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Please can I have a corner of the forum to sit and cry in?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Anonymity, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    I really don't think I can do this anymore.

    I'm back on the 'support' plan. I'm not good enough anymore (nothing has changed in me and my teaching (but they'll probably say that's the problem - I should have changed for the better :-s). I'm being supported. It's not capability. Not yet.

    It's difficult to explain. Little by little, my confidence has been eroded. To begin with, I thought it was all a joke (not in a funny way). I knew I was good, I knew I could do the job. But slowly, slowly self- doubt has crept in. What if they are right? I've taught some of my best lessons and they have been found inadequate or RI. If that's true, then there's no way I should be allowed to teach. They can't be right. Can they? I've taught for a long time. How often has UPS3 been described as a target? It feels like it now. But maybe it's not. Maybe it's me. Maybe I can't teach well enough.

    Every little thing that I do or happens in my class that can be picked up on negatively is (yet other teachers who are in favour do the same and it goes unnoticed or ignored). I've just had yet another lesson observation where the tiniest thing has put me in RI (I wholeheartedly disagree with the comment and have said so, but obviously my opinion is wrong and the head is right).

    I am only part time, yet I spend most of the week dreading going to work again. My heart pounds when I log on to my email for fear of what I will find. I dread going to work and I have cried on my way home more times than I can remember. I am comfort eating again.

    My hands are tied in front of the class. I really can't go into too much detail, there are some serious issues within the class which have been the same throughout the school. This year, nothing has changed, yet I am left explaining why the issues within my class are happening and I am being told that I can't cope. Sorry for being vague, but I don't want to be identified.

    The problem is now that I don't feel I can do it. Knowing that anything could be picked up and used against me is starting to leave me fumbling in the classroom. I know what I should do and how I should deal with something, yet I second guess myself. If there's a behaviour issue (I have a child supported by a referral unit), should I ask for help, knowing full well that later on I'll be having to explain why I can't 'cope'? The thing is I'm starting to crumble. I'm not coping anymore. I just can't do it. I stumble over words. I second guess myself. I am starting to become inadequate. So ultimately they are right - I am inadequate. I wasn't, but I am now - so they are right. I don't deserve to keep my job now that I'm becoming unable to do it anymore.

    There is no support from SLT. (Only 'support'). I can't work like this.

    The catch is, I can't hand in my notice without another job to go to. I can't afford to leave my job. I can't afford a pay cut. I didn't think I was well paid (comparing myself to friends), yet when I look at what is out there for me if I leave, I don't know how I would afford to live.

    What do you do when work is making you physically ill, yet you have no choice but to work. Sunday is a day of depression, yet I can't snap myself out of it. I can't switch off.

    I went to the dr and she said I wasn't I'll, nor was I depressed. I was reacting to stress in a normal way.

    After that I just do not know what to do. I know I need to go back. I'm posting now because I've started to dread Monday already.

    I've just realised how long this post is and I'm sure no one will make it through to the end. But I feel better for getting it all off my chest.

    Thank you for this forum.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry to hear this. Several of us have been there. I would advise a chat with the teachers' help line and with people from the union. It sounds as if you need to update your CV, and start looking at other jobs in schools (an expression about frying pans and fires comes to mind though) or even better, jobs outside schools. I have, after a brief period of respite moved towards lots of people wanting to employ me. Sadly none of them match what I was on in mainstream, but there is great joy in being wanted for things that all of a sudden, I'm good at again.
    Good luck.
  3. rachelcg

    rachelcg New commenter

    You are not alone. I know that feeling of dread all to well (I've now resigned..)

    I know you said you're reacting to stress in a normal way but getting under that amount of stress still affects your health. I'm not a medical professional but you do sound like you're suffering with anxiety (speaking from personal experience) so it might be worth going back to the doctor?
    Anonymity and notsonorthernlass like this.
  4. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I've been there too.

