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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by coldmetal, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    I have been signed off by my GP for stress... my line manager called next day me to ask me for my assignments and to instruct me to fill in 'well being risk assessment form'... he also sent me an email reminder both to my home email and college email. He's now emailing and asking me for schemes of work and instructions what my students should be doing - My doctor has asked me to try not think about work for at least a week and signed me off for two weeks and said if I need more time, then OK .- I had a really horrible roller coaster of a time with little or no support and just an immense workload of tracking and admin in triplicate including paper along with all kinds of reports and other duties and stuff I never knew about or even considered as well as regular walkthroughs and observations (sometimes they turn up sometimes they don't) .. I feel Im being pushed to come back as they are struggling to cover the students and then will use me to create the curriculum at their convenience and force me to hand over to someone.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    If you're signed off then there is no obligation on your behalf to set cover.
  3. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    mikecom I have read several of your posts and it is clear to me that you are in the wrong place. You may not be suited to teaching. You are certainly not suited to the establishment where you are working.
    You can and maybe should be sending directions in as to what the students should be covering. No need to plan lessons, not sure why they want sows but I see no need for a sow.
    No need to go back early, no need to create a curriculum. The fact that the previous teacher before you left suddenly [another post] says it all really.
    Consider your options whilst you are off and consider a teaching position elsewhere where you will get more support.
    Are you a qualified teacher or have you just been thrown in at the deep end. Sink or swim. I've seen it all before.
  4. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Don't you have an HOD who should be taking care of this?

    You have no obligation to do anything at all for them other than to get well and come back as a fully functioning teacher. Unfortunately that goal is a little too far ahead for the micro-managers who can't see beyond the end of the day in many schools.

    In my opinion, what you choose to do really depends on your personality. Some people can walk away and forget that school ever existed within minutes. Others can't. I recall a colleague was signed of with WRS who couldn't rest easy having just walked away - she came to the school on the first morning she was signed off, told SLT she would give them the morning to put in place any guidance they agreed was necessary and thereafter she was not to be contacted until her GP deemed her fit to return to work. In conversation later she shared that had she not "got closure" in this way, she would not have been able to focus on getting better as she would have been constantly worried about what was going on at the school and waiting for them to contact her. It worked for her, she came back very strongly.

    I'm not advocating this for you, my point is that you need to do whatever you need to do to remove the stress - the fact that you're posting on here suggests you haven't done that yet :)
    grumpydogwoman and thistledoo like this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    You could send one email to your line manager, stating that your GP has told you to refrain from working and, as in the case above, requesting no further contact until you are fit to return.

    If you're in a union, it might be an idea to inform them.

    For now, you need to recover - sleep, eat well, gentle walks if you can. Only then should you consider your options.
  6. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    You do not have to complete the well-being risk assessment form (I'm not sure what use they really are anyway) - school should not be contacting you if you are signed off with 'stress'. Does your note say, work related stress? If it does, school should not be contacting you. The form is more usually used on return to work and discussed with a LM - as a way forward.

    Contact your union for advice.

    As to work for students, you can give them an idea where the students are up to and even what they should do next. If you do not have SOW or plans to follow, then it is your HOD/ HOF who should take this up. You do not have to sit and plan lessons and resources.

    This should be made clear in your reply to school.
    Shedman and grumpydogwoman like this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    "Dear School,

    My doctor has insisted that, in order to regain fitness to work, I must enter into a period of complete rest from any school-related activity. S/he has also warned me that my condition may take longer than two weeks to right itself. I shall let you know how my health is faring in approximately ten days from now.

    Consequently I am unable to complete any forms or provide any information about my classes as this would be in direct contravention of my doctor's advice.

    With thanks for your cooperation at this challenging time

    thistledoo, mikecom and Shedman like this.
  8. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    sabrinakat likes this.
  9. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Risky action on her part, that. Implies she is more 'well' than being signed off with WRS alledges. Stay home.
  10. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    My colleagues don't get on with me they are uninclusive they disagree with my teaching methods - they wanted a semi-retired lecturer with immense resources who was part time to take my place (when I became full time she had to go) so they could continue bossing the department - my manager is too weak and has been allowing students and colleagues to bully me which is part of the reason I been off with stress.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Not nice for you.
    you are going to be ok though.
    If you have stress, as confirmed by your GP, and work are asking you to do something during the signed off time then that is going to create more stress. Work are compelling you to go against medical advice, which is wrong. They do actually know this you know!
    However, they can tell that you would not say that to them; you're not going to reply-"no, I wont send in cover, SoW etc etc as that will make me more ill." So they're going to continue to ask.
    Your union rep, ought to let you talk this through with them. They ought to be willing to contact HR or your HT, and explain you are sick. And they may then organise a formal channel of communication through them if the school needs to contact you. Your rep will talk all of this through with you. If you don't want to use your in-house rep at school, approach your regional rep.
    This is legitimate and correct, and although might seem counter intuitive to you right now, will solve your issue of wanting to respond to work.
    Get some breathing space, and yes, you might want to assess if it is the right job. Then again, you could also conclude they are piling it on unreasonably. I guess the two go hand in hand, but please, don't blame yourself. That's schools for you at the moment...
    grumpydogwoman and mikecom like this.
  12. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    My union reps are colleagues who have been trying to push me ou
    I am a DTLLS qualified FE lecturer... my professional time (before being in graphics industry for 20 years) I worked 2 full days a week while in study at a good college and then 3 days a week while in study at a bad college where I was bullied by HOS I then worked for nearly a year in a Prison Academy then FULL time in the current position with litlte or no support where others in the art faculty have taken against me and exclude me and tried to get rid of me
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Lots of good advice above. I would set up an automatic email reply stating that you are ill and will reply once your doctor has cleared you as being well.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ring the helpline on your membership card. This isn't a situation where the workplace rep is likely to be able to help.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Can't your HOD look at books/coursework etc and work out where your students are on the syllabus?

    There are some illnesses where you might want to provide guidance on where students are at (broken leg say.) But stress due to work - you should not have to think about it and a decent school would tell you not to worry and that everything is in hand until you are well enough to return!
    pepper5 and (deleted member) like this.
  16. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    It could be worth phoning Occupational Health as well as your union. I guess it varies, but myself and colleagues have found them to be supportive. They should understand that the more your employer contacts you, potentially the longer you will be off as you a certain amount of time off where you are not thinking about work.

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