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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BurntOutTeacher35, Jan 23, 2019.
Hello Soots Good to hear this.
Just register with the onl8ne tuition agencies ASAP, be prepared to teach a wider age range and maybe more than one subject if your subject is not a core one...then off you go. Start. See if you can get one tuition job after school. Watch the enquiries come in. Do a proper one) page. Upload your dbs. And no, you don’t need a school reference. You need the proof to give you the courage to leave. Just leave, really, before your body takes matters into its own hands and your health forces you to.
Hear hear! If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got...not much when we’re discusisng teaching conditions since 2013 and the Govian Destruction took hold.
Taught my first lesson this morning. Felt sick, shaky,nervous but it was different...felt like normal back to work reaction. Although reading that sentence back that should not be considered normal! Feel good for doing it but don't want to push it too much. School are happy for me to do as much or little as I feel like doing. Reduced time table agreed for this week (though subject to change at my request). Feel positive for the future, continuing to take one day at a time.
Side note, GP was happy to sign me off again if needed and offered medication which I have refused as I don't think anymore sitting at home will do me any good. The two weeks I have been signed off were worthwhile and really allowed my body to just calm down!
Now just make sure you keep on an even keel. Good luck. I hope it works out.
Yeah, I don't want to be that person who goes back too soon or takes too much on too soon and ends up being off for longer. Feels like I'm doing the right amount atm.
I think you’re perhaps more unwell than you’re accepting. Do not trust school. They always smile and support the most just before they stick the knife in...well that was my experience, anyway. Your school could be amazing and supportive, but they’ve not supported you that much, it seems. See your union rep. I behaved very similarly to you a few years back and thought I could do the ‘day at a time and soldiering on’ malarkey. I even took my marking book into the resus ward wit me and even set stupid lesson covers from my bed. Thing is, school and the mad relentless cycle of insane workload and expectations never stops, they don’t reallly ‘do’ ill very well. Your GP knows what the score is...LISTEN to them and give yourself proper rest. Personally, I’d negotiate for a Feb half term exit with some settlement pay-off.
Agree. Sometimes you can be closer to the edge of the precipice than you realize. Then, when you try to step, back the momentum of the situation still carries you forward.
Also agree about putting too much trust in your school. They could have their own agenda which will not necessarily be yours.
BTW M. Marking and lesson plans in resus!! I would have sectioned you for that alone.
I know! The levels of bullying I experienced were so intense, they became this sick routine. They were all at it. At the time, it took two GPS and the consultant to point out that I was never going to heal if I was working. ‘I shouldn’t want to work for a boss who expects you to do all that” quipped one doctor, then I looked up at him and saw he meant it. Bang. Then it hit. I was in a big city hospital and there we all were, the in denial exploiters, all on our
Smart phones! What was the matter with us all? I’m so glad to be out of and finally own my own..head space, really. NOW I realise the ‘thinking I could cope crud’ was symptomatic of the fact that I was ill and.er...couldn’t cope. Nobody could. No shame. Just REALITY. And now? Lots more resignations and staff changes since I left, naturally. HOD off now. And second in charge. Ones blubbered off to set up a reiki business. Could. Not. Make. It. Up!
Oh and bully hod wanted me to set the cover before I was driven to hospital! She needed and still really really does need sectioning. Permanently.
Not gone in today and I'm going to seek GP advice this morning. I don't just want to be signed off, I want to be in school. Through talking with different people, I have identified exactly what has triggered this and would like to be in school but obviously avoid the triggers. Seeking professional advice to get their take (GP).
Update as promised. GP has prescribed beta blockers for anxiety to take when/if I need. We agreed long term solution is to move schools or leave and she would happily keep signing me off until I get a new job.
I told her just sitting around at home longer won't help and I want to be in school so going back in on Monday. There are classes I'm absolutely fine with and want to go in and teach. GP is happy to issue a note with conditions but I'm am confident the school will meet my needs. I know a lot of posters have said be weary of trusting school but I genuinely feel comfortable school will accommodate my needs.
I feel much less guilty now about being off as certain members of staff at the school have done this too me. They are to blame. The stress is from situations out if my control. I will only increase my teaching timetable when I am confident they won't let me down.
What an extremely supportive and kind response - thank you so much.
So many of your points are so helpful. I’m really starting to get down about it, mainly because I don’t know what to do next and also a little sad as I’ve put so much time & effort into my teaching career.
But, it’s affecting how I am at home and often tearful and low. So I know I have to move on.
I’m not very familiar with this forum but I will certainly look through and find other posts about jobs outside of teaching.
Thank you again
Thank you for your kind words. I am pleased to help. You are sure to feel sad that your teaching career has come to this but you know that staying in teaching isn't going to make things any better for you and by hanging on you'd be making it worse. The past has gone and you cannot change it but you can make your future better. Focus on that. Good luck and keep positive.
