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Teaching mental health crisis

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by atics, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Very interesting article, though I'm not surprised by any of it. I can recognise myself in those situations and it really, really scares me. I find my job so stressful that reading that article has really made me think about alternative careers. It is such a shame because I love the essence of my job and it would be heartbreaking to leave it, but I don't want my job to kill me. I actually think the issue is time.
    We could live with the targets, the marking, the bad behaviour, the government initiatives, the 'edutainment' that's expected of us these days if we didn't have to be at the chalkface for as long as we do. If we all had 60% teaching and so 40% PPA time, we could get everything done that we needed at school, hence a huge increase in work-life balance, creativity and general wellbeing. Or the alternative is to have smaller classes. If all my classes had 15 students instead of 30, imagine how quickly I could do quality marking, and how less stressful managing behaviour would be.
    Obviously both of these things require money for more teachers, which just isn't available, and so I genuinely can't see a way out of this downward spiral that is evidently experienced by so many teachers. It is also such a taboo to express feeling depressed/stressed about work, as we're expected to be positive and upbeat for so long. Spending 23 hours a week constantly communicating with 30 children, on top of the work required of us outside of school and the high expectations from all angles, all the time being professional and positive, is just exhausting, and I don't think there are many people that can cope with that sort of pressure easily. It's hardly surprising that so many teachers suffer from depression and mental health issues. And the irony is that we get long holidays, but I personally take about 2 weeks in the Summer to wind down and realise it's ok to not have a million and one things to do, and then the 2 weeks before I go back are spent feeling slightly anxious about going back. Perhaps it's just me who needs to think of a career change!
     
  2. In the RE forum, "durgamata" has written a very
    thoughtful response to the Channel 4 link I posted. He said that he couldn't imagine any threads more important
    than this one -- I agree. He has also downloaded the linked article to his own website which he is
    offering as a support and information resource. His website address is
    not working at the moment, but hopefully it will be
    soon.
     
  3. Correction: durgamata is a lady, not a gentleman -- my apologies!
     
  4. For anyone interested, I'd like to recommend a book
    by Thomas Joiner, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, called
    "Myths about Suicide". (Joiner's father committed suicide). aquarium fish
     

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