    It's all very well to say you can't afford a pay cut but I think realistically you need to look at how this is impacting on your health.
  5. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    Thank you for replying so quickly.

    I feel ill. I'm not right anymore. I can't perform under this amount of scrutiny. My husband keeps me going, yet he is worried about me. I feel sick at times, my muscles hurt from the tension.

    I know I need to go back to the dr. Last time I went, I burst into tears, but I don't think the dr understood. I am going to go back (to a different dr). This is a stupid question. Dh has been on antidepressants (after nearly losing his job and the stress of that - it was saved at the 11th hour). If I go on them as well - would this be bad (thinking of outside agencies and our children - two parents on antidepressants. My children keep me going - they and my husband are the things that bring me most happiness.

    I don't think I can afford a pay cut. We own a small house - the mortgage is smaller that the rental cost for the area (unless interest rates rise...). We get to the end of the month and can be either side of £0.

    I have considered handing in my notice to do supply, but am nervous about the insecure job. I have thought about signing up with a temping agency outside of teaching to get some experience outside of teaching on my days 'off' (I obviously do school work on my days off as well).
  6. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    I've also been there.

    You know, deep in your heart that you're a good teacher doing your best for your students. You also know that you are a worthwhile human being who puts more into society than you take out.
    Don't, please, let them take your self-belief and sense of worth away from you. It's taken me 4 years (and counting) to start feeling anything approaching positive about myself and I'd hate to think that someone else might go through that.

    Put yourself first.
  7. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Today I earn less than an NQT. I've been with my company for 12 years and I've got my self belief back. Crucially others believe in me too. I've been appearing on local radio and TV for the past two days publicising our services and I've been genuinely thanked by our managers.

    They know how my teaching career ended. They know how ill I was. However they've been supportive and have made me feel valued again.

    No amount of money in the world could induce me to return to the classroom.
    Mrsmumbles, Noja, Anonymity and 3 others like this.
  8. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    I have been there too, and you are exactly right when you say that you can't perform under that much scrutiny. I was an outstanding teacher (and I know I was, dammit) before I moved to the hell-hole I am in now, and I have been reduced to what feels like inadequate by all of the same things that you have described.

    I am leaving, I don't know what to yet but Mr JessicaRabbit assures me that we will be ok. My friend who does supply tells me she is mad busy - I know it varies but could be an option for you? There are other threads on here about alternatives to teaching. And I do think you need to get a second opinion from the doctor.

    Please take care of yourself. If you are anything like me, not only are you having to struggle through the difficulties of each day but you are also grieving for the job that you love that has been taken away from you. I might kid myself that I don't care, but deep down, I really do care.
  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I've been there too and my OH went off with stress too. I have other friends with both parents on AD's. As long as you are coping with your children, which it sounds as though you are, nobody is going to care. I was lucky and had a very good female GP with MH training. My OH saw 2 men who basically told him to man up or quit his job. Definitely see a different GP.
    Anonymity and notsonorthernlass like this.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Two functioning parents on anti-depressants are better than having on parent in meltdown.
    Go back to the doctor.
    Look for another job.
  11. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Yes do see a different GP.

    I owe my life to mine - he supported me 100%. I don't think I'd even be alive now if he hadn't been there.
    Anonymity and notsonorthernlass like this.
  12. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    Thank you, thank you all of you.

    My husband has been telling me I've not been well for a while. This is the week that I admitted it to myself.

    When I went to the dr before, I went because I couldn't cope at work. This time I will be going because I feel / am ill.

    I think I am also grieving for the job. I can't let go because I know I loved the job as it was and I want that back. I live in a semi- rural area - there aren't many jobs coming up, but I am starting to see more appear.
    Greendams and notsonorthernlass like this.
  13. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I just wanted to sympathise with you for the situation you find yourself in.

    Support plans are misnamed in my opinion. Usually they don't support you.

    You need to put yourself first and despite what you may feel realise that teaching is only a job.

