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Discussion in 'Personal' started by kne100, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. I am finding teaching so hard at the moment and I really don't feel like I can cope with the stress that comes with this profession. I have come home today, not for the first time, with an awful headache, generally feeling ill and unable to stop crying. It's making me feel like some kind of mental person!
    In January my year 11 English Language results came through and I got a really good 72% A*-C with a mixed group that I had taken on from supply teachers half way through year 10 and spent hours of holiday time working on coursework with them as they had none etc. However, all the pupils that hadn't passed were taken from our classes and put into retake groups and taught by our HOD and DOF. They collapsed their classes and shared them out between the rest of us. I lost 6 and gained 12. I had a group of 31 pupils to get through literature, pupils I had never met and were incredibly disruptive. Soon after we had a faculty review and I ended up being observed with them. Previously I had gained 'Good' with 'Outstanding features, this time I was judged as unsatisfactory. Since then I even had a panic attack and no help was offered to me in regards to this group and they left in May. Recently as a result of that one observation I was almost forced into having extra observations to 'improve' my teaching. Now my confidence is gone, I cannot focus on anything at work and I feel really anxious about having anybody in my class and I've got an observation next week. I don't know how I will take getting a bad result and I'm so so worried about it that I think I probably will. I'm starting to hate my job and starting to feel sick every morning when I go in. I don't know what to do anymore... please help!

  2. Get the to your doctor. You need time away from the pressure. Your doctor will judge how stessed/ill you are and give you time off. Which it sounds like YOU NEED!
    Then get over to Health & Wellbeing forum on TES for some TLC.
  3. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    sorry i don't always agree with go the Dr as the 1st option.

    also a few things don't quite ring right with me, yr11 should be out on study leave by now.

    panic attacks are not good, ring occy health/speak to line managers they have a duty of care.

    we have what 4 weeks to summer, stick with it, get it done and see how things do in the summer.

    Pull in all the support u can, HOD HOH/HOY et al.

  4. The problem there is that I am wondering whether it is my school that is the problem as it is very high achieving and very large, therfore very pressured and very inpersonal. I am worried that if I take time off I'm not going to be an attractive option for another school.
    Thank you for the advice though
  5. I understand you not wanting to take time off and with only a few weeks to go, it's probablyu worth trying to stick it out (but promise yourself youll forget all about it for the summer holidays).
    Is there someone you can talk to about this, someone senior at school? HOD, HT, DHT - those involved in observing you?
    You don't have to say you're stressed and upset, just that you're concerned at having gone from Good /outstanding to Unsatisfactory, and ask them to tell you what it is you're doing differently/worse than before. You know and I know that the mix of the class is a big factor, but if you can get them to acknowledge that and give you some support then you will start to feel better. Even if you don't get the support, just the acknowledgment, you will probably feel better.
    Good luck

  6. Perhaps I have misread the situation but

    You had a difficult Y11 class and had a poor lesson with them that was observed

    There was a possibility of extra obs following the unsatisfactory but this was deemed unnecessary

    Now you are lacking confidence and have another obs due

    Is this right?

    If so, I am with grandelf ... one bad class can be an issue for any of us ... we have all been there but it is not the end of the world and should not be treated as such

    Remember your good obs and remember what made them good ... and take the power back
  7. Could you request being observed with another class to prove that you are more than capable? I think it's good advice to talk to someone about your concern at having dropped down so much.

    I've had panic attacks too, they leave you in a bit of a state of shock after them. I reckon you can make it to the end of the year. Particularly if, as you say, going off sick will make you feel anxious about the repercussions. At least you won't have that if you can battle through. There will be a minimal amount your managers an do to move anything along in this time as well.
  8. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Huge sympathies but please be careful how you phrase stuff.
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    All of this makes me sooooo glad I'm moving to the indie sector with class sizes of 7 maximum.
    Sady it all reads true for many teachers. I don't hold out much hope and the <strike>refusal</strike> reluctance to employ <strike>expensive</strike> experienced teachers who are often, not always, better equipped to deal with these kids, and staffing schools to the max with NQTs does nothing to help.

