1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

I don't think I can continue

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mandolin123456, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    I didn't say they are better. If OP tries primary he has tried something else. From expeience my male friends have fared better in primary year 6.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    If you only have six years of pension (not to be sniffed at, mind you) then you sound young enough to make up any losses caused by changing profession.
    Go to the GP this week. Get signed off, and take time to consider. IF you can do it, resign for the end of August, to gain maximum pay, but if you can't, then go for Easter.
    Be gentle on yourself.
  3. mandolin123456

    mandolin123456 New commenter

    Curae, mothorchid and agathamorse like this.
  4. matevans

    matevans New commenter

    Things do sound pretty desperate for you and I am sorry you feel so low.

    Before giving up on teaching might it be worth putting yourself on your own 'survival plan' e.g.:

    - Until Christmas either set no HW or instead set it as a project / video question sheet watched on Youtube / family research HW etc. Limit marking massively.
    Secondly put together a marking grid of key skills, and tick off the levels the students have achieved with any marking you do do - and limit comments to one line max.
    Thirdly focus on all the students who want to work, rather than the ones who don't. Send a few emails / postcards home to the kids who have impressed you - it might be the highlight of their term.
    Fourthly set a working week time limit e.g. 60hrs. If you are then asked why something hasn't been done, explain that you'd already worked 60hrs this week, and couldn't do it within this time. Any 'manager' who then complains about that isn't worth bothering about - if they can't see the demands on you in your current state are unfeasible, then they are failing in their duty of care.
    Fifthly, build one fun activity into each lesson that you look forward to e.g. a group quiz league in the last 10 mins of the lesson, so you can always finish on something of a positive. I'm teaching WWI at the moment and I can honestly say I look forward to teaching it every year since every lesson has some sort of activity which I know the kids will enjoy - and if only for those few moments in the day, then the endless hours of work seem worth it.

    Obviously some of these ideas might not work for you in your subject / position, but if you look at all the things we are supposed to do as teachers and get caught up in that, then the job is nonsense. My ex-boss, a brilliant teacher, looked at the Ofsted criteria for an outstanding lesson a few years back, and said that upon that criteria, he'd never taught an outstanding lesson in his life. The bit that stuck in my mind from that criteria said something like every lesson needed to be tailored to each individual student's prior achievement level - well if I do one lesson a day I might be able to manage that, otherwise stick it.

    We work in a ridiculous industry - in no other one I can think of would an employee be suddenly expected to complete hundreds & hundreds of hours extra work (e.g. in writing new A Level and GCSE sow) without any of their existing work being removed or extra pay being allocated.

    At the moment, I don't think you can probably see the wood for the trees, and are spending so long thinking of things going wrong and feeling so low is going to make you think everything about the job is impossible. Perhaps therefore of being distracted by a myriad of things, if you focus solely on how you survive the next 18 working days, things might things seem possible? Long term though, you need to feel life is more than just surviving.

    I don't post much but when I do usually end by saying I very rarely seem capable of taking my own advice about workload... I know what I ought to be doing in terms of setting limits, but don't stick to it...
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  5. mandolin123456

    mandolin123456 New commenter

    I have been signed off but I feel so guilty that my lessons are going to be covered, probably by other colleagues. I feel like I should have just stuck it out and that I am a horrible person. Also, I called Education Support yesterday and they had no counsellor available to talk to me. They offered a call back today between 12 and 5 and I haven't heard anything. I know it's only 5:01pm so they might still call.
    mothorchid and agathamorse like this.
  6. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    You are in no fit condition to teach and by continuing to do so you are doing your students no favours. OK, colleagues may be having to cover your classes, well, how many classes have you covered for your colleagues? Illness and absenteeism is a part of working life and if you're not fit to go in you stay at home for everybody's benefit.

    The decision to stay at home was not made by you. it was made by a qualified medical practitioner who made the decision that you are unfit for work. You would be disregarding professional advice if you did go in. Going in would make you more ill anyway. You are doing the right thing by getting counselling. You are trying to get well and to do that you have to rest and recover so stop your self imposed guilt trip, it's causing your more stress and making you feel worse.
    Curae, chelsea2, JohnJCazorla and 3 others like this.
  7. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    This is such good advice. Teaching is one of the only professions where even when we're too sick to work we feel guitly for not doing so and it doesn't help - especially if you're signed off with WRS. It's perfectly understandable to feel as you do due to the way teaching is these days but in order to get better you need to try and work out strategies to get past feeling like that.

