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What to do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by banks1903, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. banks1903

    banks1903 New commenter


    I have just completed my NQT year (Secondary MFL) and it’s been the year from hell. Without getting too much into it - unrealistically high expectations from my faculty, a very difficult timetable (lots of low motivation and low sets) - i quit my job in March and sought to leave teaching forever.

    Then along came Covid-19 and my head teacher offered me position as a Humanities teacher (I have no Hums background) in order to keep me - and flattery and fear made me say yes to this, and I was initially relieved and happy to have been kept on.

    However, the more I think about returning to school in September and the more I think about fulfilling the role of Hums teacher, the more anxious and depressed and upset I feel.

    I am currently dealing with an alcohol problem which was taking hold before Covid-19 lockdown and which is now affecting me a great deal. Coupled with anxiety and depression, for which I am medicated and seeking help, I am experiencing suicidal thoughts and a huge sense of dread at ever entering the classroom again.

    What do I do? Going back to school seems like it’s going to be such a challenge for me that I’m honestly not sure I’ll live to see Christmas if these feelings continue. Yet, it feels like I’m letting everyone (family, friends, colleagues) if I do anything except go back to school.

    I want to go back to feeling normal but I’m not sure teaching will ever be compatible with my disposition.

    What should I do? Who should I talk to? I want to do my job but at the moment everything is so bleak, and despite the help I’m receiving regarding my mental health there’s no semblance of understanding of what it takes to be a teacher in 2020, with Covid-19 and a background of poor mental health.

    Any advice you could give would be great.

  2. Cantwaittogo

    Cantwaittogo New commenter

    As you say, it will be difficult to teach given your position. If you really think you can't go back then take sick leave and resign to leave at Christmas. Good luck.
    agathamorse, steely1 and phlogiston like this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I'm not sure what advice you hope to get here. After writing these issues down, you must be very aware of how the situation looks.
    Sign off, resign and embrace the support.
    Unfortunately for you, there have been many ' false posts' on this website and I. for one, have become very wary of posters who choose to air problems like these so ingenuously/otherwise.
    Apologies if this is not the case but given your post, I wouldn't be asking for advice here.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Pretty much sums it up. 'Your health is always first priority and leave how to deal with the future till that's sorted.
  5. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Go and see your GP asap and do what the above posts advise.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    See your GP asap. Be honest, tell them everything. Get signed off and take whatever support your GP offers - medication, counselling, support group, etc. Good luck.
  7. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Agree with the advice above - see your GP. You and your health / wellbeing should always be the priority.
  8. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

  9. Cantwaittogo

    Cantwaittogo New commenter

  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Your GP is the best place for support, as urgently as possible.

    And you probably already know that returning to school in September, where you've had one year from hell and are moving to teach subjects you know nothing about while dealing with anxieties around covid, is not going to happen. Let your head know as soon as you've been to the GP so they can sort something else out.
  11. banks1903

    banks1903 New commenter

    Thanks all. As some have said I think I knew the answer to my question, I just needed to hear it from others that I’m doing what’s best for me.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  12. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    From what you’ve just mentioned on there, you are in no fit state to return to work in September. You need to seek professional help first before even considering to return to work and then once you’ve done that, evaluate your options to see if a career in teaching is actually what you want. As a former HT, I wouldn’t be satisfied having a teacher in school who is experiencing the extreme mental health circumstances that you are going through, it wouldn’t be fair on you and more importantly, it wouldn’t be fair on the pupils who you would have a duty of care for!
  13. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Sorry, I was expressing scepticism.
    I may be quite wrong in my cynical thought that this is another trolling post, and if I am, then I am sorry for any offence caused.
    It just seems a little too extreme for my liking.
    install, ACOYEAR8, strawbs and 4 others like this.
  14. banks1903

    banks1903 New commenter

    Sorry if I have been naive in posting this. I wasn’t aware people posted trolling posts along these lines.

    I can assure you this is very real for me and I wanted to gauge what should or could be done in my situation. I don’t have a very large support network and thought it would be fruitful to ask teachers who know the stresses of the job to give some insight. Again, apologies if I have been naive.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    mothorchid likes this.
  16. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    It does, but just in case it isn’t.....
  17. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    @banks1903 don't listen to the posters above who suggeat that you are trolling. Far too many teachers understand what you are going through.

    I agree with the other, more considerate posters about going to your GP and getting signed off. Teaching a subject that you have no background in, after a tricky NQT year, is a recipe for disaster. Do what's best for yourself.
    Nahmero and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    You have a medical issue - this is a teaching advice forum.
    See a doctor before you do anything else such as contacting the school.
    sooooexcited, ACOYEAR8 and asnac like this.
  19. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    You know that not going back is the only healthy option for you. You should offer to resign with immediate effect so that the school isn't paying for your change of heart. It will be difficult enough for any student/staff member in September without the added hassle here.
  20. banks1903

    banks1903 New commenter

    Thank you all. Apologies if I’ve upset anyone by posting - it was and is not my intention. It helps confirm to me that going back is not an option, and as teachers/education professionals yes that might seem obvious, but so far my support network finds it difficult to empathise with the demands of the job hence why I asked here.

    Thank you again.

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