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Discussion in 'Personal' started by rayoflight, May 29, 2011.

  1. I am so stressed out. I am at my wits end. I am writing to ask if it is possible for a teacher to be in a relationship. I love my job dearly, I wouldn't want to do anything else. It does upset me that it has such an impact on my life outside of work though, because I am never really away from my work, other than showering, eating and sleeping, and also to do housework/grocery shopping. However, it does upset my boyfriend a lot more. He wanted me to go out on Saturday but I didn't have the energy: I was at school till 7:30pm on Friday and by Saturday I was just exhausted. I wanted to stay in and write my reports but he was so upset and thought I wasn't making time for him. But if I did have time, I would spend it with him doing romantic things. Sitting watching me work isn't his idea of quality time together, and this is perfectly understandable, but I don't know how it can be anything else. He doesn't believe me that I would rather be relaxing over a bank holiday, but I just dont have the time. Im sure that there are many, many teachers who aren't in this situation, either because they simply give less to the job, or they give just as much but are more effective and efficient with their time. I wish I were the latter, but I don't have the skills to be faster and its harming my life. But it's the career I love and I don't want to do anything else. I just feel stuck in a rut at the moment, I don't know what to do :(
  2. Yes, and Make Time

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Work to live, not live to work.
    You have to prioritise - teaching can be all consuming and exhausting. At best it is hard work and tiring - but you can make compromises and regain a little bit of control.
  4. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Welcome to Tes, rayoflight
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  6. That is your training, that is, harshie.

  7. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Dear rayoflight, have a look in your inbox.
  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I'm sure I don't know what you mean CQ!

  9. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    It isn't easy having a demanding job and fulfilling your partner's expectations from the relationship. In my case, my job entailed lots of travelling, sometimes being away for days or a week at a time. Always long hours.
    Getting back home was a joy for me. Thank Christ, the travelling, eating pub or restaurant food was over and I could unwind at home.
    My wife, on the other hand, had been stuck at home on her own when I was away and dearly loved to have the chance to get out, maybe have a weekend away or eat out.
    I don't have an answer other than to echo what celtic said. You have to make time for the relationship. Now that I'm semi-retired, I can't tell you how much our relationship has improved. All manner of things that were once issues between us have been forgotten. It's now a real pleasure to do things together.
    Looking back, although I saw the job as a neccessity and gave it my all, I could have saved us both a lot of grief if I'd said no from time to time.
  10. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    But you know what I mean, don't you? [​IMG]
  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Sadly, I do ....
  12. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Hows you MM? We no spoke for a bit and I been looking out for you, to see if I could say' hello' on Opinion, but I felt not. Hows your leg now? I miss our wee chats.
  13. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I have been like this. The only solution I can suggest is to set time limits on work and be disciplined. I gave myself one night off work a week and one day each weekend - that still gave three evenings where I could work (or four if you're prepared to work on Friday night) and a weekend day.
    I also tried looking at tasks and judging how long they should take and setting that as a time limit e.g. marking a set of books - one hour etc. Keep to do lists as well so you know what needs to be done. You have to prioritise or you end up with no life outside of school.
    It is possible to be in a relationship - I've been in the same one throughout a long and sometimes very draining and challenging teaching career - but relationships require time in the same way that your job does.
    Try Teacher Support Network - I found them very helpful when I went through some very dark days a few years ago. Good luck.
  14. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    As other posters have said, it's not confined to teaching. One of my colleagues got married last August, and last week was saying that she gets up, goes to work, comes home, is fed tea, and struggles towards bed. I haven't got anyone at home to worry about and I'm so exhausted I've slept for most of today. We work in drug intervention - supposedly 9-5 but it rarely works out like that.

    If you're in a relationship you have to make time.
  15. I found saying 'no' one of the hardest things to learn but I'm an expert now.
    Two of the best pieces of advice I ever had was that it's not important that everyone likes you and that you'll never, ever get everything done. Prioritise the important bits and let other bits slide.
    Looking back at my early teaching times, I spent so much time preparing resources that weren't entirely necessary, planning trips/events that weren't necessary, trying to impress everyone etc. Not a total waste of time but I couldn't sustain it.
    It's not easy but it is possible to maintain a relationship.

  16. If you want it to work you will make it work. All relationships need time set aside for them.
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    rayoflight: It's the curse of this profession that when one job's done you're always thinking 'what's next?' and nobody encourages you to think otherwise or provides the time to get it done.

    Although my better half is also a teacher I understand exactly where you're coming from, and one trick I learned was this - when I had way too much to do, I'd occasionally think 'stuff it', take a day off and do none of it.

    And you know what? The important stuff would still get done, and the unimportant stuff maybe didn't, but who cares? It was unimportant.

    You need to work at applying the 'stuff it' filter - believe it or not you're contractually entitled to a work/life balance.

    (And yes, that last one makes a lot of teachers laugh).
  18. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    I'm fine, thanks kibosh. Leg's far improved. The dog gets walked now and the garden is getting under control. I've been working a bit, enough to make it better than signing on and having the time to be able to, I've managed to assist mrs modelmaker in getting the full pension she's entitled to with backpay. It amounted to several grand which was a nice bonus for her. She even took me down the pub for a meal to celebrate, paid for my beer as well. First time in 25 years.
    How are you getting on with the e-cig?
  19. My own relationship ended in part due to my lack of a work life balance. And
    since February I seem to have managed to develop one, unfortunately a
    little too late, but never mind.
    I've re-jiged how I approach my work; before we split I always would make sure I was home by 6pm, but as I work a 45 minute commute away, that would mean bringing stuff home. Now I have a cut off point at school - usually 6pm - and if it isn't done then, it gets left (unless it really will just take 5 more minutes) and I go home. I only bring something (books, my laptop) home on a weekend and holiday. I get into work for about 7:30am (traffic), but because I don't function well at that time I do all the bitty stuff - replying to non-urgent emails, tracking down videos on youtube, asking colleagues questions - that builds up during a day. I set myself achievable tasks; I use the tasks function on Outlook to keep a record of everything that needs to be done that week, and then use post-it notes for a day to day to do list. That way I don't get scared (I stress when I have lots to do). I am so fabulous that I've been doing the Sutton Report's recommendations about marking all year - I tick and flick most and either give in-depth comments every few weeks on their overall classwork (Ks3), or mark an exam answer in-depth a couple of times a topic (ks4).
    And perhaps most importantly, I've developed one of MSB's 'stuff it' filters. The world will not end because year 8 haven't had their books marked this week.Year 11 don't care anymore, so spending 4 hours planning an amazing revision lesson is a waste of time because half won't turn up to the lesson and the other half have been listening all year anyway, and know it all already.
    But like many have said, you have to make time, and you have to do it properly. Watch episode 6 (I think) of 'Misbehaving Mums to Be' for an example. A young lady who didn't stop, because she didn't realise that the reason why she was working crazy hours and was always on the run was because she'd always done it that way, not because she had to. She was always saying that she 'didn't have time', but that was because she was expecting time to find her, not the other way round.
    Good luck and sorry for the long post!

  20. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    It all sounds a bit precious to me. Sometimes you get busy, too busy to bother with no end of niceities. So what? It isn't that hard to say 'I am knackered I am going to bed, do not disturb me or I will vomit in your boots, we can have a chat in the holidays, if it is important to you, ***'.
    You don't want to deal with all that relationship stuff when you are retired either. Danish, coffee, balcony overlooking the Med, that is when you have time to get down to some serious neglect.
    *** to them.

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