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Finding it all a bit much

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by lonneymiss, May 17, 2010.

  1. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    I really just need to sound off a bit. Life has been pretty rough for the last 9 months and it just feels like it is all catching up on me. I am a NQT and started by NQT year in September. Two weeks before I started my Dad died very suddenly. I have managed to cope ok but it is all still pretty raw.
    In March my mum had a 10 week stay in hospital with severe depression and liver failure. She went from being ok to now having to walk with a zimmer frame and have help feeding herself and basic hygiene. I now feel like I have lost both my parents in some ways.
    I only work part-time and supply has been worse than useless so I am now battling with increasing debts and just feel like I am drowning. My partner is doing his best but soon I would have used his savings as well. In September I have nanaged to secure another part-time job which will make me up to full -time but that seems a long time away.
    To top it all of I think my HT is starting to loose faith in me. I do all of the planning for school including the days he teaches and recently I have forgotten to leave worksheets etc and it is really annoying him. I know he thinks I am the worlds most unorganised person and he is right. I am starting to think I am not right for teaching. I love the kids, they seem to be learning and enjoy my lessons but I don't think it is enough for my HT. More importantly it's not enough for me. I feel like such a disappointment - in work, life and everything!

  2. Crikey, lonney, you have had so much to cope with, no wonder you have felt the strain! It's a busy time for HTs, they are under massive pressure as well, if they get impatient sometimes perhaps its understandable and nothing personal. As far as forgotten worksheets, that's unlikely to happen again anyway. (any HT should be able to wing it now and again, surely?) And as an NQT you're not supposed to be perfect anyway!!!
    The bottom line is your classes are good, you know you teach well. If you have a gut feeling that the kids not only enjoy your lessons but are learning as well, that is the <u>biggest plus</u> you can get in your first year. An organisation freak without that natural touch isn't going to go very far!
    Count the weeks till end of term, then you can have a blitz at leisure on all the sea of papers you have accumulated over the school year. BE RUTHLESS. If you carry on in teaching -and I am sure you should! -imagine that pile after two years....ten....twenty....!!!
    xx non

  3. ...as if I should talk! -world's worst hoarder! If only I could turn the clock back....
  4. IMO if YOU are doing ALL of the planning for aparttime post that is shared with the HT - then the HT is equally reposnsible for the planning and resouring, indeed it sounds as though your HT (like many I am afraid) is taking the *** a little here! If you are employed on a parttime basis - then you are employed to teach and plan for those times only - not the remiander -including PPA - though I know that many Heads wish to ignore this!

    So I would start by suggesting that this is an area that would ease the strain on you....

    Then perhaps look at alternatives to teaching - such as tutoring - where you could earn some extra &pound; (I know many do seem to do it as cash in hand - though not sure I could ever do that personally")

