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Suffering from stress or worried about your health and wellbeing? Get support from our advice clinic

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by gailrobinson, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. If you're suffering from work-related stress or you've got concerns about your health and wellbeing, check out our live advice clinic on Tuesday 20 March 4-6.30pm. We've got a panel of experts who will be on hand to offer advice and support and you can ask questions anonymously.
    The panel includes Rob Latham from the Teacher Support Network and Professor Cary Cooper, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the University of Lancaster.
    You can get your questions in now, and even if you can't make it to the live event you can read the responses on the replay of the chat. Your question won't go live immediately but we will send you an acknowledgement and we will publish it on Tuesday. Best wishes
  2. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    Can we post questions here?

    A possibly controversial observation, but could the panel comment on what I've observed to be an endemic problem in the profession:

    "The widespread martyrdom in the teaching profession is a root cause of today's problems of work related stress, high rate of qualified teachers not teaching and is the highly exploitable weakness which the the government, quangos and Heads/SLT use to increase the workload, worsen conditions and put more stress on even those that are trying to keep a healthy work-life balance"

    The belief which the teachers are suffering for, is that "The kids come first". Or "It's a vocation, not a job".

    I believe that you can only best help others, when you help yourself first. This is not an ode to the narcissistic tendencies of the ruthless, not at all, but if more teacher were to advocate that, in a sustained environment, they have to come first. There are teacher who are made to even feel inferior for not being martyrs, as if the extra stress is somehow a badge of honour.

    We see it being used against teachers, a prime example is:

    "We are all in favour of longer school days, and potentially shorter summer holidays,' Michael Gove stated. "If you [teachers] love your job then there is, I think, absolutely nothing to complain about in making sure you have more of a chance to do it well."
  3. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    hmm, why do these forums remove all formatting! Sorry about that. I typed that in google chrome browser.
  4. Hi,
    I have been off with WRS all term and am due to do a phased return after Easter. Although I'm determined not to go back to the state I was in before Christmas, I am already starting to get anxious about returning.
    It's not the teaching so much as interacting with colleagues and being assertive, as my confidence is shot and the moment I am questioned over anything I think I'll crumble. I was really looking forward to getting back into the classroom but now I just feel sick.
    Is there anything I can do to help alleviate the anxieties as I'm worried about them escalating to a point where I feel I cant return.
  5. casper

    casper New commenter

    WRS difficult to deal with when the behaviour in school is not being dealt with. Head Teachers have a duty of care. So can they be held accountable when WRS is due to continual poor behaviour and staff being deliberately target by pupils??When concerns have been expressed by the behaviour monitoring system and in emails, which have been ignored what can you do??
  6. I agree with you Casper.
    I have made a last attempt ot return to the classroom - fair enough, it was in a supply teacher role, which is never the best way to combat poor behaviour issues.
    But that is it. I have had enough, as I got again extremely demoralised by the lack of support with poor behaviour. I cannot do this job anymore - I got turned down for one position as I got told my behaviour management was poor - it maybe is. But I just want to teach - and I cannot when all the pupils seem to want to test my authority all the time. My agency said I was 'soft' in terms of implemeting the rules one day and the next I was too harsh. I cannot work whilst I am feeling constantly undermined by pupils, staff and SMT. I cannot allow myself to become stressed to the point of becoming ill again - the anxiety, the worry of not 'performing' well enough, being told that I need to follow behaviour policies, which I do to the best of my ability and then being told that some 'flexibility' is needed.
    I have quite a few private students and that is what I will focus on for now. Until I find a job which utilises my skills - I am fortunate that I have a science degree, so I am looking for lab work. Maybe not as much money, but perhaps I can have a life again.
    Good luck to all who are struggling in the workplace - I really do wish you the best
  7. casper

    casper New commenter

    I am sure that there are caring school who take staff health and well-being seriously. Happy staff surely means a better equiped workforce. We spend a lot of time in our places of work. A thank you occasionally would not go a miss either.
  8. Hello
    If you post your questions here I'll add them to the advice clinic.
    Don't forget to check out the advice page on Tuesday to see the answers
    Best wishes
  9. Hi,
    I'm an NQT, in January I was diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.- I am currently off work for a month due to my illness and am going back to the doctors in 3 weeks to see if I'll be ready to go back to work after Easter. I am not happy at my current school (not helped my the depression but I know that the school is not for me) so before I was signed off, I was job hunting for September.
    My question is, while I am off work, can I apply for jobs? I made the assumption that as I can't teach my class at the moment, I wouldn't be able to teach on or go through the rigors of an interview but I am really concerned that if I am still off work after Easter, I'll be too late to get a job for September.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  10. vickyrae1970

    vickyrae1970 New commenter

    don't know if you can answer this . i was signed off by my gp last week with wrs and i am seeing oh this week . i have been told that they may want to access my medical records and i am not happy about this at all due to some very personal things i have seen my gp about in the past . can i refuse ? what are the implications of saying no . i am very wobbly at the moment and this has set me on edge even more . i referred myself to oh at the time of being signed off as i thought it was the best thing to do .
  11. Hello everyone - thanks for sending in your questions, we've popped them all on the live chat for our panel to have a look at. Don't forget to join the live chat at 16.30 at http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6194334
    If you need more immediate emotional support, details of various organisations you can speak to are available on our mental health landing page: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6193869
  12. Hello,
    You are providing good tharapies which is more applicable for us please keep it up and also provide more information here.
  13. Interesting to read the responses to people with questions about bullying.

    "the bully is often under pressure themselves"
    "the obvious answer is to stand up to them"

    Two of the most unhelpful responses I've seen in a long time and clearly made by people who have never been seriously and systematically abused by a bully or in my case more of a sociopath.
  14. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    I wish I'd seen this thread earlier. Am currently signed off with WRS and have been signed off until the end of this term.
    There are many issues involved but one thing that concerns me is that I had signed up for a revision class with 6th form in the Easter holidays. I'd quite like to do this as it will be a step back to work without the inherent pressures that got me into the position I am now in, plus I don't want to let the students down. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I am quite anxious about returning to work as I don't think there will be any lessening of pressure and the, quite frankly bullying tactis of some senior members of staff aren't helping my anxiety and I don't want to be accused of picking and choosing what I do.

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