Are the staff in your school really stressed?

(188 Posts)
christinarossetti Fri 15-Feb-13 22:49:48

A question for both teachers and parents/carers.

I've had a number of conversations today with parents and teachers from different schools and realised that there's been a reoccurring theme of teachers saying how stressed they are and parents saying how stressed the teachers seem to be.

Ofsted will be in our school next half-term, so obviously people very stressed.

Is this normal in education at the moment, or is it just the people I know?

exoticfruits Sat 16-Feb-13 17:23:57

When I was teaching full time and was feeling the stress every single teacher made the same comment - which was 'tell me about it!'

cumbrialass Sat 16-Feb-13 17:24:06

Butthis week I have to re-write all my IEPs and intervention maps, mark 90 maths papers, 30 reading papers and 60 writing papers, complete a unit analysis of all these, complete next terms medium term plan and literacy, numeracy and topic plans for the first week back, organise the events for world book day, timetable all the collective worships for next term and probably 101 other things that crop up! I'm having today off and starting tomorrow!

NobbyClark Sat 16-Feb-13 17:26:29

Yes it is very stressful. I do more and ordinary the evenings now, most nights till ten at night. And I work three days a week.

The pressure to be a outstanding teacher is unbearable at my school. Our HT is brilliant but has no kids and is just a dynamo so gets everything done double quick.
Most of the teachers are ok and just manage somehow but a few of us have had some stress issues. All related to Ofsted expectations I have to say. And as above, we are an outstanding school, results going up each year and trying to maintain that is really tricky.

I do love the job though and love the kids. I do get stressed though, and at school sometimes as well as at home. It impacts on my home life too and my children do suffer a bit.

But then the holidays come and I feel much better! grin

auntevil Sat 16-Feb-13 17:29:49

Whatever happened to employing teachers that were good at the job of teaching?
If schools want managers, statisticians, pen pushers, therapists, social workers, display artists, cleaners (sore subject! grin) then they should employ them too.
As a parent, I want the best teacher for my child. Am I particularly worried that her 'time connectives' weren't displayed effectively? Not really.
I digress, yes, most of the staff I know are stressed.

bluemintygel Sat 16-Feb-13 17:33:26

I think most public sector workers are stressed at the moment.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Feb-13 17:35:13

I think that most teachers will tell you they love the classroom,auntevil, but that is only about half the job (or less)- it is the rest they have the problem with!

ninah Sat 16-Feb-13 17:38:21

the school I am in has a low staff turnover (teachers) but high turnover of HTs. Loads of long term sick, stress and other. Teachers want out but have been there so long they don't feel confident of getting another job. It is a horrible working environment, because of the lack of leadership.
The last school I worked at was very different, there was stress around Ofsted etc but positive stress, with everyone working together and SMT supporting teachers by critiquing plans in a really positive way, was a lovely school.
So yes, stress is normal but good stress is tolerable, and can be productive - bad stress is just demoralising.

ninah Sat 16-Feb-13 17:38:56

how come you got so much notice of ofsted, op?

MerryCouthyMows Sat 16-Feb-13 17:52:53

As a parent, it frustrates me that the so-so and frankly inadequate teachers stay in the profession, and the best teachers end up leaving after a few years.

The teachers who put the effort in to effectively differentiate for the highest achievers AND the DC's with SN's are the ones that give up with stress.

The ones who teach to the middle, ignoring pupils like my DS1 who is working on Lvl 8 Maths in Y6, ignoring pupils like my DD who was still working on p-scales in Y6, are the ones that are still working at the school.

The teacher that tore up a DC's Maths book in front of the class, whilst shouting at that DC that they were being 'deliberately thick' is still there and now teaching my DS2 FFS, yet the one who took the time to give up every break time for a term and a half to teach my DD to write using cursive writing has left the profession through 'stress'.

As a parent, that pisses me off massively.

The best teachers can't do their jobs properly without excessive amounts of stress and no personal life, IME. And it causes them to eventually leave.

The inadequate teachers that just turn up, teach to the middle, never bother to actually mark the home works (frequently happens with certain teachers at my school, half a term with weekly homework can pass before they bother to mark ONE homework) end up being the only ones left.

soimpressed Sat 16-Feb-13 17:54:44

I recently gave up my teaching job because of stress. I was teaching in an outstanding school and the HT was determined to maintain that status no matter what the cost. Our Ofsted was long overdue and we were on 'high alert' for one and a half years. There are now no teachers at the school who were there this time last year.

I took the decision to leave after a very fit teaching friend had a stroke at 43, a teacher from a nearby school took her own life and a non teaching friend had a fatal heart attack at 38. Life is just too short.

I feel wonderful since I left. I loved teaching and was supposedly an outstanding teacher, but I hope I never have to go back.