  10. I think you should seriously consider looking for another job.
    I have worked with HoDs who make a point of 'redistributing ' classes and it is seldom good. It rang a big warning bell when you said that you lost 6 and gained 12.
    31 is too big a class for pupils who are considered to require extra help. Your HoD and DoF should know this. The way they seem to be working, if I have understood you correctly, shows that they do not fully understand what they are about with the teaching and learning of these students.
    There are managers who will move students around without much thought in order to appear to be doing something.
    Make your health your first priority.
  11. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    OP does say year 11s left in May.
    As I read it, these extra observations are as a result of the unsatisfactory year 11 obs and will, obviously, be with a different class.
    I suggest OP looks for a new job, difficult as that is. This sort of behaviour by HoDs and SMT makes my blood boil! They should be supporting not undermining their staff.
  12. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    I disagree - op is under too much stress already to cope with all the worries of a new job. It may be from frying pan to fire. Show progress in your observation lesson. Get them to rate themselves at the start of the observation on a skill (simple one that you can teach in the time allowed.) Get them to rate themselves on it towards the end of the observation ( Can be a one to 10 scale in their book or even a hands up) Then no one can say there is not progress! Play the observation game to win.
  13. Herefordian

    Herefordian New commenter

    Ok... practicalities first.
    1 - You are not the first person that this has happened to, not that that helps.
    2 - You say no help has been given to you with regard to this group - have you asked for it? If you do ask for help and it is not forthcoming, make a note of it.
    3 - Observations due to an unsatisfactory lesson - current performance management regulations, as far as I am aware, mean that teachers should have no more than 3 hours of observation per performance management period, unless they are subject to formal capability procedures - as far as I can make out from you, you are not subject to this.
    4 - Are you a member of a union? Speak to your school rep or, if none is available, your local association/regional centre - they can offer some guidance.
    5 - Teacher Support are good for counselling, if you want someone to talk to. I found they helped me when my marriage broke up and I was having stress at school.
    6 - Remember, stress and feeleings of depression are not, I repeat not, a sign of weakness - it sounds as if you are ill - some people feel they can solve it by fronting it out and confronting it head-on, whereas others find that the advice of their GP is invaluable.
    Good luck!
  14. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Go and see your doctor.
    Get a week or two off.
    Spend a couple of weeks somewhere hot and beachy, the Maldives?, before the prices go up and they are swarming with kids.
  15. Don't panic, we've all been there. I had a class like this when I was a deputy and my only solution was to count the days when they left. The very people who should be supporting you have stitched you up! and are now dumping the blame for the consequences of their blunders on you! Sometimes you can push every right button in existence with a class and it has no effect whatsoever. I suggest you write a concise memo summarising the above (keep it calm, factual & professional), then add WHAT you feel are YOUR professional needs now and how you feel they might be met, then request a meeting to discuss the situation with your line manager. IT ISN'T YOU.
  16. I agree, but fully sympathise. That feeling of being shafted and then the consequences landing firmly at your feet is a horrible one. Most teachers, (and I think I am right in saying this?) tend to hang on to the criticisms of their work - and there are more and more now given lesson observations are the norm. The way some places operate now is unbelievable. Couple that with a less than helpful management team or a line manager who gives negative feedback and staff can end up feeling like the pits. It's just not fair.
    I saw so many staff fall out of favour and lose their self confidence even though they were perfectly adequate teachers.
    I can't offer a solution but wanted you to know I have seen what you describe happen to others. I hope you find calm in the holidays. Go back in September and hope the slate is clean. If it isn't, then I definitely would look for a job elsewhere. One of my team - a young English teacher - told me he felt the sword of Damocles was hanging over him because he had several awful classes and his HOD chose to observe him taking these groups. She drove him away yet he was REALLY good with kids and a very hard-working, efficient and well-liked tutor.
    As cheshired wrote, it isn't you.
    I hope things improve. Only you'll know whether things get better at your school or not but please don't live with daily stress. Do act in your own best interests. x
  17. Thank you.
    It's getting to the point that I dread going in every day. In fact the thought of it is making me feel sick right now. Although it seems ridiculous, the thought of even teaching my good classes is causing me stress now and I feel like I can't face things. On top of everything else my marking pile is taller than me (English teacher) and I just don't want to look at it. The moment the day ends I just want to get out of there and not think about it anymore. Not sure whether seeing the doctor about it is the right thing to do, but I'm going about another issue anyway and I'm thinking that I just can't face going back in tomorrow. Would I be looked on unfavourably if I didn't go back until Sept?
  18. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Probably by some and not by others. Not what you want to hear, but do you know for sure that if you continue like this there will even be a 'you' left, to go back to work in September?

  19. You are definitely suffering from stress...and just trying to carry on won't work..the situation needs to change, you need a break, either immediately now, or if you can wait til summer. This happens so often , you end up in a spiral, no amount of obseravtions etc etc is going to help you improve once you are in this state - you must take care of yourself ...btw I've been there! I lost so much weight as couldn 't eat , have to say the situation only changed when I changed jobs and have been fine ever since even though still find the job stressful.
  20. This is exactly what I've been going through. I've lost nearly a stone since Easter and everyone has been commenting on how much weight I've lost. The doctor signed me off for a week yesterday and fortunately my HOD has been really understanding, which is positive. I don't feel in the right frame of mind to 'perform' well in an observation right now and definitely think it would do more harm than good right now. Are you still teaching secondary? I'm thinking of moving to Primary and have been for the last year if I'm honest!


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