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Help! Mat leave, teacher training and guilt!

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Emilyclarechapman, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Emilyclarechapman

    Emilyclarechapman New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was due to start my teacher training (for the second time- first i had to drop out due to a sudden bereavement) in September 2017, however i found out in August i was Pregnant. My partner and i were living away from all our friends and family so relocated to our hometown and i managed to score a job straight away as an HLTA. However due to waiting for my DBS i didn't start til i was 15 weeks pregnant and in my second trimester. I then had to tell my new job i was pregnant straight away!
    As i started the job during my pregnancy, i only qualify for Maternity Allowance which is only about 700 a month. I am also in a lot of debt. Due to the money situation and guilt from starting a new job pregnant i said i would work up until easter holidays when i will be 39 weeks the day they start. I'm currently 31 weeks, had four days off last week due to stress/illness and am struggling badly!
    I feel so exhausted. The students i work with are very challenging and i want to cry alot. I feel like i cannot manage my classroom. I teach Alt ed yr 8 maths and eng, alt ed yr 11 eng and also run inclusion and an alternative provision after school for school refusers/SEN/the no-mans land kids! etc. I'm expected to do all my planning from scratch- which normally would be fine- but i can't keep up. When i get home i need to rest! There is only 4 in our team so if one of us is off it is a nightmare.
    I am thinking of changing my mat leave to start at 36 weeks but feel a hug amount of guilt for starting a new job and then leaving early. I feel like people will think i'm taking the mick. I also know how much the team will struggle as they STILL haven't sorted any maternity cover. That's my first moan! Any advice or reassurance would really help!

    The second part is that as i was due to start my teacher training last sept and didnt, i am really keen to do it this sept. I basically do a teachers job anyway and have for a few years. I have also done half a years teacher training before and am bored and annoyed with STILL being support staff after this long. Plus its about time i was on okay money.
    My HT has said i can train at the school im at when someone leaves the eng department and there is room, but a) i dont know when that will happen and b) the school's sponsor is changing and i am certain there will be a re-structure which makes me think she may go back on her word.
    I could apply for a salaried local course that has a school very close to my house but i would take a £4000 pay cut to do it and will have debt and a baby.
    So should i apply for that OR just wait and see what happens with my school? I find the school i am working at very challenging and am apprehensive about going back in September if i have to stay in the ALT ED department as i find it emotionally draining and very badly organised. I also feel that my line manager takes a lot of credit (although he does work hard) but the rest of us don't get as much recognition. However if i knew i was going to move to the Eng department to train i would be okay about coming back here i think as it serves a purpose and i could get decent pay. The school itself is a pretty horrid environment- very challenging.

    Apologies for the mammoth post but any help/advice/reassurance would be greatly received.
     
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    1) Have you had a maternity risk assessment? They are legally obliged to do one, and it should be redone if you are struggling. They may need to provide you with opportunities to rest, or reduce what you're having to do.

    2) If you are off ill with pregnancy-relate illness after 36 weeks, your maternity leave starts automatically, so you needn't feel guilty if that happens.

    3) If they're keen to keep you as long as possible before the birth, then it's in their interests to lighten your load and make sure you're not ill.

    4) Best not to count on promises about training in the future, especially when so vague about when and with a change of management coming.

    5) Any route into teaching will be extremely stressful with a small baby, but it sounds as if so is staying at this school. I'm not sure I've much advice to offer on this one, I'm afraid. You could go for the salaried local course - close home helps. Or you could look out for possibly-less-stressful HLTA posts or other unqualified teaching posts.

    6) It might be worth talking to the HT about the fact that you really do want to move into English teaching, that you're going to be looking for alternative posts or a training place, and will they be prepared to give you a reference? It's got to be worth keeping an eye out for what's available while you're on maternity leave, and so it makes sense to ask about references before you go. And if they're keen to keep you, they might come up with an offer - but as I say, don't count on any vague promises.

    6) Have you talked to anyone about the debt? CAB and other organisations will help provide advice, and it may be possible to (re-)negotiate repayment given your impending drop in income.

    7) Whatever else, make sure you enjoy this baby when it arrives. Don't get suckered into buying lots of expensive equipment, watch out for free groups to go to (library Rhymetimes, etc) so you meet other mums, etc.
     

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