Update as promised. I was off on the 7th and 8th of Feb, so tired and just allowing medication to start working. Another meeting with school on the Monday about reduced timetable and I did some teaching last week. Beta blockers have worked in calming my body down but I'm still not sleeping well and have gone home half day a few days as I've been exhausted. I am doing what I can but will not push myself beyond what I feel comfortable with.
In a strange turn of events, I think my beta blockers are causing some very strange side effects which I am going to talk to someone about today!
Staying on same medication but a much lower dose. Good week teaching a much reduced timetable. Meeting on Friday just gone to agree what I will teach after half term. Head is very supportive and doesn't want me to take too much on as it could have an adverse effect down the line. Half term for me this week and OH is off so doing lots of now work stuff! Agreed with GP to another appointment this week to check in and OC appointment first week back.
Had follow up appointment with GP and she was still concerned at what the beta blockers are doing to my mental health. A rare side affect so trying a change of medication. She asked what I wanted to do (more time off or try new meds) after a lengthy discussion we agreed on new meds to be reviewed in a month (or sooner if needed). Been on half term this week, OC appointment Monday and meeting with school after that so agreed my teaching hours for the next couple of weeks.
I went through that after 12 years in 1999, and now after 32 years it has resurfaced again.
A lot of pressure, impending Ofsted coupled with an unpleasant head who had arrived in the mid 90s lead myself and a colleague to go sick the Monday the inspectors were due to arrive for one of those full week inspections.
I had finally cracked on the Sunday evening and downed a whole bottle of malt whisky!
Funny thing was it didn't make me sick and of course I knew I would be unfit to drive let alone teach kids when I reached the school.
I took myself off to the Doctor in a taxi the following morning who signed me off a fortnight - I had never been signed off before and had had virtually no time off sick.
When I returned two weeks later, just a couple of weeks before the summer holidays both my colleague and myself were hauled before the HT and Chair of Governors. - But as we had sick notes they couldn't really do anything though I get the feeling they were not too happy!
A couple of weeks later the HT announced a secondment to the office for a year leaving the DHT in charge. Suddenly the school became a nice place to work. A Good grade had been achieved from the Ofsted and my colleague and I used to joke that was probably because were were not there! The DHT was great you never felt as though any request was too much trouble.
After 12 months the HT returned from secondment and I thought - here we go again. - But no - by the second week in September HT announced their departure at Christmas for an advisor post.
DHT then became acting head again until Easter when a new head arrived.
This person had worked outside of education and had been a head at a previous school and was highly experienced. The HT's vision was a "Place where both pupils and staff want to come to school" - this was shared with us at the first staff meeting.
Shortly after the DHT retired and was replaced by a former acting head as deputy. The new head was a very effective administrator worked well with the DHT and the later successor DHT to lead the school through several successive Ofsted's to reach Outstanding at our last inspection.
These two were very effective they also appeared to realise there were only so many hours in the day and whilst there were the usual deadlines etc demands were balanced out with what was due clearly displayed on the staff room notice board so you could plan ahead for the term an pace yourself.
Following OFSTED the HT decided to retire followed shortly afterwards by the DHT. - Many changes followed too many to mention and I need to keep this vague!
Now there are chains of command and people with different management responsibilities who ask for different things usually by email - no longer a long term plan in the staff room - sometimes for the same day or even just tomorrow.
Intake of children has changed with more behaviour issues becoming apparent - not helped by tinkering with the punishment / rewards system.
Some of the well behaved children now make comments "nothing gets done" about their badly behaved peers.
Staff absence, usually long term, has shot up since the changes. There used to be hardly any staff absences!
Quite a few have either not returned from absence or returned for a short period and then quit.
Monitoring levels have increased significantly. Why?
Mentioned above the school received an Outstanding despite fairly light touch monitoring. The very few points for improvement which appeared to be scratching around for certainly didn't mention monitoring!
I had felt as though I wanted to keep going until my state pension kicks in but in the last 10 months or so things have turned sour being threaten with the "C club" last spring and again this week.
However, I am now starting to look at escaping by my 60th birthday later this year.
I really don't want to go - but I feel undervalued, deskilled and burnt out.
It need not be like this.
I have seen in my career the good, the bad and the downright ugly in terms of HTs - at least for quite a few years I experienced the good and that helped me survive.
Sometimes things can improve by just a change of leadership just as they can rapidly go down hill. I have experienced both.
Thank you for sharing your story. 32 years! Wow! Like you've talked about, it's things out of my control at management level that have resulted in my current situation. I was determined to leave this year but will make the decision when my brain is functioning normally!
Occupational health appointment done and they have put in their report I should stay on my much reduced timetable for the next month or so. New meds will take AT LEAST two weeks to start working and I've been warned things might get worse before they get better. I'm grateful for all the support but still frustrated at how long it's taking for me to get better!