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Not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jiggs, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. jiggs

    jiggs New commenter

    I have always been rated as a good-outstanding teacher and moved schools just over three years ago. I have always loved my job and have probably been guilty, like most of us, of giving too much of myself to the job. Here, I feel like I am constantly under pressure, always poorly with colds etc, working 70+ hour weeks and not supported with all the new changes to the curriculum. I was recently observed in an inspection and was given the worst feedback possible. This has damaged my pride and confidence in a big way although i'm always willing to improve and reflect. Working at this school has worn me down so much that I no longer see friends or family. If I do, I'm usually very down about my workload pressures and I am simply not enjoying my life. I do not feel that I have any options. I have raised most of these issues with line managers but nothing has been done. I feel trapped by financial commitments and don't feel motivated to look at alternative careers. I just keep going round in circles.

    Does anyone have any advice for me? Thanks
  2. Slow down.

    Just because some tersers gives you bad feedback doesn't mean that feedback is accurate. It has often been my experience that crepe feedback is just one way for an unlovely middle manager to big 'imself up.

    Don't work 70 hour weeks. Take time off from work (but don't swing sickies). Just say -"it is 6pm and I am going to stop working now - and I am absolutely not going to do anything on a Sunday." You'll be amazed at how soon you get used to it.
    Stop worrying. Do what you can - not what you think you ought to be doing.
    Self-assessment is a great way forward.
    Finally, cut corners and download/cutand paste the paperwork - how do you think that pimple of a line manager got promoted in the first place?[​IMG]
  3. The one certainty is that if you carry on with things as they are, you will become physically and mentally ill and be inable to continue anyway. But you seem aware of this. So what are the options?
    • job-hunting season looms - go for a different post.
    • analyse your personal finances, work out what you need and therefore what level of job you need - no responsibility is wonderfully liberating
    • on the basis of your analysis, you might even be able to consider part time work
    • raise your issues with your line manager in writing, with a request to discuss a way of managing them - it is your manager's responsibility to support you
    • use the teacher support network to talk through your issues http://teachersupport.info/
    • They will also advise you, as do I , to discuss these issues with your union
    • plan work that is less demanding to mark / assess - peer evaluation for example
    • do the minimum instead of the maximum at work
    Try to work directly in your own head about your feeling of hurt pride - everyone gets setbacks, this is just one - but don't ignore the feedback, justified or not. If negative points were raised you deserve a structured appoach to help you address them.
    Seek the support you deserve in this post even if you decide to move job.
  4. Good morning Oldgit - not often I agree with you 100%!
  5. Hi Jiggs

    <h1>When reading your post I wondered whether you might be someone at my school?!! It sounds so familiar. I know how horrible you are feeling- there is nothing worse than feeling trapped in a situation you are so unhappy in. I agree with what Oldgit and Oldgreywolf are saying here- you need to make a change here to improve things. I know that at the moment it feels like you're in a hole too deep to get out of, but you can do it! Underneath all the extra rubbish that's being piled on top of you is a great teacher- you've said this yourself here- so start looking at the new jobs coming out. I'm having to push myself to do this too so I understand how horrible it is to even think of the application process when your confidence is so eroded by rubbishness at school- but think of each application or even enquiry into a different post as a step up that ladder that's going to help you escape from this hole. I know it's difficult advice to accept when you are such a dedicated and hardworking person, but you must prioritise your own wellbeing above everything else (I'll admit I'm still working on this one, but support and advice from family, friends and the fantastic people on here is helping me) because your enjoyment of life is worth more than any job title.</h1>Keep going, stay strong and remember there are lots of people ready to support you-friends, family and of course posters here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you- please let us know how you are getting on.
    [​IMG] Take care love
  6. Keep going, stay strong and remember there are lots of people ready to support you-friends, family and of course posters here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you- please let us know how you are getting on.
  7. jiggs

    jiggs New commenter

    I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has posted replies on here. I am still going round in circles but on my way to making decisions about the future.

  8. Hi,
    Your story sounds sooo familiar. I have been teaching a long time but it seems as if teachers are becoming increasingly exasperated by the sheer size of their workload and the pressure being put upon them to churn out students who have 'moved on' in terms of their levels. Couple this with the demands of new exam syllabi and thrusting middle managers who are checking up on teachers under the guise of 'monitoring' so that we can all move forward and improve standards and the result is really excellent professionals who just can't meet the mythical qualities of the 'outstanding practitioner'. I recently moved into special needs teaching after having worked as an English teacher. I'm still in a mainstream school with a DSP unit but am really enjoying it. Clearly there isn't the marking workload but that has been replaced by all the social and emotional work you have to do with the kids. The job is quite demanding whilst you are there...you don't get time to scratch yourself during the day as the students cannot work independently...so it's quite draining but the flip side is that there isn't the paperwork/after hours work. I find it a real honour to work with the kids...Maybe something work considering.


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