
     
    hilarynicholas and install like this.
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Hi.

    I have read your post about AS levels. Mine were also poor.

    My view is this:

    1) I am not convinced that there isn't a move to close down AS levels nationally. Ours is already uncoupled, but national plummeted on one paper in particularly, whereas grade boundaries didn't as much.

    2) I wont go into too much detail, but from the priority remarks at A level, I have significant concerns on quality of marking. May be nothing, but there you go.

    3) Kids are kids. However much you put in, you can't get away from that.

    What is your subject, just out of interest?
     
    thekillers, peakster and peggylu like this.
  3. MrsArmitage

    MrsArmitage Occasional commenter

    Oh god, Bonnie - there is so much in your post that I can echo! I've had my worst GCSE results ever, and am thinking as you are - that I don't want to go back, that I'm going to be hauled over the coals, that I can't motivate myself to get ready for next week. I suspect we are in a 'not very exclusive' club! I teach two subjects, and my fear is that this will just reinforce the suspicion for the history department that I am not a good teacher.

    I wish I had some pearls of wisdom for you; but I do want you to know that at least you're not alone in feeling like this.
     
    pepper5 and install like this.
  4. nick2002

    nick2002 New commenter

    Post deleted
     
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It won't be the first time your school has had disappointing exam results (nor the last).
    For the time being, you need to behave and prepare as if you're returning to work. Take a while before you hand in your letter of resignation, you may feel differently once the dust settles. If you don't you have until the end of October.
    It sounds as if you didn't put enough practice into exam technique, perhaps also you didn't quite hit the spot with the exact format of information needed to get top mark answers. Poor AS is not the end of the world - it may make UCAS more complex for your kids. My daughter didn't do brilliantly at AS for a variety of reasons, but turned it around in year 13 and got into her first choice university.
    Your GCSE results were good - they should be pleased with this, now you can pick up the A level. Get some papers back so you can see what went wrong.
    As Dynamo says, AS is on the way out in all subjects.

    if you are really unsuited to teaching, then it's best to do something else. All of us have had wobbly moments and disappointing cohorts of results. It doesn't make you a bad teacher.

    Good luck - no rash decisions.
     
    pepper5, peggylu and grumpydogwoman like this.
  6. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I would refuse to comment until you have requested some papers back from the board. Express your surprise but ask for time to do some proper research before coming up with an explanation.

    If the board has made errors you will identify it. If not, you will be clear about how to resolve it. Try not to beat yourself up until you know what caused the poorer than expected results. A lot of it depends on revision in the final couple of months.

    Just prepare for your lessons as you would on most Sundays in term time.
     
    pepper5, foxtail3, knitone and 2 others like this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You have all the symptoms of depression. Insomnia, not eating, feelings of worthlessness. Please see the GP.

    There's lots of good practical advice above. Don't rush into anything. Assess. Just plod along sensibly. But also SEE THE DOC!!!

    Horrible person? I doubt that very much. An exhausted, disillusioned and unhappy person who isn't on top form? Yes. Horrible? You don't sound it.
     
    bonxie, sabrinakat, Moony and 4 others like this.
  8. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    My genuine feeling is that I've failed these students. I pushed them to work hard and it still wasn't good enough.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. MrsArmitage

    MrsArmitage Occasional commenter


    I'd echo what others have said about going to see the Doc. You can't get yourself trapped into this cycle. Just remember, schools move so quickly that you'll be looking ahead to your next cohort, not back at the one just gone.
     
    cazzmusic1, pepper5 and peggylu like this.
  10. ScrubulousPip

    ScrubulousPip New commenter

    Bonnie and MrsArmitage....I feel exactly the same. GCSE results were bad, but they were such a difficult cohort to motivate, and not the most able. I have seen the head of examiners recently and was told I was doing the right things and to stick to my guns. This is my second year in mainstream and I am hating it. I too am feeling constantly stressed, fearful and that everyone thinks I'm **** at my job. Starting to think I AM **** at my job and should be doing something else...but I'm a single parent and need to earn to pay the rent and I'm just not qualified for other available jobs that pay similar rates. This week have been feeling sick, tearful, not eating, dreaming stress dreams and have a horrible feeling of real fear in my stomach. I've never been this bad at anything before - did lots before training to teach and was reasonable at most things. Feel a complete failure. At a loss as to what to do.
     
