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Off with stress - advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by emilythederranged, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Please help. I am a primary school teacher/maths leader who is off with stress for 2 major reasons. I have a pupil in my class who is violent to other pupils and has ADHD. His behaviour is out of control and he does not respond to sanctions given to him. I am following all of the advice from behaviour support service and various other agencies to incorporate other strategies into the classroom. These do not work either. My TA is physically disabled, so I have elected to ask a friend who is a lunchtime supervisor at the school to come in and support him voluntarily. A statement is being pushed for, but the acting head refuses to find the money to provide one to one support for him (voluntary help is not there all of the time) and will not write a risk assessment for him to ensure a safe environment for everyone. The union were called and they asked him to do it, but he 'didn't see what good it would do'. The politics surrounding the situation I found was really draining, particularly as Mum isn't very supportive and would rather blame than work with the school to find a solution. The acting head also lied to the union and said I had four members of staff in my classroom, when actually, I have me, a student TA, which is extra pressure, my TA and the voluntary person who has offered to come in to help me.
    The second issue is that I am a newly appointed TLR for maths, which commenced in September. I have so many good ideas and know exactly how to lead the curriculum area. We have just come through special measures and I know exactly what to do to drive the school forward. The problem is that they got rid of a lot of the local authority advisers in our authority, and our acting deputy is one of those former advisers who has been in place by one of her mates, still an adviser. The acting deputy used to be a maths adviser, and therefore does my job for me and gives me the menial tasks to do, like I'm her secretary, or rebuffs my ideas or fobs me off. The two combined nearly sent me over the edge before Christmas. I'm in a ridiculous position where I'm meant to be leading progress meetings because she said I should - but I have no idea what I'm meant to be doing because I've never done them before - and she's elected herself as my mentor! So last Tuesday, I felt so ill. My union had called the head and there was no progress with the situation concerning the child and I knew from the leadership meeting the previous night that I would have to do these progress meetings AND lesson observations the week after. My boyfriend drove me home and virtually put me to bed. I couldn't stop crying. I felt so weak and slept for the whole day after. When I woke, I just kept on crying. I still feel like this. I tried to reiterate to the head, the deputy and the SENCo how ill I felt. They brushed it aside. Only my other colleagues could see what effect it was having on me. They were quite concerned. I was upset all over Christmas too. I have applied for three jobs so I can get out of there, but I'm scared that the head will mention this period of time off, but I just can't face going in. It makes me feel so sick and upset, especially now I hear that the deputy has made my name mud around school. I just don't know if I can carry on like this much longer. What do I do? I'm so anxious. Thank you.

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    I think you can self refer or ask to be referred to Occupational Health - they might be able to negociate with school about the issues that are causing you such stress. And Teacher Support Network may be able to help you too. Keep your union informed about everything that's going on. Are they involved at regional level? And have you been to your GP?
    Also, post this on Health and Wellbeing - you'll get advice and support on there from people who've been through the same sort of situation.
    Look after yourself - and if that means taking time off, so be it!

  3. Thank you very much for your advice. It means a lot. :) xxx
  4. I can completely sympathise with where you are coming from, not so much the situation itself, but the feelings of anxiousness and not wanting to go in the next day. There seems to be so many posts on here regarding such awful situations that people are in, I think an important thing to think about is whether you still want to teach after all this? Is the buzz for the job still there? :)
  5. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    I have self reffered to Occ Health in the past. In the authority I work in though if you self reffer school dont get a report.
    In the recent times I moved for a promotion job and it was a disaster .....it was a disaster I ended up with 20absence days on my record due to stress. I am now teaching in a diff school and am v happy once more despite tough children!
    There are lots of people who really do understand how you feel.
    Look after you x

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