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GP says I should give up teaching

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by polegara, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. My GP has signed me off for 4 weeks with work related stress and anxiety. She advised me to look for another job, as I can't even face thinking about school. My partner phones in for me, I haven't been able to set cover or do any marking, not even checking my school email, and changing my homepage. I spend a lot of time in tears, and always get someone else to answer the phone.I'm also not sleeping properly!
    I can't go into detailed reasons behind my illness, but stopping a fight is part of the cause. If she is right, and I won't be able to get back in front of a class, has anyone ideas on what course of action I should/could take? I can't afford to just resign as I am the sole worker in the family, and I have a mortgage to pay. Worrying about the future is not helping me to resolve my problems.
  2. Only Me

    Only Me New commenter

    Finding another job is not as easy as it may seem.
    I don't know how long you've been teaching, but there have been times of nastiness along my way. If it's any help, you must look at things in perspective, you worked hard for your career and you deserve it. No louts have the right to put a stop to it. I look back at some of the situations and think - blimey. Then I chuckle and remember I've learned so very much because of them.
    Take your time off and examine why you are affected and resolve to take a step back. What would have happened if you hadn't stopped the fight?
    Learn to be a bit hard faced - you are going there to earn a living, not change the world. If your school is not supportive then work according to the policy - look after yourself.
    You said it yourself, you can't afford to leave your job, so be brave, go see the Head, apologise for being out of action, in few words and affirm your commitment to doing a good job.
    Good Luck and rest up ready for the next chapter.
  3. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    OP - one or two questions:
    How long have you been at this school?
    How long have you been in teaching?
  4. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    I don't think you need to apologise. There's no need to apologise for having flu or a broken leg. I don't consider your doctors advice to be terribly practical, to be honest. You need support to get back into teaching (just as you may need support after a serious physical illness. I'd be looking for a more supportive and grounded GP.
  5. Hello sorry to hear you are feeling like this. I would agree that your GP hasn't been the most helpful. Have you heard of occupational therapy? Basically they look at illnesses and what the illness is stopping you from doing and work through strategies to get you back to doing what you need to for example working, I would look in to this they are very good and can look at physical and psychological conditions and can come up with so many ways of getting people back to work.

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    And stop thinking about cover, marking, emails and your homepage. You are off sick and don't have to do <u>ANYTHING</u> to do with school.
    Take this time to step away from the situation, restand think about how to resolve the issues. You may well need more than 4 weeks to do this.
    Also consider OccupationalHealth, Teacher Support Network and your union, if you haven't already.
    Take your time - having a complete break from work might help you to see and think more clearly about what you want, what you need and the best way to get those things.
    Good luck - now rest!
  7. I so feel for you. You MUST take a complete break and don't be surprised if you need more than 4 weeks. I was signed off initially for 4 weeks but I'm still at home 7 months later. I was fortunate to have an excellent GP and Occupational Health doctor and have been able to access CBT.

    DON'T make any decisions while you feel unwell. I was able to have six months on full pay and have now dropped to half which has given me plenty of time to think. Don't feel guilty about not being in school and definitely don't set work etc. your health is by far the most important factor here.
  8. I could have written your post three years ago. I was off for around three months and I DID go back and am now in a position of responsibility and doing well at the same school. I never though I could even set foot back in the building when I was first off, and yes it was hard to go back but it got better. What have Occ Health offered? They arranged 'talking therapy' (NLP) for me plus a phased return. Don't make any rash decisions, as another poster said you have six months full and six months half pay to get sorted. You have no reason to apologise or feel guilty, many have been where you are and many have got back in the classroom. Good luck.
  9. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    I totally agree with most of the comments posted for the OP. However, 6 months full pay, and six months half pay is only available for people who have been in continuous service for at least 4 years. Also, you need to be careful about taking too much time off. It is a good thing to take a step back, but can sometimes be counter productive for you self-esteem. I talk from personal expereince. I have been off for 3 months, but go back on a phased return tomorrow. I have found the whole expereince to have been extremely socially isolating.
    Yes, take as much time as you need, but I think it is being a little premature for your GP to advocate you looking for a job outside teaching. You have worked hard to get your teaching qualification, so don't give up on it yet. When occupational health, human resources, your union, and other professionals get involved in your case, you will fee far more supported. Also, of course, your school has a duty of care to you to make sure you have every opportunity to receive support in terms of a phased return, or any additional help you may need. Good luck!
  10. I would check out the legalities - academies have to take notice of the law! In particular make sure that you are familiar with the equality act.
  11. Why the hell should the OP apologise for being signed off ill with a severe illness which renders him/her unfit to work? If anything the person/people who caused/contributed to the conditions leading the OP to be ill should be the ones apologising!

    Affirm your commitment to doing a good job.

    Of what, having a mental break down after suppressing the worsening symptoms, in order to be hard faced? Or perhaps, a good job of ending it all because life is hell?!

    The worst thing you can say to someone with depression/anxiety/stress related illness is 'pull yourself together and get on with it!. The reason why the GP signed a form saying the OP was unfit to work is because the OP is unfit to work. If the OP could 'learn to be hardfaced', the GP wouldn't have done this!

    No wonder mental disorders and the effects of stress are still such a stigma and a growing issue with rubbish like yours continuing to be spouted, which stops people from getting the help they need to recover from it

    To the OP, please save your energy for what you feel you can do! Your health is the most important thing! When that has improved, then you can make decisions about your financial and professional future! In the meantime, do what your GP says with regard to treatment and when you feel ready, get advice from professionals like Citizen's advice, Teacher Support, your union (if you belong to one) and ACAS who are trained to give advice on your financial situation!

    DON'T let anyone pressure you into anything and DON'T pay attention to well-meant but misguided (potentially even harmful) advice such as that given by the previous poster!

    Thinking of you! Hope things improve for you soon!

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