    Chin up - you've had a rough year and tbh you have joined one of the least sympathetic/empathetic professions IMO (due to the amount of pressure everyone is under!)
  5. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies. Think I was just having a wobble and the HT has since rang to say not to worry about it. I just tend to get overwhelmed sometimes.
    Thank you for all of your suggestions and I will definitely be having a clear out at the end of the year. I already have a blitz once a term otherwise I know I would hoard everything!
    I do love being in the classroom so I am just going to try and keep going. I have said I need to talk to the HT about the planning and I am going to ask him to do some of the planning!
    Many thanks again x
  6. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Having another down day today. Just feel like I am doing a pants job. Found out my head is seriously doubting my organisation skills and is worried if I will 'survive'. Can someone please tell to stop being a pansy and that everything will eventually be ok x
  7. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Do you need to do something about your organisation? Maybe sit down with the head and talk through a system that works for both of you.
    You can always offload to teacher support line.
  8. Right - how did you find out the HTs opinion? Face to face or 'the head said' from another minion? If the latter, book time with HT and ask about the comment. If former, HT should indicate now how you can improve, and give you structured help and support to do that. Especially if for some reason HT thinks you may be about to die.....or leave.......or throw a chair......what precisely does this HT mean by 'survive', incidentally? You've had enought to cope with for a while. It's a part time job - you should do your fair share of lessons, planning and marking, and walk away. If they don't like that, well ain't that sad for them.
  9. Organisation can be learnt. Pinch ideas off everyone you can.There must be loads of online calendars, I just made my own simple one with Excel, one date per line, weeekends coloured so you can spot days of the week easily. And I put down every appointment, booking, holiday, training day,birthday, payday etc. Then occasionally I email it to myself so I can access it in other places via Hotmail. It's great for not getting doublebooked!
    Come to think of it, I remember lots of things I HAVE to do next day, specially right before bedtime. So I email reminders to myself and put the info in the subject line (no message at all). In capitals. And I don't delete them till I've dealt with them so they stay on the inbox list in bold, shouting at me every time I log in until I just HAVE to give in and do the job....
    But OldGreyWolf is right, of course. Ball's in HT's court really!
  10. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Thank you for your replies. I took your advice and spoke to the Head Teacher. We have agreed that next year because he gives me a full afternoon of PPA that I will still be responsible for all of the planning. Difference will be I won't have to be in school which will give me much more of a chance to get it done.
    I asked him about the whole organisation thing and he said he was concerned about me forgetting a few bits and bobs recently. I said I recognised this and was working on it so hopefully that's that.
    Still feeling really down but at least it is sorted now. I just hope I have remembered everything for Monday. I checked it about ten times but my head is so messed up at the moment I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot something.
    Thanks again for letting me have someone to talk to xx
  11. Out of interest, does the HT know about the issues that you've described in this thread? If so, I think he's being extremely insensitive! Far from doing a 'pants job', I think you've done extremely well to go in and do a good job teaching and helping him to stay organised when you've suffered a bereavement of one parent and the job of helping to care for the other. This is on top of financial issues to boot! What difference does a few forgotten worksheets make in the circumstances? Also, can he honestly say that he would be able to be organised under those circumstances? I know I wouldn't and I've been praised for my organisational skills!
    I'm a private person so don't like to take my personal issues into work. However, I do think that the issues you've described are so serious that if he doesn't know about these issues, I think it would be a good idea for you to tell him (in a discrete matter of fact way) if you feel able to because he owes you a duty of care! He won't thank you if your health also suffers because you have to worry about planning (which takes NQTs longer anyway) on top of these other issues because then nothing would be organised at all and he'll have to do all of it, including sorting out the teaching of your classes!
    It might also be worth your while (if you haven't already done so), getting some professional advice about your circumstances from teacher support or your union or your GP, for example, as there may be things you could ask for that may help your current situation (I don't mean this in a patronising way, so please forgive me if this post has caused any offence).
    Good luck! I hope that this post has helped and that things get better for you soon!

  12. Bless you, what a lot to deal with. I can understand what you say about losing both your parents - although you still have your Mum she is not the same person right now. it is a huge amount to deal with, on top of everything else. If you cant tell your HT you should have a mentor? Can they not tell the HT what is going on in your life? If not your mentor, someone else who is sympathetic who will go and have a word?
  13. inq


