AIBU to say enough is enough.(24 Posts)
Possibly the wrong place to post this. I’ve also name changed as outing could cause problems.
I’m a Y6 teacher in a large primary academy. Each class has 32 children in. I’ve recently taken on this job after the previous teacher left.
I’ve come home today and just feel utterly broken by it on so many levels. I cannot cope with the demands of the class and feel like I’m failing (but I honestly don’t think it’s my fault). I am not equipped to deal with the demands of this particular class and I don’t think any teacher would be yet I’m expected to teach just as well and get the children through the ridiculous impending SATs.
I have 2 students who have suffered deep trauma and gave major psychological issues which present in extreme behaviour. Today, I’ve had a pen pot thrown at me, I’ve been screamed at and told to f@&k off. One of them slammed another child’s head off the table, pulled all of the coats out of the cloak room and raided other children’sbags. The other ran out of the classroom and swore through each classroom door on her way down the corridor. Both are under psychiatrists and have heavy involvement from other agencies but neither has 1-1 full time support yet. I feel for these children, I really do but their needs are so complex I cannot meet them in my own. I know all about avoiding triggers and confrontation and an acting on advice from others involved to do the best I can.
As well as these children, I have one with ADHD and 2 with ASD who also require a lot of support. One of my ASD children randomly screams in other children’s faces and upsets others.
I’ve had to search another child for alcohol (and found it), dealt with a cyber bullying incident and had a parent shouting at me for forgetting put their child’s homework in their bag (a child who is capable of doing this himself).
The head says she’s supporting me and is looking at what we can do but says that we are limited until funding comes through (if it comes through). She’s reluctant to make any swaps with another class as it will unsettle the children before exams.
WIBU to talk to the head and just say I can’t do this anymore. I care about these children but I have to consider the others who are missing out in vital class time because I’m so caught up with the very needy ones.
On top of this, my work loaf has become ridiculous. I’m s member of the SLT with a lot of responsibility outside of the classroom but because of the nature of this class, my release time has been stopped as the class don’t respond to other teachers.
I feel like I’m sinking here...
There's a reason so many teachers leave the profession. They are broken down, given no support, and are completely exhausted. This is no way to live. Please don't sacrifice your own mental health just for a job. It's time for you to make some big changes.
YANBU. Sounds impossible.
I suggest you repost in The Staffroom to get support/advice from your fellow professionals.
From someone who works in an over pressured NHS team, (currently recovering from a heart attack).
I hear you sister.
PUT YOUR OWN NEEDS FIRST.
OP I feel for you. It can be absolutely soul destroying and I've experienced this first-hand. You must speak to the head ASAP and give them something in writing as they're likely to take it much more seriously. Tell them that you're going to end up signed off sick if they do not get you some support. What a horrible situation for them to leave you in.
Do the parents of the other children not complain? I would find it very hard to accept inclusivity on children who have behaviour issues in such extreme. What if the pen pot had knocked someone out.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Not only you are expected to work in the worth condition possible but what about the safety and emotional well being of the rest of your class? What about yours? You need support. These kid need help. Your pupils deserve to learn in good conditions. What does the SENCO says about all this? Have these been presented to Lift? High need funding requested for TA support? There is plenty to be done... thoughts and prayers from the head are lovely but come on...
I went on supply, and it changed my life. I was worried it wouldn't work out, but it's made me love the actual teaching again.
There is a crisis in primary education which the government are trying to ignore.
Don't let it make you ill, it's not worth it.
Good luck in your new life.
YANBU. This is insane. I can’t imagine being a student in that class, let alone being the teacher! What an absolute nightmare. I’m so sorry OP. Sounds like you’re being set up for failure. It’s massively unfair to you and to the kids who are trying to learn in this context.
I initially trained as a teacher over 15 years ago, but didn't finish my NQT year due to the stress of being expected to teach (the part I enjoyed) and at the same time provide specialist care to multiple children. It felt wrong to try to force children to learn complex facts when they really needed support for learning differences or the hell they experienced at home.
I left, initially worked for civil service now support role in higher education. I wouldn't go back, but really appreciate the effort that you and other teachers put into a very tough job!
I’m not new to the school but new to this role. I didn’t have a choice about being put in the class and only found out I was being put there after I’d taken in the SLT role.
I honestly feel sick at the thought of going into work most days. Sometimes, I feel so on edge when teaching, I get dizzy.
I’m constantly trying to act like all is cupcakes and rainbows for the other poor kids whilst looking out for whatever awful situation might kick off next.
Putting something in writing is a good idea. It will probably be an easier way for me to communicate without breaking down and getting emotional as well as getting the head to take it more seriously.
@serin, that must have been terrifying. Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope you find yourself in a much less stressful work situation
Have just left my job, for similar reasons. I could feel myself burning out and no one would / could stop it, even though they saw it too. Making the decision has been a revelation. It is just a job and we can’t take the burden home with us every night, it is impossible to sustain. Look after yourself first and foremost!
Parents complain all of the time. Luckily, a lot of them seem to have realised that this is entirely out of my hands so now go to the head directly.
Our SENCO is....I have no polite words.....
Can you send this to the Dept of Education, or make it very public some other way?
Do what I should have done and get yourself signed off with stress, before your "dizzy spells" become something much worse. When did you last have your blood pressure monitored? Get yourself off to see your GP.
I think I might have made it too public already. The incidents are so specific I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been seen and gets back to the head. Probably wasn’t the smartest thing for me to post this...but it’s done now.
Also, my blood pressure is always low. It’s a while since I’ve had it checked though.
Dizziness for me is a typical anxiety symptom. Definitely time to step back and evaluate.
Hi, I hope your week has been better.. As I reread your message I realised you were a y6 teacher. Honestly, I guess the head and the SENCO are probably on a waiting game: we're end of March, by July these kid will be out of school and then it will be someone else's problem. If those problem have not been addressed by now, there is very little chance for them to be addressed in the next few months... Take a moment to think of what the school could do to support you going through to the end of the year, put it in writing, contact your union if you need to and make an appointment with the head. Good luck.
YANBU. That is unreal. You poor thing. I hope that dizziness is your low blood pressure, rather than vertigo.
Another former teacher here. Don’t let it get to the stage I did where I was signed off with stress. Was awful. Was a teacher for over a decade but that last year was very bad. There’s no money and no support. I work in an office for a charity now and I can’t tell you how much healthier I feel mentally. Sadly, teaching is broken.
Firstly, don’t worry about your post being too identifying. It’s not, it’s happening in thousands of schools across the country. The ‘inclusion’ agenda that closed all soecial schools and sent these highly complex children back into mainstream has destroyed education in this country. Austerity hasn’t helped but to be honest, even if the children get funding, all it pays for is a TA who may, if you are lucky, have a few low level qualifications to sit by the child and be a punchbag to divert them from the other children.
All I can suggest is to try to change schools. There are still some of us out there still who are fighting this. Fighting to get these children out of mainstream education to the few specialist placements that still exist even if the LA has to pay private fees to get it. Or find a job in mainstream private school. Difficult I know, as they have hundreds of applicants and no one ever leaves but keep looking. Go on supply till then maybe if you can afford it.
Ah, sweetie, I feel your pain! I’ve been debating for weeks if I should leave my school. I’ve had Year 11s tell me to fuck off, constant disruption, kids rolling their eyes when I ask them to do work/be quiet etc. I’m so fed up. I just want to teach! I’m middle management, so it would be reasonably easy to move, but I feel like I’d be letting down the nice kids.
Sounds absolutely awful. Definitely put something in writing to the head and to the head of governors. Have the school considered exclusion for the two extremes?
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