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I’m struggling-big time!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by obie77, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. obie77

    obie77 New commenter


    I’m sure where to begin. My school went into SM earlier this year, many disastrous things have happened. We were currently on our 5 Head in 7 years. I had also been moved from KS1 to UKS2 and then moved again to LKS2. There had been some untruths told to convince me to move again, an elaborate ruse for a favoured member of staff to get the class of their choice.

    I went back in September feeling awful and had 3 days off due to just feeling exhausted and rubbish. My teaching began to slip as I just couldn’t find myself and staff moral was so low. I’ve tried hard to get myself back on it but am a shadow of my former self. I am now on antidepressants and still feeling awful. New Head has been put in by the MAT and I’ve had the worst lesson obs ever. Do I tell the new Head what’s been going on for me? I don’t want to come across as a victim or overly negative but I’m really struggling to feel ok and I know I’m not as I should be in the classroom.

    I’d love any advice before capability beckons.
  2. nixmith

    nixmith Established commenter

    Can't say much except this: you are not the only person in education to feel this way, remember that.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    well, you are not well, and you need to see your doctor
  4. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    No, I’m sure I’m not. But after many years as an experienced “good” teacher this is unexpected and hurtful.
  5. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    I’ve just been, stress/anxiety group therapy, a meditation app and tablets was the result. Not sure how it’s going to help, yet.
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    5 HT's in 7 years! The fact that you have been prepared to stick with this place shows real commitment and loyalty. Sadly these qualities are no longer valued in education. This school has a long way to go and I suspect that there will now be a fairly ruthless clearing out of staff. One poor lesson Ob, even with a previously good record, is likely to trigger capability. All this MAT will care about is getting through OFSTED. How this stress effects you won't matter to them. Start looking around, I suspect your days there are numbered.
  7. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I'm sorry I don't have any practical words of advice, but I'm glad you've been to the GP. I'm sure they would sign you off with WRS as a next step if you needed it. I don't think things are going to improve much for you in your present post - as others have said, the MAT will only care about getting a good OFSTED, no matter who they have to trample over on the way. I know it's tough, but please don't take it too personally; a quick flick through these forums will show you just how many others are finding themselves in the same position. I would definitely start looking around for another school.
  8. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    Yes, I have been very loyal and stepped up to do lots of extras and take on further responsibilities. However I now realise this was in vain and no one really cared or valued it. This has factored into my stress levels. I am looking to move on, but with a new Head and DT, I’m not sure where my reference will come from.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    I am determined not to let this define me and my teaching career, which has been a good one up to this point. I’d already started looking and investigating supply. I’m devastated it has come to this, but also realise this is a reflection of teaching in current times as well as my school’s situation.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    So you say you had a really poor observation out of the blue, and whilst it remains possible that your performance was poor because of the factors you describe, it can also be true that the feedback was poor because this new regime are working under a remit to clear the decks of expensive and experienced staff.
    I have no clue which is correct, if either, or whether it is a mix of the two things.
    However, their standpoint towards you is still new, and so you can have a lot of influence in how they perceive you.
    It is therefore a good time to go and have a word. Explain how fantastic the school is to the HT (!). Describe the person who, in your job role, can support the SIP on SM. Make sure that description is bright, bubbly, upbeat,and that it corresponds with the vision of the HT. And make sure that description is not you.
    This is how you sow the seeds for a good reference. Tell them you need to move on to seek professional challenges which are not available there. List the things you have accomplished in your current place (plan this beforehand,write it down, rehearse it) but tell them somebody else may be better placed to build on that in the direction they need. Ask them if you should use themselves as a referee.
    And so they will probably say "yes" because, as described, there are several explicit and implicit motivations for them to do so.
    I'd suggest doing this before the next opportunity to observe you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    You can’t go from being a good teacher to being a bad one after so many years for no reason. Outside pressures are stopping you from thriving.

    For my observations I play the tick box game. SLT want to see peer assessment? There you go. Want to see some students explaining where they’re at and how to improve their attainment? Done. Given us training on how to improve reading in class? Nailed it.

    My teaching over time shows progress. My lesson observations show I can follow their ideology.

    if they’re getting you down and you don’t have your head in the game, I would find a new school. We went into SM after 10 heads in 5 years and the new one was great but they called him the silent assassin in the local authority because he came, got rid of staff through capability and left once we received a good. I survived using the tick box method.... either that or he thought I was a good teacher! Who knows!
    agathamorse, obie77 and SundaeTrifle like this.
  12. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    I haven’t had any feedback, yet. Not for anything the Head or DT have observed or looked at over the whole time they have been with us. The Head hasn’t said anything about the state of the school to anyone ( that I know of) or shared the SDP with us.
    After all my years of OFSTEDs and observations, I just know it was poor.
    I have no idea what they are looking for or areas of improvement. Apart from my own reflections on my teaching, marking etc.
  13. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    Thank you! I would have been like you under normal circumstances. I just don’t know what they want or what they have seen. It’s all a blur and under my current feelings it is causing more panic and distress.
    agathamorse and Lalex123 like this.
  14. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    You are clearly feeling very low and have assumed the worst. It can be very hard to be positive in a situation where the school is struggling and with the changes of HT over the years, it may be that you have not had the sort of positive encouragement and support that we all need when doing a very stressful job. Try to be positive, wait until you get the feedback, try not to be too hard on yourself, take things one step at a time.
    agathamorse and obie77 like this.
  15. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    Take some time out from worrying, see your GP, good luck and I hope it all works out.
    agathamorse and obie77 like this.
  16. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Anti depressants take a while to work. And at first they can make you feel worse.
    Speak to your Dr.
    caress likes this.
  17. obie77

    obie77 New commenter

    Yes, they are not fun. But I’m hoping it will get better.

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