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Returning after time off for stress - not sure how or if to play it

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by coldmetal, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I am in my 2nd week of my GP signing me off for stress - during this time my HOD contacted me several times for resources sow's etc - there obviously is a mountain of work piling up and all the problems that contributed to my stress. I'm worried if I leave I'll get a bad reference, I'm almost certain the HOD wants rid of me now - I have asked head of faculty what happens and she asked me was I making out a grievance against my HOD? or others? I'm not sure I can face it on one hand, but on the other hand I am sick that my 2nd years have been cut short on the excellent progress we were making - Based on an unfair observation that I think was a set up anyway (previously got high 2) I'll get unfitted mark on a probation that was extended anyway and I'm gone! or well, a months notice in which they will try to get me to complete the curriculum which theyve been hassling for and leave them everything in place for them to hand over - which is exactly what the previous lecturer who left under a cloud before me didn't do - he went off gardening leave due to indiscretions and took most of his resources leaving me to try scrap it all together... Should I just quit? Should I thrown myself on their mercy? Play ball and try turn it round (i think it's likely a lost cause) theyve even notified likelihood they will cut hours down to 7.5 a FT course from 10.5 per course and I see no evidence of marketing in the area (likely low or No numbers) - at a bit of a loss what to do - my wife says do the minimum and keep applying but my subject area is pretty rare and govt are cutting more funding - any ideas support suggestions? PS my union I notified a week ago and they havent come back with advice despite 2 phone calls.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    • Do you feel you have been bullied? Would you be prepared to raise a grievance and what evidence have you to support such an allegation? What would hope thereby to achieve? Yes, the union will have to be on board for you to get anywhere on that so pursue them.
    • Manage your stress by working out what's a priority and what's not and deferring what you think you can get away with.
    • And (I have recommended this before) you will have to extend your scope and be prepared to apply for posts not within your limited field. Diversify.
    • In the meantime play nicely and don't ruffle too many feathers. You don't want to burn too many bridges. Just in case.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Not sure what you are hoping for as advice. Your last thread had most people letting you know that you seem utterly unsuited to teaching and you saying you really don't enjoy most of it. Why fight for something you don't enjoy in a workplace where you are at polar opposites with the general philosophy?

    You assessment grades have been objected to, your observation didn't go well, your probation has been extended, you have made enemies of your managers and leaders, you dislike the course you are being asked to teach...what exactly is this excellent progress that you speak of?

    To be honest you are better off handing in your notice and getting out as soon as you can.
    nomad, Jesmond12, peggylu and 6 others like this.
  4. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    What a horrible high handed person you are... I have taught in other places so I know it's not all like this... it's like me saying I read a book and didn't like it and you saying ["reading's not for you"] do you think you are like helping the organisation or something? and so helping the profession? I was observed by a key member of staff last year and got a high 2 also observed by Teaching Skills Academy Coach also a 2 who told me Im a good teacher I had the insider from the awarding body say Im good and also that I had been severely unsupported - My 2nd year students have been creating amazing work (don't forget I was in the profession for many years) so I know - so why someone is brought from another campus to tear a good session apart doesn't make sense unless the dept has decided something... (Like mobs bring in assassins from out of town so theyre not directly connected) why are you here in workplace dilemmas telling people to stop moaning? people are looking for advice and support not sneering. Why don't you go and post comments in the 'Teaching is Wonderful' catagory...
  5. FarSideofParadise

    FarSideofParadise Occasional commenter

    And you're on the attack because..?

    You have been given wonderful advice, from many posters on this forum and you seem to ignore it all because it doesn't say what you want it to. I would agree that teaching doesn't sound like it is for you. But if you're adamant it is, then apply for jobs elsewhere, work supply until you find a place you love.

    Also, teaching is wonderful. If you are good at it and work in a school that fits.
  6. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I'm not on the attack more on the defence - I taught 3 days per week for 6 months at a time in 2 other colleges one was terrific with great people supportive with experienced staff the other nearly as bad as the current situation and then after in a high secure youth prison academy then back to industry and then back to education - Why do think I'm ignoring the advice? because i haven't quit yet? some people may have the luxury of quitting but some of us have a mortgage to pay - also I was flying with my 2nd year students doing terrific work with a proper curriculum with some real talents - I am of course applying for other positions but I still have a tricky situation on my hands. Many across the college have quit or gone sick and never returned or simply never heard of again including HOD's and the marketing team knows not what it's doing so will recruit a class size of 5 or 6 - hours are to be cut so likely redundancies - not looking good
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Just remember....be positive (if you know what that means)

    Why does every post you seem to put on here read like a rant where you blame everyone but yourself for your issues.
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Except that your last posts showed that you clearly didn't know what was expected by your exam board.

    I think your sense of self worth is too tightly tied to this job and you need to take a step back. If it is making you miserable and stressed, perhaps it is time to at least consider other options. Don't make any decisions until you feel calmer but do send the school ONE email, reiterating that you are off sick and unable to respond to any work related queries until your return. Then forget about it for a while and concentrate on getting better.
    peggylu and mikecom like this.
  9. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    @caterpillartobutterfly has not told you to stop moaning but has just given you some straight talking good advice based on your current situation, as described by you. I've read some of your other posts and if everything you have said is true then I think straight talking advice like this is probably what you need to be considering.

