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Not coping at work...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Fiona L, May 24, 2011.

  1. Hi, I posted back in October about feeling overwhelmed in my new job. I started in a new school last September in a leadership role in which I felt completely out of my depth and like I'd taken on way too much. Things were really tough and I was hating it. I also got ill with shingles which didn't help matters! School were supportive and recognised I had a massive role and a very large area of responsibility across the school.
    Since then I've had ups and downs, never really felt I liked the job but it was becoming 'o.k'. However, recently I've felt it's becoming unmanageable again and I'm just not coping. I think the school are aware there is lots put on me but I'm getting to the stage where it's affecting my health. I'm feeling ill again, crying a lot of the time and quite depressed. I feel like I just can't keep up with the constant demands, meetings, requests, emails, phone calls, people coming to see me with problems / issues. I've been teaching 12 years and I've never been so stressed. I know it's all part of the job but it's too much. The other day I wrote down all the things I've been responsible for or need to be doing and it filled a side of A4 (two columns). I'm acting HoD for one dept, line managing two other depts, mentoring an NQT, SEN stuff, organising CPD and inset, options, work experience, school play and a whole list of other things. I just know that this type of role is not for me and to be honest, I don't think teaching is for me anymore. I'm in a constant state of anxiety and keep crying in my office. I can't resign as I don't have another job to go to but think I might crack up soon! I'm considering asking if I can relinquish my responsibility but I'm well aware the school could say no and it would leave them in the lurch. I'm actively looking for new jobs but realistically I can't really leave now until Christmas. That seems a long way away!
    I think it's worse as I'm long time single so I have a **** day at work and then just come home to my flat on my own and cry about it. I don't want my life to just be all about work but I can't see how I can get out and meet people in my current state of stress. I'm out from 7.30am until 7pm every day and often have more to do when I get home. It's not worth the extra money!
    Anyway, sorry to moan on but I needed to let it out! I've had good feedback from my line manager etc about how I'm doing but it's got to the stage where I can't cope anymore....
  2. Meant to say, I know I'm lucky to have a job and there are many people unemployed etc and I do appreciate that fact! I think it's just that it's not for me and I don't seem to be able to cope with all the demands. I am looking for a way out but just needed an offload as I live by myself!
  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    If you have good feedback from your manager, then could you ask them about your role and if they have suggestions about managing it better? It may be that some of what you do could be delegated to others.
    The more unbalanced your life is with work/personal the more stressed you will be. Could you book a spa day? If things have gone beyond that, then see your GP.
  4. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Ask for a change in your role. No-one will thank you for working yourself into an early grave. do it now, before you really are stuck with it til Christmas.
  5. Thanks, I appreciate the responses. I have considered asking to change my role but I suppose I've been worried about the response and admitting that I can't cope with the current one! I think I'd be fine with general teaching and a bit of extra responsibility (even though ultimately I will be looking to leave eventually) but the leadership role I'm in is too much.
  6. Im pretty sure you are allowed to ask to relinquish your SLT role, and just become a regular teacher? Granted you would drop pay, but im sure there are some eager colleagues who would like the opportunity to take over your role?
    You said it is not worth the money, and it certainly isnt worth your health. Do you think that if you got rid of all the extra responsibility and just became a 'regular' teacher agian, you would begin to relax and enjoy it more?
  7. Yes I think that if I went back to regular teacher, although there would be other pressures of being back on a full timetable etc, it would be much better for me. I think the school's problem is, there aren't really any suitable people within the school to take over as we have a new head who has trying to rev up some 'coasting' teachers and I've been drafted in, along with another colleague to help with that. I'm not being arrogant there as I'm quite self deprecating but it might be tricky for them. We're a small school and I'm not sure if they'd want me to just be a teacher as I'm post threshold so quite expensive for them! HT and DHT are very career minded and I'm not sure if they will understand me wanting to step down!
    Having said that, there is no harm in asking. I think they are aware I've got too much on and that people won't leave me alone which is why I never get anything done!
  8. Sorry you are feeling like this, I can totally empathise with lots in your OP! I think you need to talk to your HT and let them know that you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to cope. They may be much more supportive and helpful than you think - and the way you feel now you are bound to be expecting the worst.
    It is my understanding that if you inform your HT that you are struggling and that your work/workload is having a negative effect on your health and work/life balance then they have a duty of care to offer support in helping you overcome those issues. Someone more knowledgeable than me may come along and shoot me down, but I think that's right. Don't think about quitting this job, ask for help to make it more manageable for you. There are lots of things that you could try before resorting to leaving so don't make any hasty decisions.
  9. Didn't get to speak to line manager at the end of half term as she was rushed off her feet thurs and then on a course fri. The last couple of days were hard going, I was so stressed and tearful. I'm now starting the holiday with swollen glands, really sore head where the pain goes all the way down the back of my neck. Feel angry that my job is doing this to me. I just wish I had got my act together and started job hunting so I could have resigned and left in the summer. Around Easter time I was thinking I'd do another year but I don't think I can manage even another half term at this rate! Well, I'll keep my eyes open anyway and just see if I can get out at Christmas time.
    When things are so **** at work, I feel even more lonely being single and living on my own!
  10. Thanks, well that is what I would like to do. The concern is that the school employed me in this role and so will probably not let me drop down (as there is noone else on the staff who would probably take it on at this stage). The money would be an issue as I'm on a debt management plan but I'm sure I could lower my repayments as my health is more important.
    I suppose if my school say no to dropping the responsibility then I can look elsewhere. I'm just worried that as I'm on UPS2, a school might not employ just as a class teacher as I'm quite expensive?
    Slipped disc I will check my messages!
  11. Aye, I see the problem and feel for you but you never know till you try I suppose. The job market for us expensives is difficult though. I went for a job last year and did what I thought was a great lesson and interview but they gave the job (normal teaching post) to an NQT.
    I hope the school has your interests at heart and can work something out.
  12. Well I've not felt well throughout half term and feeling really poorly today - not what I need when I've got to face the onslaught tomorrow and all the stress! I was off for two days the week before half term (which I think was brought on by stress) and I think this is my body reacting to it now. Really sore head, throat, no energy, temperature etc.
    Dreading tomorrrow. Aside from feeling ill, everytime I think about work I feel sick and overwhelmed. I must find something else for January but even that seems like a long way away. Can't bear the thought of that place right now!
  13. I started on the SLT this year, and have found the experience to be absolutely unpleasant. I had meetings with my HT where they kept holding out the threat of capability and told me often and at length how unimpressed they were.
    I then decided to apply for other jobs - and it was at that point that the HT realised they'd overloaded me with the wrong sort of work, and we actually had a sensible discussion.
    Upshot is, I resigned a few weeks back, and have taken a different role, off the SLT from next year. I get my life back, the school gets me doing the job I'm actually better at doing rather than the toss I've been saddled with this year.
    It can work. The right role in the right school is there for you.
    Keep the faith in yourself and remember it's just a job!

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