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Dreading returning to work

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    So I go back to work full time in September after only being off since 22nd April. I have to go back for financial reasons, one of which is that my husband has been made redundant. I am dreading it. I never thought I would like staying at home so much as I normally get very bored and frustrated in holidays but it is not the same with a baby. I am really enjoying being at home with her and its made me realise how stressed and disillusioned I was becoming with teaching. I have thought about leaving to do something else but I am a HOD with a TLR and I don't think i'd be able to earn the same sort of salary elsewhere and I can't afford a drop in salary with my husband being a stay at home dad now.

    It is being made worse by the fact that my colleague who is acting up into my role in my absence is being a nightmare. She has ignored all my notes I left her. She has started off the A-level coursework and exam teaching for Y13 by using completely different topics to the ones we have done before and have resources for. This went against my specific instructions and means when I go back I will have to write all new SOW and resources for 6 different units. She made a major mistake by offering a coursework topic that was impossible for students to do with the resources we have and this was only prevented because I happened to be informed about it by a colleague and was able to contact the school and get them to speak to her. She was only looking after my role for 3 months (and most of this time our GCSEand A-level students have been on exam leave) and so I don't think she should have made such major irresponsible changes to the teaching content for no reason, especially as our subjct is being overhauled in a year by Gove anyway.

    She is refusing to have any contact with me whilst I am on maternity leave (actually outright refusing to respond to emails saying that I am on leave so she does not wish to hear from me). I cannot therefore discuss these changes with her or get any idea of what work she has done / not done in advance of me returning. As a result she will also not send me information about which classes she has allocated me for September, or my proposed timetable so I have no idea what to plan in advance etc.

    I complained via email to my line manager and the head and they responded in a nice / polite way by sending me some paperwork that I requested in the post that is semi helpful, but have not done anything to tackle her refusal to communicate with me which I see as discriminatory behaviour. I think she needs to be disciplined personally but they don't seem to think so. When I go back I will go back to being her line manager and I have no idea how I am going to work with her now she has caused me so many problems and been so rude. I have never had to deal with a situation like this before and if my line managers don't think she needs talking to, I don't know if legally I am allowed to berate her for this behaviour.

    I am just dreading the whole thing. Sorry for the rant, I know there is not much I can do really but just needed to vent. I can't believe I have to go back and get stressed out and do all this extra work, right when I want to be at home with my baby.
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    It is hard returning to work after maternity leave - Your family situation doesn't sound easy as you're rather hand forced into returning, but at least you can rest assured knowing your baby is cared for my Dad at home safely for the time being.

    With regards to your colleague - Well they are under no obligation to retain contact with the person they are covering for at all I'm afraid. As you say, she can't have done irreversible damage in way less than 12 weeks? so hopefully you can pick things up and make repairs. Your personal feeling that they should be 'disciplined' is dubious, and I doubt falls within the schools staff disciplinary policy. I would't risk 'berating' her, and I'm not sure what you would be proposing to berate her for exactly anyway - legally you cold well find yourself accused of bullying, and personally I don't think that will build any bridges for your future working relationship.

    I would contact the head directly and request a copy of your timetable before the end of summer term, politely explaining that you would like to be able to plan and prepare over the summer prior to returning.
  3. AcornC

    AcornC New commenter

    Oh dear, I haven't really got advice, just a lot of sympathy as I am in a very similar situation. I took a whole year off for my second maternity leave and came back full time at Easter. My older child has started school this year, and my baby is now a year old.

    I am also HoD , on a TLR and we felt we could not live on my husband's part-time salary (he was already part-time before we had children, due to wanting to write more - he has had books published, and working far away - he has to stay away from home 2 nights a week).

    BUT - I loved being at home with our children, made wonderful Mummy friends and went to all sorts of lovely groups, baby-signing/music/exercise all of which I really miss. My husband resents doing all the childcare and I get home to a stressed out man, dirty house and children desperate for my attention. I find that all so hard. I have to rush out of school earlier than I would like to, work non-stop at home until the children are in bed (cooking, cleaning, being Mummy...) then start work for school and work until late, often waking up during the night, still feeding the baby myself. It's exhausting!

    At work my maternity replacement went way beyond "holding the fort" and re-wrote all the SoW to fit with her preferred textbooks (old ones I had moved away from over the previous 5 years), she changed exam boards without even telling me!!!

    And has been kept on, with what was my timetable, in what was my classroom. So I am mainly teaching a subject which is not my own, with books I am not familiar with, to an exam specification which is new to me, in a new classroom without my own resources.

    I feel I cannot possibly show my best, yet I will be judged on it. The Head has changed during my maternity leave, so the new one does not know me, and has not seen me on "full power". I feel tired and frustrated, I would so much rather be at home, and although I am trying very hard to do my best at school, I know that this does not look as good as I feel I should be. I don't want to wish my life away, but I do find myself counting down to the holidays. Isn't it hard being a 21st century woman? Good luck x x x

    So - no answers for you, but you are not the only one.
  4. bristolmover

    bristolmover New commenter

    It may not be as bad as you think. I returned in July after only a 6 month break due to financial reasons. I love my life outside of school and am very much aware of why I am here, but to my surprise it has been really lovely to see all the kids again, and do something I'm good at. It's hard only seeing the baby before and after school, but that's actually quite a few hours as he's been waking around 5.30am and I hand him over at 8.30am, then pick him up at 4pm and he gos to bed at 7pm. Then he's up in the night too!

    Keep in mind why you are doing it. Keep it in perspective. Work hard at work and be seen to do the right things. Do not obsess about how others do their job. Just keep your head down, smile and enjoy every minute with the baby.

    I know it'll be hard in September (I'll be 0.8), but it'll be worth it every pay day, and the holidays ae good. I've found doing housework in the mornings really helps, so I can forget about it when I get home and we can have 'family time' for a few hours. Once baby is in bed I can plan/ mark/ watch tv/ run/ bath and bed. I'll just have to do less watching TV than I used to!
  5. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your advice everyone. I went back this week and it sort of feels weirdly like I never left. This teacher has continued to be very rude and standoffish with me, for no apparent reason. I just keep responding to her snotty emails with inordinately cheerful blasé responses, answering her questions as though it doesn't bother me. So far she has questioned my authority on about ten occasions since Monday, including openly questioning me in front of the whole department, about why I was praising the department for a good year of results, demanding evidence to support my comments etc.. I literally had just given them all hard evidence in the form of the results sheets, statistics etc but she demanded I put my evidence in writing via an email because she thinks I need to be "ultra clear who I am praising and for what."... JESUS.. I hope I can keep the cheerful act up until she gets bored of this.
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Do that. Always aim to be the graceful party? even if at times you are you clumsily graceful? :)

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