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Return of the Black Dog

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by BelleDuJour, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I'm not in a good place.
    I'm usually so happy, cheerful and positive but have so many stresses at the moment I just can't cope.
    I cannot remember the last time i had a half decent night's sleep, and today just couldn't face going in to work.
    Luckily I got to my GP and have been given a short course of sleeping meds and put back on prozac.
    The thing is, it's not just all the stresses outside of work. Those I can deal with and they are temporary.
    But I feel totally useless at work.
    I teach mainly A level and am a highly experienced A level teacher and examiner, but the students just don't listen. They write stupid answers to the simplest of questions. I then hear some are looking for a tutor. And we all have to put in extra intervention lessons (unapid) to bring them back up to speed. I then see the topics they have chosen are ones I know I taught well, they just don't focus. It makes me feel totally useless...........and I know I'm not. But I feel it.
    I'm going to retire this year.....had enough......but not sure I can cope until July without having a complete breakdown.
    pepper5, nizebaby and Vince_Ulam like this.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Take it easy.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thank you.
    Ideally I'd not go back tomorrow (I don't work Thurs or Fri) but there's a year 7 parent's evening and I teach a top set.
    So I feel useless if I go in, and guilty if I don't.
    What has happened to the profession to makes us feel so **** however hard we try?
    Why is it always OUR fault?
    Why do I never feel good enough?
  4. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    Oh Belle :( Go down to the stables and bury your face in to that yellow horse's mane. At the weekend, get out and find somewhere to have a gallop.
    caress, pepper5, nizebaby and 4 others like this.
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I spent time with my horse today.
    He was covered in mud.
    I cleaned him, plaited his mane and got his stable ready for this evening.
    When I went to bring him in he was once again coveredin mud. I swear he does it on purpose!
    My horses and dogs are my best therapists for sure.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh Belle. :( I wish I could wrap you in a big hug and say all the difficulties would be gone. But realistically things don't happen that way.

    Accept that things will improve and medication will hopefully improve your capacity to cope in the shorter term.

    Take things one problem / one day at a time, wherever possible. I appreciate with wedding plans that is not quite so easy.

    Don't accept your students 'failure to listen' is your fault. Whatever SMT may try to insist. They are a product of our age and concentration / willingness to put extra effort seems to be alien to so many young people today, in our 'Instant World'.

    Work out exactly how many weeks until the exams and then count them down. It's surprising how soon it becomes 1/3rd completed , 1/2 etc and then you'll be there in the summer, waving goodbye.

    Most importantly try to do something positive for yourself each day.
    Mermaid7, pepper5, Oneshot and 5 others like this.
  7. lucylollipop

    lucylollipop New commenter

    Belle, I truly sympathise with you. I have been invigilating in a secondary school this week and at the end of one of the exams some pupils were asked to stay behind. 3 teachers came in to talk to them about results from a previous exam, saying it was obvious that no revision / work had been done to prepare and now parents were phoning to complain. They really emphasised the need for effort on the students' part. A good half of the group sat and grinned inanely or even just laughed openly at them. I really wanted to lay into them! I have been doing some supply since I took early retirement last year, but I think I'm going to pack it in..... am so disillusioned and angry at the state of what I see, even in primary school.
    While you've got a chance today, try to have an afternoon nap, a long relaxing bath and watch some carp on Netflix or something. You've got a really busy few weeks ahead from the info in your posts! And as an afterthought..... your A level students.... you won't be there for results day in August, so f*** 'em!
    Look after yourself.
  8. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Give the meds time to work. I'm in a similar situation and went back to the drs a couple of weeks ago. I am now starting to feel the benefits. Don't guilt yourself into going to the parents evening, call in sick and consider taking more if needed. Fresh air is the best medicine.
  9. Dobbinstar

    Dobbinstar New commenter

    Hi Belle - I can relate. I quit my full time teaching job in 2003 and have remained in schools doing other jobs since then. Teaching is actually a flexible career if you are in a space where you can think laterally.
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Well I got a decent night's sleep last night, albeit due to zopiclone, but at least my eyes don't sting and I can cope.
    I realise now this has been a long time coming, will take a while to resolve.
    I went to work today, and will do parent's evening.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    All I can suggest are a few of my favourite sayings, which have helped me on many an occasion:

    "Don't try to educate people against their will"

    (usually applied in a non-school context, but even so)

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink"

    "Where there's a will, there's a way. And where there's no will, there's no way"
  12. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Accepting I have depression is the first step to recovery.
  13. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Oh Belle, you're depressed because you care (and your pupils don't). Unfortunately, all your hard work and hours of intervention can't knock the stupid out of them. Why so many pupils are amused to possess so little self respect or have an inkling of work ethic is a great puzzle to me, and one I cannot explain. It is a great pity that your efforts and expertise are being disregarded and disrespected, but it is their loss, not yours. It is very rude, to say the least.

    When the time is right for you, you can walk out with your head held high in the certain knowledge that you did your best, but your pearls were indeed cast before swine. xx
    caress, pepper5, HelenREMfan and 4 others like this.
  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Indeed they are.
  15. Alceanne1

    Alceanne1 Senior commenter

    You have my sympathy, Belle.
    Regardless of the school situation, depression is a physical illness and you need to prioritise your recovery. Nothing else is as important as that. On one of the other threads, some years ago, someone recommended a book -Depression, the curse of the strong by Tim Cantopher. It is a really helpful read, particularly if you feel duty bound to keep going.
  16. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    It's hard for those of us who've met Belle to associate such despairing thoughts with someone whose wit, intelligence and shrewdness have had us in stitches as she pours scorn on the absurdities of modern education and (some of) its intended recipients.

    I don't think many people besides teachers have any comprehension of how utterly demoralising poor student attirudes can become after you've given it your all, only to be told by jargon-clogged SLT that it's all your fault.

    Stay strong, Belle. Retirement's grand and it's coming your way.
  17. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I am currently covering/teaching a year 11 class and they are only a few weeks to their exams. I am astonished at the lack of effort in classes, lack of listening skills (a few of them chat while I am talking) and general lack of motivation.

    Initially I started teaching them with a lot of enthusiasm and energy, but now I realise that the effort and motivation needs to come from them. Those who won't get the grade, deserve not to get it as they are lazy. The ones who really are working hard deserve to get the better grade.

    I just need to step back and let them take responsibility. I am only covering/teaching for the last 5 weeks.

    I taught them the importance of planning effectively before their mock exams. I then see that only a handful actually did any sort of plan and the others didn't bother. Very disheartening.
    caress, pepper5 and lynneseptember like this.
  18. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Can you get out of the house and go to a park for a long walk. Get some air. It will help. Also, remember you are near retirement.. lucky you...

    Make a list of all the fun things you will do when you finish working.... That will start chaging your mindset...care less about work and more about your wellbeing...start watching funny films and sketches, start listening to happy music...
    lynneseptember and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thank you for your kind words @nizebaby.
    The meds have now kicked in and I'm coping much better. If anything I can see this has been coming on way longer than thought. In fact, the signs were there back in November, but I ignored them and/or made excuses.
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think many of us could identify with that. Family often recognise far earlier than we do ourselves, as we somehow think we're 'coping reasonably'.
    pepper5 and BelleDuJour like this.

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