    Take care of yourself.
  14. notsonorthernlass

    notsonorthernlass New commenter

    Hello OP,
    Sorry you are feeling so awful. Please take your own health and wellbeing seriously, and resign. Even if you don't have a job lined up, go anyway and get on supply. I did this (as a single parent of three children) and it was the best, most positive thing I could have done...my self esteem rocketed and I found myself loving teaching again. As a supply teacher, I was able to perform really well and enjoy being with children, and in the long term my supply work led to permanent contracts. It was also empowering for me to make the choice to leave a school where bullying and unfair criticism were rife.
    Wishing you all the best
    MsB xx
    missbern, Mrsmumbles and Anonymity like this.
  15. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    'Man up???!!' That is shocking! You know if someone for example had diabetes they wouldn't be told to 'get over it' yet someone with a mental health condition r told this a lot....its not right, you definitely should see a different doctor until you get the support you need. & I know you're worried about money but money isn't everything & just think if this carries on & you go on long term sick surely that won't be great financially either?
  16. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    Please go back to the GP - but maybe not the one you saw the first time. My GP was briliant. I did not want to take antidepressants but she gave me beta blockers which I took when I needed them - they stopped the shaking and the heart racing and allowed me to deal with meetings etc. I left the school I was at and am now working with lovely people - I did take a pay cut - partly because I now work part time - but I have my life back and my self esteem is intact. Your family and your health must come first. Make an appointment to see the doctor as soon as possible and don't go into work until you are well enough.Look after yourself.
  17. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I don't know what to say so just sending you love and hugs.
    I was in a similar toxic school situation. It still hurts. Even after a really good next post, the horrible things still hurt.
    Is there any care work in your area. Even if you had to put in a few more hours work - anything to get out of there.
    Go see another doctor. Get a sick note and get the hell out of there.
    Anonymity and oceanroc7 like this.
  18. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Same here.

    It's the classic method of ridding a school of a teacher. Work on them to make them doubt themselves, apply pressure to make them ill, then wait for them to make a tiny error (easily done when stressed and distressed) put them on a non-support plan and wave goodbye. I really don't know how heads can sleep at night.

    Edit: Get out of that horrible place. Get out before they break you good and proper.
  19. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Too many of us have experienced this same tactic by school management. They have been trained by various ofsted consultants often from their own ex or current SLT ranks. Wiltshaw himself being a classic case! I call it the Hitler syndrome.
    You are not imagining your illness. If your partner was stressed then you also shared some of that strain yourself.
    You poor thing. It is definitely time to put your own health and financial worries first.
    You need your full health to cope with the aftermath, of the vile behaviour you are being subjected to, whether it is staying on to face possible continued subtle harassment, or finding a job that will keep the roof over your head.
    It is good you are recognising that you are under extreme stress. That means you will already start to think about next steps. Most people who have an illness learn to manage it better. It is challenging but with the right help ( often from within) you will soon feel more like your old self again.
    Put things in perspective, Any job that will pay enough to cover bills will do, until you get back into teaching via supply if you ever want to come back. Through 'shared practice' underhand school takeovers etc, this sort of thing is endemic in the system.
    Everyday say to yourself.....it is not me, the idiots may try it on today, and when they do, nod and agree, then go back to doing the real part of the job, block their idiocy from that part of your mind that is uniquely you.
    Good luck, you will come through this, possibly stronger and happier than those who get off on the sort of thing most teachers find distasteful and beneath them, no matter how much money is offered to them via leadership points!
  20. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    If you showed threads like this to teachers 10 years ago they would have been up in arms about it and would have demanded what the hell teachers were doing about it to oppose it.

    But now it is almost the norm. It should not be the norm to treat people like this. We all know that 'support' in schools is anything but.

    Teachers feel they cannot speak out or oppose the SLT in their school, they need references and not to rock the boat. It's blackmail from bullies. As a result the result the bullies continue to get away with it.

    Many SLT are like playground bullies. 'If you tell then I'll beat you up some more!' - familiar?

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