    I've seen people on here liken it to how you wouldn't be feeling bad if you had been signed off with a heart problem or broken leg or were post-surgery and this is effectively the same thing; ill is ill and a doctor says you shouldn't be in so you have NO reason to feel bad. In fact feeling bad will make you feel worse, as @Shedman rightly points out. Try and rest and recover - you need to!
  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Well done for taking the first step - recognising you're ill, and getting signed off.

    Phone Education Support again.
  9. youmakemesmile

    youmakemesmile New commenter

    Mandolin123456, honestly it's a career that has damaged so many people. I hope you managed to get in contact with Education Support. You have many skills that can be used in other settings should you so choose
    mandolin123456 and agathamorse like this.
  10. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    May God bless and protect you. I can't really add further but I was moved by your post and you have my hand to hold.
    I have been there Let us know of your path to recovery You sound sound like a fine decent teacher and don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. You have understandibly decided to leave.
    We are here for you always and forever
    Huge hugs
    Curae xxx
    agathamorse and mandolin123456 like this.
  11. mandolin123456

    mandolin123456 New commenter

    Thank you

    your support really means so much. I'm booked ff until next week and thought I might give it a week or so before Christmas at school and see what it's like - I feel hopeful that maybe I will be able to give it a good go but also so afraid that all the old feelings of being completely out of control come back. I've started to feel a lot better since I've been off but also feel really like I should be doing something with my life and I feel like I'm just sitting now! I feel a bit directionless I guess.
    Curae likes this.
  12. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I'm pleased for you that you're starting to feel better now you're off. Your mind and your body are telling you something, the job is making you ill and when you're not there you get better.

    If you're feeling that you should be doing something with your life then consider the future. When you return to your current job is it just going to be more of the same that made you ill in the first place? Will you battle on for a few weeks or months until things come to a head again?

    Spend some time making plans on how you could make you job better so it doesn't lead to another spiral of decline. If you can't see anyway to improve your current job then how about thinking of moving onto another school or another career? This would involve brushing up your CV. Spend some time on line researching new jobs and matching the skills you have with job advertised on jobsites. Maybe a change in career and a training course.

    It's great that you're feeling better but when you're signed off the sick it will be back to work again. Think about that and all the implications for your future health and happiness and try to make changes for the better.
    Curae, agathamorse and mandolin123456 like this.
  13. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Wise words. There are many posters here that gave found happiness in other careers. Take your time to consider. Please stop worrying ...you need to be kind to yourself.
    agathamorse and mandolin123456 like this.
  14. david_a_heffernan

    david_a_heffernan New commenter

    Please do not be feeling guilty about anything. Guilt shows that you are human and also a kind caring individual who has a conscience but feelings of guilt will not serve you in a positive way. You did not wake up one morning thinking "I am going to negatively impact my mental health today which will result in requiring counselling" All you can do is control what is within your sphere of influence - which is trying to get yourself back in the best possible mental state. You will get through this - please make sure you keep reaching out and not keeping your negative thoughts too yourself. You clearly have a wealth of support within this community. Please use it.
  15. Saffron5

    Saffron5 New commenter

    Go off sick now do not resign don't make any decisions about the future you are not well enough all the guilt is part of the illness, I have been where you are twice (several years apart )and both times I have been off for a few months and both times I have gone back and been able to do my job please just stop let go of it all and give yourself a chance to get better mental illness is an illness and we should not feel guilty or ashamed when we are ill.
    I really hope you are able to do this or perhaps you are already off do something you enjoy, craft, exercise whatever it is think of it as medicine please look after yourself x
  16. WTDT

    WTDT New commenter

    Teachers by nature are giving, and it follows that when we need to take time, guilt follows. Don't feel guilty. I know that it is easy to say but difficult to take in. I left teaching earlier this year and I felt tons of guilt, especially because I was a Head of Year, so leaving my cohort felt like a failure and abandonment. You have to put yourself and your family first!!! Teaching is such a difficult job. Hope it works out for you!!! M
    mandolin123456 likes this.
  17. youmakemesmile

    youmakemesmile New commenter

    So glad you managed to get time off. It's not been very long and you don't sound like a lazy person. Marathon runners pace themselves and we don't call them lazy...Taking a break does not mean you are failing/will fail to do something with your life. It's just a pause in the middle of a chapter. Often the direction one should take becomes clearer over time. Whatever happens, you - just as you are - matter.
  18. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Lovely supportIve advice.
  19. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    And never forget that.
    mandolin123456 likes this.
  20. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    Look after yourself, I’ve nothing to add but didn’t want to read and run.
    Curae and mandolin123456 like this.

Share This Page