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NQT so stressed can't sleep.

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by suekb5772, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    My daughter has just started as an NQT in Buckinghamshire. We live in Australia so she has new job, new flatmates and new country all at once. She teaches YR 7 to 11 English. Some of the students are pretty awful. She got told to F.Off in her first week. She is sleeping no more than 2 hours a night because she is worrying and thinking about school. This is obviously no help for the next day's teaching. She went to a walk in clinic on a Sunday and was given very strong sleeping pills. That helped a bit but they are addictive and only for short term. This past weekend she didn't take them ( as weekend) and was back to 2 hours. We spoke to her when she was in the toilet of a cafe near Victoria station and she was sobbing she is so exhausted. She has tried to register with a local GP but it seems impossible. A week just to register then another until an appointment. She pretty much just wants to come home. We have come up with an escape plan. Leave at the end of term if no better. But that means breaking a year contract. But that seems preferable to the alternative.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I'm sorry to hear she's struggling, although with so many changes it isn't surprising she is suffering from stress She can make an emergency appointment with a GP without being registered. She may need to be forceful but her situation is urgent.

    She may find the information on the NHS site about mindfulness will help -
    she may also find just talking to someone like the samaritans can also help -

    I would also recommend her talking to her mentor at the school about how she is. Work with them to identify what she can realistically expect to be able to do each day so that there is a clear cut off of when to stop working each day and switch off from it.

    Has she got any friends nearby or any outside interests to do at least one night each week? I don't know how far she is from SW/W London, but there are a number of social sports leagues around that other Australians involved (e.g. https://www.in2touch.com/england/ )
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  3. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

  4. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    Thanks so much. said she is 'dreading going in' currently. Has managed to get GP appointment. Next week!!
  5. LJRS2019

    LJRS2019 New commenter

    I would have her speak to her mentor. Has she told explained to the school that she is struggling?
    Are their repercussions for their behaviours?
    pepper5 and Stiltskin like this.
  6. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    There are repercussions. She got called a 'dumb *****' on Friday!!!! The school is dealing with it.
  7. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    She has been signed off for 10 days work related stress. Doctor was worried about her. Now more anxious as a) been told has to provide all cover lessons and b) will she get paid as contract through agency.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If she's signed off as not fit to work, she does not need to provide cover work. Hopefully she is in a union - if necessary, contact them and they should weigh in on that.
    I don't know what the sick pay situation is, I'm afraid, but health is more important.

    Oh, and regarding "breaking a year contract" - it is not breaking a contract unless you don't give the required notice. On a normal teacher contract that's resign by the end of October to leave end of December. On an agency contract it may well be much shorter notice - even none.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I am very sorry that your daughter is having such a horrible time teaching in the UK, suekb5772, but I have to say that I am not at all surprised. Every week I get messages from teachers in the UK who want to leave and get a teaching job overseas. There are many international schools (and Australian schools) around the world that want new teachers.

    My advice would be for her to get on a plane asap. Her health is suffering and things do not seem to be getting any better. Swearing at new members of staff seems to be quite common at your daughter's school. What does that tell you about the school's management?
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi sue

    I am sorry your daighter is so ill. It must have been a complete shock to have travelled so far and to walk into such an awful school.

    I agree with hippo that you should bring your daughter home ASAP as she will be far better off teaching somewhere than in state secondary schools in the UK.

    I have read these threads for 10 years and reading this one makes me want to cry when I think of yhe anguish your daughter had gone through.
    agathamorse and guinnesspuss like this.
  11. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I hope your daughter is feeling a bit better now she is signed off. Definitely get her home ASAP.

    Speaking only from experience of my school, so I may be wrong, but if she is agency she can leave when she wants, unless she signed a fixed term contract. If she signed a contract she will get sick pay (unless it’s an academy which may be different). Our agency staff do not get sick pay.
    agathamorse, suekb5772 and pepper5 like this.
  12. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    Thanks for your messages. She went back after 10 days ( including weekend. Put on anxiety medication day before. One kid accused her of lying about being sick. One class, they started chanting ‘ If you hate this class and you know it clap your hands’ She is back suffering severe insomnia and just been messaging us at 4am UK time. Hard to believe how cruel some kids are!
  13. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    She is not breaking her contract if she resigns now and leaves at Christmas.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    And in any case, who cares if she breaks her contract or not if she doesn't want to go back to teaching? We had an NQT walk out last week, no notice.It happens.

    And appalling as the behaviour she is experiencing is, it is actually comparatively mild by UK standards, so i doubt she'll want to teach in this country at all again
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    Thanks. It is with agency not school. Unfortunately no way no way she is going to survive until Christmas
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    So she just says so to the agency, they may well release her, it is not in their interests to try and force her to stay.

    if they don't release her, then she simply resigns, and gets signed off for the remainder of her contract

    honestly though, most years, I have colleagues who leave mid term, without notice, it happens. Technically you can be sued for it, but I've never known that happen.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    Mild? OMG! What is wrong with the system?..
  19. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    well, from what I hear, Australia is similar in terms of behaviour
  20. suekb5772

    suekb5772 New commenter

    Don’t think so. It’s certainly far from perfect but not nearly as bad.

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