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Workload - can't cope.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Frightenedtodeath, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    When will it stop? I've talked to the head but all he says is 'tell me about it, we're all in the same position.' This is in response to me saying I'm not sure I can carry on with this workload, pressure and being told my jobs at risk every other day. I'm 37, want to have children and I'm exhausted.

    Found myself googling 'teacher suicide' last week. I'm frightening myself. Nobody is taking me seriously, people say 'it's just a job - don't let it get to you', but it clearly is. I'm desperate to take some time off but I just can't do it. I just do my best to get through each day and to look at me you'd think I was fine. Truth is, I hide in the toilets just to make it stop for five minutes.

    Nobody is listening to me and things are only going to get worse.
    sebedina likes this.
  2. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Phone Teacher Support Line or your local equivalent.

    Go to your GP and take some time off.

    Your head's reply was glib it maybe he/she would take it more seriously if you described what you have posted here.
  3. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    I am very sorry you are in this position. You are most certainly not alone. If your thoughts are turning towards suicide or self harm then your position is serious and you need to seek help.

    In the first instance you can ring the Teacher Support Network, just google this and you will find the contact details. They will listen to you and can offer advice.

    In fact, I strongly urge you to do this NOW!

    I would also urge you to consider going to the GP asap. You may very well be clinically depressed and you need to seek help to see if this is the case. In fact, it might be serious enough to take Monday off and seek an emergency appointment. It is not normally wise to call in sick when you are not but I think you have more than sufficient justification to do so.

    I wish you well in whatever you do.
  4. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    I think I may well give them a ring - I tried to find the time last week. I'm a strong person and I don't get emotional, generally, but my lip did wobble last week when I said 'This organisation is breaking us, I'm 37, I have no children and my career is potentially in tatters'. I am able to be honest with my Head but I never get an appropriate response. The last time I broached this topic was about 6 months ago when I asked him to be firm with our sponsors about realistic time frames for change, I said we can't continue and hope to sustain our current workload. All I got was 'I know exactly how you feel, you're right, this is effecting my life too...'

    Why do people have to break before someone will take them seriously?
  5. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    Thank you for your help. I don't think I would harm myself but I have thought about the options more than a few times over the last week. I was stuck in traffic the other night, on the way home, and I stopped on a bridge. I was crying and I looked out and thought 'I could just get out, I could just go over' but then I thought 'what if nobody stops me?'.

    I wouldn't do it though. I just want some time out.
  6. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    08000 562 561

    Now, right now.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  7. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Please ring the teacher support network and see your GP on Monday.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm exhausted and just can't cope anymore. I'm completely overwhelmed. I've had self harm thoughts and its that what prompted me to do something about it and I called the GP and I got an emergency app for Monday.

    Please can you do the same. You need a break and to reassess your situation.
  9. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    Also I spoke to the Teacher support network and they
    are brilliant. I felt better after talking to them.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  10. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    I am on the phone to them now, a really sweet lady is speaking to me but it's just the general 'set boundaries so you can have a break when you need one', 'take a moment to listen to a song during your day', 'hang an amusing sign on your door **** to show that you are not to be disturbed - the witch is stirring her cauldron - please do not disturb'.

    A lovely reassuring voice and very kind but not helping me, I don't think. It was helpful to speak to someone right now though, she was a lovely lady.
  11. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    Oh the starred out word is very innocent - *******!

    Although it didn't help in real terms, I think I will call them again - certainly better than letting it all go round and round in my head. I don't really know how else I thought she could help though.
    irs1054 likes this.
  12. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    I think that helps a bit even though it doesn't solve the problem.

    Workload is a general issue in teaching and there is no immediate solution because the powers that be don't yet see the problem.

    In your position, this has now proceeded to the point where your health and well-being is threatened. You need to put that first. It is your most immediate and foremost priority. It eclipses everything else, at present.

    Please seriously consider taking the time to see your GP. Check on their website to see how to get an emergency appointment for Monday. I really think you owe it to yourself.

    Best of luck.
  13. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    I am very close to doing that, I just keep managing to get through one more day, one more week, one more term...

    Thanks for pushing me to make that call, getting some of it out will help me to sleep tonight.
    irs1054 likes this.
  14. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Yep I was doing that until one morning I woke, thought about work and the effect was just like a scream in my head. That's when I phoned in and made an emergency appointment.

    You really don't want it to get to that stage, believe me.

    Best wishes.
  15. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    What did you do irs1054? Did you leave? Take time off? What was the outcome and how are you now?

    Did you make it through?
  16. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Frightened, I am in a very similar fragile state to you. Having been there before I recognised the signs early and got down to the GP last week.

    The first time round I did what you are doing. Struggled on day by day, week by week getting worse.I had no idea I was depressed. I only went to the GP because I thought something physical was stopping me sleeping and I was just so exhausted. It took a long time to get better and now I can see that I didn't really make the permanent changes I needed.

    Please, please, please go to your GP Monday . your health is more important than any job. You say you wouldn't harm yourself. I say that too, but I too have had similar thoughts. In my case.... If I crashed the car I wouldn't have to go in.

    Please get help before you do something silly in desperation.
    Lara mfl 05 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  17. Frightenedtodeath

    Frightenedtodeath New commenter

    I'm so sorry you are going through this too.

    I have had exactly those thoughts, if I could just put it in this ditch that wouldn't be so bad, I wonder how long I could stay off with a broken leg...awful, awful to think this way.

    I'm going to have a serious think about talking to my GP. Thing is, I was wondering about whether the time off is more important than the GP support. I do have another 'condition' that I have never had to have time off with but could so easily, should it flare up. I'm trying to stop myself from having to get signed off with stress. The people in my organisation are incredibly primitive and I'd never 'recover', in their eyes, if I was to be signed off with stress. They roll their eyes at the mention of the word and yet here's one of their own thinking about crashing their own car to get out of the horror for a few days.
  18. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    That was the last day of my permanent teaching career. I never taught another lesson as a permanent teacher.

    I've spent the last 13 years doing supply work plus some other things but the supply work is probably ended now too.

    Anyway need to sign off, best wishes again.
  19. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I would still talk to your GP.... I was always against medication but I can't tell you how much my view changed and what a difference it made, so that might be a start.

    He also wanted to sign me off, both times. I refused, but it helped to know that it was an option.

    It is disgraceful that your organisation might hold this against you. I wonder if a chat with your union might help.

    In any case get down the GPs and talk it through. I'm off to bed now, in the hopes of a few hours sleep.but feel free to pm me if you want to talk.
    Lara mfl 05 and snowyhead like this.
  20. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    The other teachers have given you good advice and numbers. I am going to suggest you -and all teachers feeling the same - write directly to your MP, then even higher. You may get a half hearted fob off but the more of us doing this then the more likely it is things will get done due to embarrassment.

    The teachers who have been vocal and involved the media have created the present situation where, at last, people who used to hide and simply say 'oh the only ones leaving are the incompetent ones, worry not' are being forced to admit failure.

    But the hard truth is if experienced teachers just quit and keep going silently, they can and will be replaced by 20 odd year old newbies at half the price and newbies who will not admit to any pressures before they, too, cannot take it any more (usually 3-5) years.

    I hope you feel better soon. You have said you cannot just bin 90% of the paperwork as I did to survive when in the UK ( trust me, no-one noticed, no-one cared)but you will have to. Likewise use plans and help from the net but teach your own lessons based on these plans rather than spending all day Sunday on them.....and still having to adjust it all anyhow.

    In essence just tick the boxes you need to with minimum effort, teach then with all your energy.
    jomaimai likes this.

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