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Not sure how much to tell - need advice please

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by kuhjum, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. I started a position in September and I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope lately and have experienced sleeplessness and symptoms of anxiety which are getting worse. I know that I need to talk to my HOD and make him aware of what is going on as it is definitely affecting my performance. Although there are specific things about the role which I am finding difficult, I believe that I was already exhausted/drained before I started this autumn due to other separate family issues. Things went ok for a few weeks but then the cracks started to appear! I actually wish with all my heart I hadn't taken on the job, but now I am in it. So I am not sure how much information I need / should tell my HOD or the school. I don't want to try to cover up anymore.
    Thanks for reading
  2. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    I would recommend you visit your GP first. It's very easy for people to confuse the type of symptoms you're describing with 'just feeling down' or 'fed up'. If you can explain that you are seeing your doctor about it then it might help them to take it more seriously. It will also show that you are being proactive about your situation and looking to improve it, and again this can encourage others to be more willing to help you too.
    When you do go to speak to your HOD, try to have some specific ideas about how they can help you that you can put forward. A lot of people just don't know what to suggest or do in this situation and then get frustrated with the person coming to them. If you know what you want to get from the meting and you are clear about it then it's more likely to go well.
    Good luck!
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi, good advice from Lily, can I add that teaching is such a demanding job that no matter how long you've been at it, something will unexpectedly come along to cause the anxiety you describe? I have moaned on here often,so am no expert when it comes to controlling anxiety, but I had horrendous family issues when I started teaching and forced myself to put them into a "box in my head" and any work I had to do for school I did at school, so could have a "school" box in my head also. It may not be possible, as I don't know your circumstances, but this mind-over-matter has worked for me (if Mr.Jo and I have a falling out, I can not think about him when I'm at school quite easily, whereas with other colleagues it is quite obvious when they have had a falling out at home or wherever,and take it out on their classes - not fair)

    I hope you feel better soon and your GP should be your first port of call - take time off school if need be - perfectly valid and may alert HOD if they are sensitive/caring?
    Take care

  4. Thankyou lilykitty and jonowen for your replies. I have taken today off work and it is a great help to have your advice and know that I'm not on my own.
    I visited the GP on Monday and have got a referral for counselling, for the time being I am 'self certifying'. It is a relief to be away from school and have a rest, but i worry that the time away might make me feel more nervous/sick about going back in again.
    I have started to make a list of 'Difficulties' and separated them into 'Difficulties at home'/ 'Difficulties that have always been there on and off in my teaching' / 'Difficulties specific to this post' partly to get my own head round it and partly so that I can go to my HoD as you've said lilly, with some ideas about how he can help in concrete terms. You are right. The last thing I want to do is end up sobbing out my life story in a semi coherent mess but that could happen...
    Jo I think you are right about putting things in a box and I have one day a week where I can work late at school. But I have small kids and have to be back for them, so it's unavoidable that i bring work home. Working in the evenings is part of the problem.
    Thanks for your thoughts :)

  5. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi kuhjum, you sound brighter!
    try not to guilt-trip yourself - people take time off all the time and it's always a thought to return; remember that while your school can cope without you short term, you do a good job while you are there and are an asset to the place. Your little ones come first - work is enabling you to pay the bills, keep your brain engaged outside of family and fits in nicely with life. This post is still a new job and will take a bit of adjustment - give it time.
    Can you develop existing schemes of work rather than create new stuff all the time? I had a friend who complained about the hours of work she put in every night, but it was her choice to create new worksheets and excellent resources for her class, she was very highly thought of at school but her family suffered as a result (our husbands were sporty friends so I know how much the family had to put up with). Something has to go, but I think you are getting things under control - happiness is a mother's right!

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