Arisbottle Sat 16-Feb-13 18:45:26

I have posted a " yeah it is the holidays " post on FB.

I mostly plan to do bugger all this holiday other than plan my next holiday!

eviekingston Sat 16-Feb-13 18:54:35

I hope this thread doesn't disintegrate into a "oh you teachers, always moaning but you get such long holidays" type of affair. Very grateful for holidays of course, it's a massive perk, and I certainly don't spend all of them working, but even knowing you've got a them coming doesn't always compensate for the daily stresses of teaching.

Merry, exactly. sad I have tried both approaches - overstressed perfectionist with v high stress and several MC, then the teaching-to-the-middle-no-marking route (in my defence I did have a young baby then, but it was sooo depressing to work like that). Now I work pt in a job share and I still work every evening and will be planning for several hours every day during half term. But I can be proud of my work (some of the time, OfSTED and parents permitting).

MerryCouthyMows Sat 16-Feb-13 19:08:59

I can just about see how job share teachers do it - by working the rest of FT hours at home - but FT teachers? There's not enough hours in their week!

Arisbottle Sat 16-Feb-13 19:09:30

If my holidays did not compensate for the daily stresses of teaching I would leave. In fact if I was stressed daily I would leave . Why would you do a job that made you regularly stressed?

Misssss Sat 16-Feb-13 19:18:28

Because I'm stuck. There are bills to pay and I'm not really qualified/experienced enough to do anything else. I'm working as hard as I can to pay off debts and then I'm going to get a job in Tesco or McDonalds. Anywhere where I don't have to take all my work home with m

Feenie Sat 16-Feb-13 19:21:10

Because I am the main wage earner in the household - dh earns 10 grand less than me in FE. My salary ensures we have a nice holiday and Christmas. And because, despite the stresses, I really do love my job; I love the teaching part, and I am very good at it.

It's all the other crap that gets to me increasingly these days.

Feenie: "Because I am the main wage earner in the household - dh earns 10 grand less than me in FE. My salary ensures we have a nice holiday and Christmas. And because, despite the stresses, I really do love my job; I love the teaching part, and I am very good at it.

It's all the other crap that gets to me increasingly these days. "

Apart from the fact that I am now pt and we therefore don't have nice holidays or Christmases ... are you me?? Why FE is so appallingly paid is another thread, perhaps.

eviekingston Sat 16-Feb-13 19:30:35

Lots of people have to stay in jobs they find stressful unfortunately. I stay because I think I'm a good teacher and I hope I am making some positive impact on the children I teach. Although I only work part time DH is freelance and often only has short contracts so my regular salary is essential, and it would be hard for me to find another part time job for which I am qualified that doesn't involve some sort of pay cut. I also have a stupidly idealistic mentality that makes me want to "make a difference" (cringe).

exoticfruits Sat 16-Feb-13 19:31:23

I know teachers who now work in supermarkets because they can just go in, do the work and go home and forget it. I know lots of teachers who work as TAs because they work the hours they are employed for, get breaks, lunchtime and the holidays. I now go in for a charity, in a voluntary way. I turn up , work with the DCs and go home. The other volunteers are ex teachers - what other profession do you get people working for free because they love it,but don't like what goes with it?! I have written lesson plans out in triplicate in the past and I doubt whether anyone ever read them! All my friends who were Heads have left early - they were stuck in the office 'number crunching'.

noddyholder Sat 16-Feb-13 19:33:58

Yes I know someone who was head of year and now works in a book shop which she loves and salary not massive drop and she loves the stress free existence! It is a really huge responsibility and it does floor some people

Arisbottle Sat 16-Feb-13 19:55:34

That is so sad, you are much better off doing less and then staying in the career longer.

I am not the major wage earner but hope I would not stay in a job that made me feel stressed over a long period. I have odd periods where I get stressed but often the stress is coming from elsewhere and it manifests itself at work.

I get that it is different for primary.

noddyholder Sat 16-Feb-13 19:59:23

She isn't sad has come back to life smile

Arisbottle Sat 16-Feb-13 20:10:13

That is good for her, but it is sad for the children in schools who need a mixture of talented new staff and talented established staff.

partystress Sat 16-Feb-13 20:29:29

Yes, almost all the teachers and the HT v stressed. Half term is a break from the relentless build up of backlog. Chance to catch up and regain some sense of control before it starts again. I'm in my 3rd year of teaching and it is not getting any easier. I am both stressed and distressed - distressed that the impact on my family is just as great as it was in my NQT year. Before moving into teaching I had 30 years experience in a lot of different very senior international roles - I never felt as stressed as I do now. Finding it hard to be a good parent, teacher or partner and thinking hard about whether to stick with it sad

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