    As a suggestion from one who has in the past forgotten worksheets (!) - I tend to e-mail myself my worksheets and IWB files (in case I forget my memory stick) and then I can open and print them at school. I have a school e-mail account but you could also set up a free hotmail one - most school filtering systems seem to let you access those.
    If you are an NQT are you getting your NQT time as well as your PPA?
  14. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Thank you so much for all of your responses. It really does mean a lot to me. I have spoken to my HT every step of the way about things with mum and my dad as I felt he had a right to know in case it impacted on my job. He is really understanding generally I think he is just stressed himself at the moment and because it has been 9 months since Dad died and Mum is now being cared for at home he is probably thinking things are 'ok' at the moment. I have told him I am struggling at the moment so he has said he will try and get me more supply which is kind of him. And I didn't get a phone call to say I had forgotten anything today which is good!
    I have taken your advice and made a GP appointment for half term next week. I am going to ask for some counselling about my Dad as I have never really had chance to sort my feelings out about it all. I literally found out, did the reading at the funeral then threw myself into school and in hindsight I should have got someone to talk to earlier but hey ho I am making the right steps now.
    Ps09lh - you aren't being patronising at all. I really appreciate and value your advice as it makes a lot of sense and sometimes you just need someone else to tell you.
    Thanks ing for your idea. That is such a good idea about emailing myself things. Am going to start doing that (and to the HT just for good measure :0) !). I have also set myself the target of always having all the planning ready for a Monday so it gives me all week to check I have all the resources etc.
    Thank you all again and I will keep you posted. If there is anything I can ever do for you please shout x
  15. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Sorry Gorgybaby mean't to say thanks for your advice to. My mentor is my HT but I do talk to my TA a lot who often gives me sound advice about what to do. I know my Mum is still Mum deep down I just miss being able to have silly chats with her but that will come. She has now learnt to feed herself and even wash her own help which is a massive improvement already!
    Thanks again x
  16. AckyWacky

    AckyWacky New commenter

    Hi Lonney, I've left a message on Worried Sick for you x
  17. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Am back in a pickle. Mum is now poorly and I am terrified. Mum got admitted to hospital in March for 9 weeks with heptiencapathy (not sure of spelling) and we nearly lost her. She was incontinent, couldn't feed herself, talk, remember anything or walk. With a lot of hard work we managed to get her back (well her memory was still bad but she could walk with a zimmer and talk and feed herself).
    Then two weeks ago the confusion started again and by Thursday she was in a coma only responding to pain. Again we have managed to pull her around again and she was let out on Friday. But...... yesterday she was readmitted with confusion. It's so frustrating!
    Mum has a full MRI and CAT scan and the verdict is that she doesn't have cancer which is great but she does have cirrohosis of the liver (probably stage 3 - not good when stage 4 is irreversible coma!) Ascitites (fluid in her stomach and ankles) and portal hypertension as well as fluid on her longs. The doctors aren't keen on discussing prognosis but have said she is really unwell with her liver and to take each week as it comes. One has said it could be three weeks, three months or three years. Basically it is a shortened life expectancy that we are facing.
    I am trying to be objective and say she has been fighting so far and so she will be fine but the harsh reality is Mum's drinking has damaged her liver so much and sooner or later it will kill her.
    I am finding things a bit tough at the moment. I miss my Dad so much and the thought of losing my Mum is terrifying. I am also so broke at the moment I have literally no money and my new shiny car is poorly too and needs 1500 worth of repairs. So all in all not fab but hey I am still trying to smile. Just wanted somewhere to put my thoughts so i don't go mad! I did put this on the Worried Sick thread but I feel a bit of a fraud and people have so much bigger worries than me. Please feel free to ignore I just need somewhere to air my thoughts. Cheers xx
  18. A lot of people don't have that many worries in a decade, lonneymiss. Don't ever feel fraudulent about posting about your difficulties. Your mother is indeed extremely ill and you are right to feel anxious, especially with no specific timespan for recovery or otherwise available. I've no doubt it's feeling much worse because you're still grieving for your father. I don't know why anyone would expect you to snap back to normal after only nine months. The Victorians placed a mourning period of a year on the death of a parent during which time nobody expected you to function at all except out of necessity and a slow recovery after that.
    If your car is new and shiny is it not still under warranty? I had more to write but my husband wants to turn off the electricity to mend something. [​IMG]
  19. lonneymiss

    lonneymiss New commenter

    Thanks for your reply lily. I think the Victorians had the right idea! My car only had 2 months warranty so it has run out! Just my luck x
  20. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. You are doing well to cope with looking after her and still work. My sister gave up work to look after our mother and as a nurse she couldn't cope with the physically and emotionally demanding task.
    This is probably a good idea to be here chatting as a way to deal with what you've been through. NQT year is hard enough for the fit and young without what you have been through.Schools are such pressure cookers they don't permit you to have anything other than work to deal with.
    As my young niece who seems to have had so much trajedy happen to her said " somehow we'll cope" and you do !

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