    However, it will probably be more useful to you when you are well again. You say you have only been off 2 weeks. Your worrying excessively about all these issues may well be a symptom of your wrs. Why not ask your GP if you can participate in some talking therapy sessions to help you get your thinking in order before making any life changing decisions.

    Your posts unfortunately do come across as rants. Maybe it's because you are ill at the moment. But being confrontational and defensive could be a part of that too.

    Good advice.

    People are taking time out of their day to respond to you. You are being given varied advice based on your story, in this and previous posts. Some of the advice being offered is certainly of the 'tough love' variety but if you didn't want a variety of opinions on your issues then you shouldn't have shared them on a public forum.
  10. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Don't forget peakster, this is in the workplace dilemmas section - I'm not saying I'm totally blameless, but it seems the institution are not prepared to accept that they are in any way blameless - that then leaves a worker in a difficult situation. I am also raising issues it's clear others are having to deal with so any advice and ideas (positive ones) help people to manage and prepare themselves to take the best options.... Thanks
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do you read other threads? You'll find plenty of advice on those. As you say, these are common issues and oft-addressed on these pages. You are by no means the first.

    There is much constructive advice. Why not (useful exercise) list some of the steps you think you might take today to improve your position?
  12. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    People are taking time out of their day to respond to you. You are being given varied advice based on your story, in this and previous posts. Some of the advice being offered is certainly of the 'tough love' variety but if you didn't want a variety of opinions on your issues then you shouldn't have shared them on a public forum.[/QUOTE]

    I appreciate all the positive steps and suggestions - it maybe others are reading here and may run into these kind of problems later - certainly, my first touchpoint in the industry was highly positive. So much so that I couldn't have been prepared for the negative ones - It does pee me off though when people come on to the workplace dilemmas and say to people stop moaning! This is the place to expose problems and have a moan and a rant and a moan it's highly cathartic and good not to hide behind things and beleive everything is all positive when it's clearly not
  13. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    thank you - you are very good - I have tried to find similar threads and followed one or two thanks
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    People really do expect you to say, "OK, I'll try that" or "I have tried that and it didn't go very well" or "That sounds difficult but I suppose I had better consider it". I don't think anyone has been dismissive. Teachers are good at problem-solving strategies and suggesting 'next steps' so we're rather hoping to hear what you have in mind.
  15. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Oh... I didn't realise that was the form - I now spoke to my Union rep (a week later) who very dryly without advising me helped spell out my options. Basically if I want any kind of justice i would have to take out an official grievance against my line manager. but as they are your judge jury and executioner a kind of catch 22... so I can either quit - or go back and say yes sir no sir 3 bags full sir while doing the minimum in an attempt to either hang onto the job or keep getting paid as long as possible and meanwhile furiously apply elsewhere (maybe try heading back to industry) but what indignities will I suffer when I return - Id pretty much decided to go back and logged into my college email and then that night I came out covered in a rash head to foot! seems my body doesnt want me to go back more than my mind... I don't know. Maybe I'll get lucky somehow? (Mr Mcawber attitude)
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It does look as if you are surplus to requirements and they are rather hoping you'll take the hint and toddle off. I don't really know.

    The Union people can't make the decision for you. They have to be very careful not to lead you or give you false hope. It's a fact that even those who have successfully raised a grievance find it a desperately distressing and difficult business. It's arduous in the extreme. Some have said that it wasn't worth it despite being vindicated.

    Seeing the rep after a week isn't too bad. I've heard people wait a lot longer.

    Yes, you're not in a pleasant position. I think Catch 22 is absolutely right. An extreme reaction such as a rash tells its own story so you're not ready to go back.

    I don't think your prospects are great. I have to be honest. I think you will have to muddle through as best you can and your future will be elsewhere if there's no demand for your subject. Sorry.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'd really hate to work with you Mike - I suspect your colleagues feel much the same way.
  18. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I am new to the profession and therefore rarely offer advice as I will never be as wise as CTB, GDW, Lara, Flere and Peakster etc but from an outsider's point of view it seems like you are winding yourself up more and more. I think you should take a break from these forums and have a rest from stressing about your job and do other things to help you feel better. Only then will you get a sense of perspective and clarity. I mean this very kindly but you need to stop and take a break. I am sending you my best wishes.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    :eek: Given the response I got...this was brave!
    I imagine that by the time you are as old as me you will be far, far wiser. I just spout nonsense and hope it doesn't offend too many people. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. I agree with hoping to one day be as wise as the others you mention, I'm hoping the same. And to be as calm and sensible, but I fear I may have missed the boat on all three!
    wanet and (deleted member) like this.
  20. leftieM

    leftieM New commenter

    Can I recommend https://www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk to you. They have a free phone number so you can discuss you situation anonymously. You need to ultimately accept your own faults and the faults of the people you work with.
    I have found this board to be very unhelpful. I suggest you leave it and find another way to get support. You will not get support here.
    If it's of any use, I had a major issue with my boss. We went to external mediation and are now in our second year of peace. We will never be mates but it us a respectful relationship on both sides and that is the important thing and I respect his position as my boss.

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