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Discussion in 'Personal' started by lilachardy, Sep 11, 2011.
It sounds to me more that they lack confidence than they really don't know.
In other words - it's what you're paid for.
(In a less exasperated tone of voice) Give her a chance - it'll be good prof dev for you.
I think that's a really good thing for me to think about! Lots of encouragement needed.
It is easy to misinterpret the symptoms of stress for incompetence.
I think you need more support in order to support this person. Speak to your Head about it, but do try not to phrase it like you have on here. The person who is returning to work is not choosing to feel like this. Perhaps you could ask for some training in this area?
I understand this of course and as I stated later I do enjoy this aspect of my role.
Sorry - double post
I have found myself in a similar situation on more than one occasion. Other tes members think I am horrid as a couple of times I have had back lash for basically feeling hard done to by having to support staff. Think it has to be a clear definition of the support you are expected to do. Surely if it is a phased return to work then they are expected to work to their contract which basically means they plan etc for their class. If they can not do this without something ' holding their hand' then surely they are not ready to be back at work. I have had a horrible previous 12 months where I have supported a member of staff who clearly was not fit to do the job, at times it felt like I was doing the work of 2 for no thanks. I think it all depends on the attitude of the person you have to support. If they are honest with you and listen then take it on themselves then it should not be to bad. But if you find yourself feeling like I did and you are that person doing the job of two I would call a three way meeting, you, them and say you line manager and clearly get it clear to what each person is expected to do. I did this with a collegue and it made things a lot smoother.
I appreciate your comments and think it will be good prof development for me. I will def think about supporting this person and not misinterpreting the signs of stress.
I definitely didn't mean to imply in my post I wasn't committed to supporting. Think it's the working on Sunday making me mope!
Also agree with need to know difference between stress and incompetence. I am SMT, but not SLT at my school. Our SLT is AST x 2' DH and head. SMT are year leaders. I was somewhat upset last year as supported a year group member believing it could be stress or rather that was was what I thought. When a pattern occurred though that whenever there was a book scrutiny, planning scrutiny or lesson obs they were not in, it became the SLT job to go down the incompetence route. Before anyone has a go saying how did they not know it was stress etc, no doctor notes were ever produced, they never went to the doctors only ever self certificated. Once the person involved admitted they could not cope, help was given and they admitted that they were relieved that proper help was given.
I agree. Confidence, once dented, can be absolutely dreadful to live with for the person suffering as well as those around them.
Believe me, she will be surprised by how much she knows and remembers. While she has been away, every bit of confidence will have been swept away to the point where she will probably wonder what the hell she thinks she is are doing, believing she has the right to stand in front of a class of kids.
Not quite, but I was that teacher some years ago. It was terrifying.
What helped me was when my mentor didn't expect me to know what all the letters stood for-you know, the ones we use on a daily basis; what I call the secret language of Education.
Can I suggest that you look on this colleague as a NQT-yes an older NQT but one never the less.Be careful not to assume knowledge so that when she says that she understands what you are saying, this will come as a bonus, not a trial.
Believe me, at this moment, you cannot feel any worse than she does. Yes, it's going to take your time and patience, but see who else can help and support, and pray that you are never in this position. I never thought it would happen to me! Taking advice and help from a colleague young enough to be your own child is not easy either!
Thanks for this advice Dragonlady. I will definately take this on board to help raise their confidence.
Perhaps if this teacher is being treated like an NQT, perhaps she should be paid like an NQT during this period?
Absence through ill health should not result in demotion, (or pay cut) in my humble opinion.
If this teacher has been off six months with stress, then she was really very ill indeed.
Stress and depressive illness leads to memory and concentration problems, not just losing confidence in one's abilities. So yes, it is a good idea to remind a stressed person of the structure of the day, or of any important event like a staff meeting. Short-term memory can be fried and take ages to return.
I am sure you will support her well: she may get back on track in no time at all, you never know.
I must admit that my first reaction on reading the OP was that the long term sick teacher is in the wrong job. It's obviously just me though, as others are being far more sympathetic.
Of course you should support this person, but there's a difference between supporting and carrying someone. It's natural to feel resentment if you're constantly expected to do the latter.
Whilst I have carefully considered the empathetic responses, and agree with the many excellent points raised, I still cannot help but feel that if I were on my second bout of long term absence (and it could be more, the OP only said that it had happened more than once), then I would start seriously wondering about my career choices.
There comes a point where it doesn't benefit anyone by sticking around (oneself, colleagues, and of course the pupils) and at the end of the day, life really is too short.
It depends. There may have been life/work issues that can be over come once addressed. I had perfect attendance in a school before moving to a school with a bullying head (not suggesting this is the case here) and it made me so ill I had time off. Next job with a nice school and I was back to 100% attendance. The quality of my teaching was never an issue.
I do see your point here; if only it was that cut and dry.
The teacher suffering from stress cannot make that connection. They find themselves in a situation where they could do something well and achieve success for their students and then, suddenly without warning , they can't do it any more. I likened my situation to that in the short story 'Flowers for Algernon' by Daniel Keyes.
Everything I knew was just out of reach-just over the horizon and moving away from me. It was truly awful as I expected to be able to find it, touch it any minute now. Standing in a classroom, knowing I was not effective was murder.
Make a decision? You might well have asked me to split the atom with a kitchen utensil for all the chance of success I felt. Having SLT looming in the background was often more intimidating than supportive. Sleepless nights-remember sleep deprivation is a method of torture-feeling a failure EVERY moment of every working day takes it's toll too.
Taking time off is the only way to try and rebuild one's life, let alone one's career. In my first week of absence, I bought a wide brimmed hat which I pulled down if I had to go out, just so that I wouldn't catch the eye of anyone-that I wouldn't have to speak to anyone. That's just not normal, is it? I changed from a gregarious, chatty person into a virtual recluse. Believe me, If I could have got the doctor to make a home visit, I would then I wouldn't need to go out at all.
I could go on!
Now, in those circumstances should I have made a decision about my future? Maybe, but I wasn't in any fit state to make any decision. Example-can't decide what to wear? Stay in my nighty and dressing gown!
When one is on the ball and on top of things, it is difficult to see the world through the eyes of someone suffering from depression. No criticism intended, just a little insight into what was my world.
Couldn't have put it better, Dragonlady30.