  11. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    @Bonnie23 and @MrsArmitage and @ScrubulousPip

    I think all teachers on here would agree with the comment below by @phlogiston

    Accepting there will be bad years is just as much a part of the job as celebrating the better ones. This is why it's ridiculous judging a teacher just on one set of results.
    There are so many variables that can affect outcomes.

    Good, experienced management know this and if they say they've never been disappointed in some of their own results over the years they are lying.
     
  12. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    This is exactly how I'm feeling, even when I do sleep I wake up in a panic attack. I have always had low self esteem but being a teacher seems to magnify that by such a huge amount. I've always had fantastic lesson observations but when it comes down to it I don't think I'm a good teacher and I don't believe I'm worth being in this profession.
     
  13. install

    install Star commenter


    You are over thinking this. Look forward and not back..

    1 These are new Specs - no one is an expert yet
    2 Grades are getting tougher - Govt agenda
    3 Do not do AS again if the sch allows - many schools already don't. Because they don't count if the students do the full A Level Course
    4 Offer solutions - you need training in the new Specs and opps to share with other schools
    5 Never ever blame yourself but do recognise the problem and offer great ways forward...:);)
     
  14. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    That's not you failing. You did your job. You could not have done more.

    I greatly doubt that you made any mistakes in how you taught the students. You got them to work hard and you gave them the best shot they could have. That's what we are paid to do.

    We are not miracle workers. Nothing we do - however hard we try - can guarantee students the results we think they deserve. It could be the way the exam was marked. It could be that they did not revise enough at home. It could be that because the exam seemed nice, the examiners were told to be far more precise. All these things are beyond your control.

    No one should make excuses for their own genuine failings, but we have to recognise that sometimes students will do badly, despite our best efforts.
     
  15. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    That's not you failing. You did your job. You could not have done more.

    I greatly doubt that you made any mistakes in how you taught the students. You got them to work hard and you gave them the best shot they could have. That's what we are paid to do.

    We are not miracle workers. Nothing we do - however hard we try - can guarantee students the results we think they deserve. It could be the way the exam was marked. It could be that they did not revise enough at home. It could be that because the exam seemed nice, the examiners were told to be far more precise. All these things are beyond your control.

    No one should make excuses for their own genuine failings, but we have to recognise that sometimes students will do badly, despite our best efforts.
     
    install likes this.
  16. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    pepper5 and install like this.
  17. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Exactly. Well said.
     
    pepper5, grumpydogwoman and install like this.
  18. ScrubulousPip

    ScrubulousPip New commenter

    Bonnie I don't think it's a question of worth. I just think it's a really difficult job, and getting more so, that some of us aren't cut out for. I don't think I am. I want to move on to something else that I don't wake up dreading the thought of every day.....it's no way to lead your life.
     
  19. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Whenever I start to worry that I'm a bad teacher - and I DO worry about that - I think back to the times when I've did supply and found myself clearing up the mess of truly dreadful teachers.

    Ones who never mark books. Ever.

    Who allow students to climb out of the window.

    Who used school bullies to control the class for them.

    Who taught incorrect facts.

    Who missed out entire units because they couldn't be bothered teaching them.

    The ones who clearly - despite years of training and support - just don't give a s***.

    I don't believe those people are losing any sleep over Monday morning. No lingering doubts about their adequacy for the job, or willingness to look at what they did and do better next year. It's those qualities which make the start of a new term an ordeal. But you'll also find that those qualities are the ones which make a good, caring teacher.

    And if nothing else - have I ever accidentally set fire to a student, left one on the bus or asked where their mother was on parents evening (having forgotten that she was dead.) Not very often. So if nothing else, I'm standing between my students and something worse!
     
  20. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    My main worries are that I don't know what to expect when I return. I've never had bad results before and I've never been in charge of the analysis. I've always done my own person 'well if I tweak this and do it that way' etc but I've never had to do a whole class anaysis and I've never had to explain bad exam results; my line manager who has always been a leader of the subject (not HoD) has always done that. Even though I'm not the lead in the subject I know it will still fall on me to do it.

    I'm aware that it could lead to disiciplinary action and I'm pretty much at a minimum expecting to be put on capability.

    My HoD has a very short temper and I imagine he will have a lot to say this time.

    I'm even just dreading seeing the students again and having to explain this to them.
     

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