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Starting new school and just broken foot! What should I do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by st15894, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. st15894

    st15894 New commenter


    I'm hoping to get some advice as I'm a bit worried about my new school's reaction.

    Okay, so basically I start a new school in two weeks on a 1 year contract which has potential to go permanent (which I am hoping it will). Unfortunately, whilst playing mini-golf last Wednesday I fell awkwardly, and fractured two bones in my foot. I went to minor injuries the next day as it was very bruised and swollen, and they gave me the news (seriously?! Who breaks their foot playing mini-golf, of all things?!), put me in an air-cast which I only need to wear whilst walking. Initially the nurse-practitioner wanted me to walk without crutches, but at the time I was still in pain and feeling a little shaky and untrusting of my foot, so she gave me crutches as well to work up to it. I'm quite happily able to walk around the house in just the air-boot (no crutches) without pain now. I've got a follow-up at the fracture clinic Wednesday, to see a consultant.

    Obviously, it will depend what he says, but I'm driving myself nuts at the mo worrying about what will happen with my new job if he decides I shouldn't be weight-bearing after all. It obviously doesn't make a brilliant first impression to go off sick from day one (and keep in mind that I need to make a major good impression here, I need this job to go permanent!), but I don't know the school building, I don't know how practical it would be to be on-site in an air cast, and to top it all off the only person whose contact details I have has their out-of-office on until term starts - I don't even know who I'd need to speak to :-( all I can think to do is to try phoning on Thursday since its results day, in the hopes that someone I need to speak to might be around.

    Has anyone ever had or known someone who's had a similar issue? Or are there any management-level teachers on here who could give me an idea of what kind of reaction I might get? I really am driving myself nuts here!

    Thanks in advance,
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    First of all try not to worry!! Contact the school either by phoning the office number, and asking to speak to the HT/DHT or HR department/person ..I'd do that ASAP (they'll be busy on Thursday). Get the name/phone no./email address of whoever you should keep informed about this.

    Then follow up with an email confirming what you have told them, and saying you will tell them more as soon as you know more after seeing the consultant.
  3. st15894

    st15894 New commenter

    So there should be someone about other than Thursday? I'm still newish to teaching so still getting to grips with how schools run. Thanks so much for the advice!

  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    There certainly should be someone there on the Wednesday and the Friday to deal with pre and post results day stuff. But I would try today and (if required) tomorrow. There should be some way of getting through to somebody.

    And, don't worry about it. Accidents happen. If you are told you should not go in at all, then don't. Or perhaps something can be arranged to make it possible. But you have to take the advice of the consultant, not us non-experts!
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Do what the medics say, and try not to worry about what the school thinks. It could happen to anyone, and they should be understanding.

    When you get hold of someone at the school, explain that you have yet to be told when you'll be fit to work, but that it might not be until after the start of term. It's worth asking whether they will be able to put any adjustments into place when you do return, such as swapping all your lessons to a single ground floor room. Whoever you speak to will probably not know, but you can start the ball rolling on someone working that out. However don't let adjustments like that make you think you can go back earlier than the medics think is sensible. You need to be sure that you are pain-free - and don't measure that by a day when all you do is get up and make a cup of tea every couple of hours - you can't be doing a full day's teaching whilst managing pain. It may be possible to negotiate going in for half days initially.

    It would be worth a chat with your head of department at some point, when you have some idea of when you'll be back. Hopefully they can sort out with you what they will do in terms of starting your classes off for the year. I may be better for them to organise that work than you, since they have access to all the resources and you don't know the classes any better than they do.

    It would be a very silly school that would judge you on your clumsiness in the school holidays rather than your teaching when you actually start work - it's not like it's likely that you'll break your foot every year. By the time there's any thoughts about whether your post should be made permanent, you will have done plenty of teaching.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I assume we are talking about an ordinary Secondary school...if so, yes, I'd expect someone to be in the school office between about 09.00 and 16.00 Mon-Fri this week. Hopefully they can either take a message or redirect your call to the appropriate person.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  7. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    echo what posters above have said. Also if you look on the school website, there should be a contact email for the general office - eg secretary@ which you could use if you do not know the individual email of your HoD/HT etc
  8. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Poor you - that really was bad luck! Definitely contact the school asap - phone and email the general office number explaining that you need to talk to the Head/HOD/your line manager as soon as possible. Just explain what has happened - these thing do happen, really don't panic about it! Tell them that you have a consultant appointment next Wednesday and will be back in touch to let them know the outcome of this immediately after the appointment. Hope you recover quickly and enjoy your new role.
    jlishman2158 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I expect you will be fine. No cross country running for 6 months though! as a veteran of many a broken foot, these small bones heal fast. 10-14 days, for normal inside walking. It takes a long time to be able to run on uneven ground though, but apart from that, you may have nothing to worry about for the start of your new job. I've broken bigger bones that take 6-12 weeks, but foot bones are nothing like that, generally.

    however, it does depend on the exact injury, so take medical advice.

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