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Not sure I can keep this up

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ET1984, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. ET1984

    ET1984 New commenter

    I am wondering how long I can continue with teaching. I feel sick and stressed and dread going in.
    I have a young baby with medical needs who needs frequent hospital trips and a terminally ill parent who relies on me. I am starting to feel the pressure and am worried if I go to the gp I’ll be signed off.
    I feel trapped as I need to find something that will pay a similar wage but also only part time hours. Please can anyone offer me some guidance. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Thank you
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sympathy. Long term you know you needed to be there for your parent and your child, but you can't make yourself homeless or starve while you do that.
    Supply short term - perhaps with a bit of tutoring?
    jlishman2158 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  3. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    Is the stress related to your personal circumstances or the job itself - or a combination of both?

    Teaching whilst you've got as much on as you have is an almost impossible task, it's not going to do you any good. As said above, Supply seems like a good idea.

    I would recommend seriously sitting down with a spreadsheet and working through what you can and can't afford to do. I'd also do this whilst signed off. You sound like you need a rest - I doubt there's a doctor in the land that wouldn't see that you need some time to get your self in order and minimise your stress that's no doubt having an impact on your health.
    I'd also recommend counselling on the NHS - it might be worth looking in to.

    It'll be hard to find a part time job that keeps you on the same salary, but there's a lot of other jobs you can do in the civil service and (depending where you live) the charity sector.

    I've had friends that didn't think they could drop down their salary, but then ended up taking paycuts of around £10,000 and still managed - mental health improved.... and you can't put a value on that.
  4. ET1984

    ET1984 New commenter

    Thank you for your reply.
    I think the stress is a combination of both. I feel like I’m on a never ending treadmill and just keeping my head above the water but never far from sinking. Luckily I’m on a part time salary on the main pay scale so not on huge amounts of money. I have seen a counsellor but they didn’t help a huge amount. Thank you for your time and suggestions. I really appreciate it
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Why are you worried about being signed off? Or self-certificating?

    They can't sack you for that.

    Sure, they can have a moan and try to make you feel guilty when you return to work but so what! You need a bit of a rest. You need it? Then you have to have it. Simple as that.

    It may be you just need a few days and you'll be back on form. But only you know if this job is actually incompatible with what you need to do for your child. Maybe you do need to have a rethink. But don't just name a snap decision now. You need to plan.

    But maybe this job is still doable. You are human! You are allowed to have time off when you're at breaking point. Yes, it's inconvenient for everyone else. But it happens. See if a short break helps. Then plan from there.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  6. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    Given your very challenging personal circumstances and the symptoms of work related stress you mention, a trip to your doctor (with our delay!) should be considered. If your doctor does sign you off, it’s because that decision is best for your health. Please look out for yourself as well as everyone else.
    jlishman2158 and grumpydogwoman like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    You have my sympathy.

    The pay trap is horrible. One day, when I can afford it myself, I'm going to start an employment agency specifically for people who want to exit teaching and need a similar level of pay. It always looks impossible but teachers have so many skills they never acknowledge. We are patient, we are communicators, we are caring, organised, highly literate, experienced with a wide range of software packages. We can adapt to any circumstance you throw at us and my God are we resilient. Unable to do other jobs? Show me a job I can't do. Show me a job I'm not doing already.

    Talk to your doctor, it's never a bad idea. But just as importantly, start looking at jobs outside of teaching. You may find that simply having an alternative makes the work more bearable.
  8. Sanz1981

    Sanz1981 Occasional commenter

    Imagine your parent didn’t give you the attention you needed at a young age. How would you feel?

    Once you answered that you should see your situation in a different light.
    jlishman2158 and ridleyrumpus like this.
  9. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I really feel for you.

    There is no shame in going to the GP who will be the best person to decide whether some time off may help you get better. An insightful GP would tell you if you would not be likely to get better in that setting.

    Supply is an amazing way build your confidence, when you are ready. Also, you can take time off when you need to for appointments etc.... Yes, you earn less, but it is amazing what material things you realise you CAN live without.

    And to walk away knowing you need never go back to that setting if you hate it is so liberating.
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I would also advise you to contact the Education and Support Partnership have a good moan now and then ask to be put forward for an extended counselling session where you can talk through your complex emotional issues. You are dealing with your own feelings, those connected to your familial responsibilities and those connected to your professional responsibilities and you are feeling depleted.

    So go to the GP, get signed off and get talking to a professional to help you work out how best to cope emotionally whilst you search a financial solution that is ideal to your individual needs.

    Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon.:)
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  11. ET1984

    ET1984 New commenter

    Thank you for all of your replies.
    I have decided that I will leave at the end of the academic year ( I have recently returned from maternity leave so need to stay or risk paying back my maternity pay) I am currently looking into different careers but after eleven years of teaching it’s tricky to think what else I would be suited to. Thank you once again for all of your replies and kind words.

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