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Too Much

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by cate50, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. cate50

    cate50 New commenter

    There is nothing specific that is making me post today but I am sure many others are feeling like I am. There simply isn't enough time in one life to do everything that is required these days to be a good teacher. If I teach well then something else suffers. I have tried to get a work life balance and can only come to one of two conclusions. Either I am really bad at trying to find balance (In which case I feel like a total failure) or there is no balance to be found.

    This week I have watched three people that I care about virtually destroyed by our profession. Each is a hardworking, dedicated, caring professional who goes above and beyond for their students. Each is a passionate, inspiring teacher. Each has been downtrodden by the burocracy that has taken over our education system. I am very lucky in my school. the atmosphere is, by and large, very positive but I have come home this evening thinking "what is the point?". I feel like no matter how hard I work there will always be some form or piece of paper that I have not completed. Some "formula" for literacy/numeracy/groups/challenge/differentiation that I am not implementing properly. I feel set up to fail. Not by my school. They are very supportive. By the system. The pro's of this job do not feel like they out weigh the cons anymore. I am trapped by a salary and a mortgage. Also by a sense of feeling that I have failed. A strong, clever, passionate woman who feels like she lets people down daily because her job seems too hard. Is it just me?????? Is it my issue? Or do others feel this increasing every day at the moment?

  2. alysshathurston

    alysshathurston New commenter

    I am exactly the same! I just moved to England last year and after doing supply I started full time. I have two years work experience in Nz but just can't seem to ft it all in. Don't get me wrong, teaching is hard and busy in NZ but the marking expectation is a lot lower there. I struggle to mark 44 books in a day ready for the next day (66 when we have science that day too), and still have time to plan and prepare for quality differentiated lessons. After trying to find some marking hacks on google the other day I was disheartened to notice that everybody was in the same boat and no one had a resolution.
  3. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    This is not going to help you in any way but it is my view from the 'outside' now that the job is actually impossible to do. Impossible to do everything that's expected well, at any rate, or to have any semblance of a properly balanced life without feelings of overwhelm/guilt at what you're not doing if you are a conscientious worker. So the 'helpful' bit is no, it's not you. And I'm finding myself increasingly sad at the number of teachers who are effectively being destroyed by a system which is UNNECESSARY. Sorry for shouty capitals but that's the tragedy of the whole thing. The bureaucracy, level of scrutiny, triplicate paper trails, overwhelming (and sometimes arbitrary) performance targets, relentless work/pressure/initiatives... And that's before you even get to the classroom teaching.

    I actually wonder how most teachers are still standing. The answer, I fear, is that they either are very nearly not, or that they are sacrificing far too much of their own lives just to tread water. And because it feels like that has become the norm, that that is what's expected if you are a 'good, committed teacher', that at present there's no way out of it unless you leave teaching, and because those who are doing the job have no energy left after all that to fight the system or even realise quite how bad /widespread this is, the whole thing just continues. I don't teach anymore but I do feel like one day soon I am going to get involved in trying to get this changed because I work in mental health and it's just ludicrous. Not to mention immensely damaging to all involved - to teachers, families of teachers, children, and therefore society as a whole.
    Lara mfl 05, Compassman and indusant like this.
  4. cate50

    cate50 New commenter

    what can we do @janemk? I don't want to leave the profession but I am certain I cannot maintain this for long.
  5. ParisianPearl

    ParisianPearl Occasional commenter

    Maybe you should stop trying to do everything really really well and concentrate on those things you enjoy doing and which give you a sense of fulfilment.
  6. misseviltoyou

    misseviltoyou New commenter

    Cate50, you took the words right off my fingers. It's for this exact reason that I had an OH appointment today - not on long-term sick but asked school for a referral - my health (physical as well as mental) has been coming third behind work and home stuff and it's starting to show, which of course means time off and falling behind at work and feeling like a failure for not being one of the Golden Group of outstanding teachers with adorable families and active social lives whose idea of supportive advice is to tell you what they'd do and insist that you do the same.
    I don't have kids and most of the time feel like I can barely keep my head above water professionally, financially, physically. Admitting this in order to get the OH appointment has been one of the hardest things I've ever done because it feels like an admission of failure and I'm so scared that school will see it that way too, or decide that my health issues make me less suitable for the job.
    Cooperuk likes this.
  7. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I know that if I had stayed in teaching any longer (and I only left in October) then it would have had a serious effect on my health and well being. This is something I complained about to my head but was ignored.

    I've mentioned elsewhere that my wife is still teaching but now that I am on the outside looking in I an see how stressed she is and how worn out she is. It really cannot continue.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    That way lies Capability.
    Cooperuk likes this.
  9. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    I share your feelings OP - I am currently off with work-related stress/anxiety.

    The workload is ridiculous and my HoD wants to add more to my burdensome plate. I said no and have been a target ever since.

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