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Wish I wasn't a teacher because of Covid

(953 Posts)
NebularNerd Thu 27-Aug-20 20:08:35

In my family/friends circle, I am the only one who will be face to face with 150+ people per day with no PPE, no social distancing, nothing.

I have one relative who is not expecting to return to the office this year.
Another who now only works in the office two days per week, in a building where numbers are severely restricted, one way systems, spaced out desks etc.
Another friend who is also able to wfh for the foreseeable future.

I can't help but think that had I made a different career choice I would not now be faced with contracting a potentially life threatening virus and passing it on to my clinically extremely vulnerable husband or elderly parents.

I will go to work and try to ignore what's going on in the world and do my best. But I wish I could be made to feel safer - screens, masks, fewer pupils, something.

I hope I'm worrying for nothing, but it is getting difficult to sleep at night.

OP’s posts: |
LoveMyNewHomee Thu 27-Aug-20 20:10:21

Why will you have no PPE/social distancing?

MrsBlobby43 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:13:21

We've been told no masks, no shields, no PPE. I will be working with 4/5 year olds so no distancing for me either.

PurpleDaisies Thu 27-Aug-20 20:13:26

Are you primary or secondary?

MrsBlobby43 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:13:55

I've just had to accept it in my head and I'm trying not to get myself worked up about it.

motherrunner Thu 27-Aug-20 20:15:32

Same here OP. For the first time in my life I’m taking antidepressants.

No doubt the usual folk will turn up to say ‘just quit’ like it’s easy to throw away a 20 year career.

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:15:45

Well I started back at school about two weeks ago. [Primary school in Scotland] I totally agree. My brother works in a college and is wfh as is my husband but me, I have to go in daily to 31 children. One class is not mine so I am basically exposed in one week to 60 children in a confined room with just the advice to stand 2metres back and keep the window open. Its SO unfair. I have my mum in her 80's and its a worry i pass it on to her.
I was in school a week and despite sanitising hands and tables etc, i have caught a cold! A nasty heavy one spread by other staff despite us socially distancing in staff rooms!
Its shit.

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:17:06

..and yes, i have been a teacher for nearly 20 years. Its not that easy just to say fuck it and leave.

Nixen Thu 27-Aug-20 20:17:14

I do sympathise but at least you’re decently paid for what you do. My 62 year old mum will be doing all of that for what is basically minimum wage, as a TA. I’m hoping she’ll choose to retire earlier than planned 🤞🏻

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:18:01

Today it was reported that a few primary schools in a council area have had to isolate 100 children/adults.

PineappleUpsideDownCake Thu 27-Aug-20 20:19:06

Its all crazy sad

I'm in Adult ed so smaller classes but still worried. I'm amazed at what parents think will be happening?

Theworldisfullofgs Thu 27-Aug-20 20:19:19

I'm a governor and I feel awful about what teachers have to face. I think the guidance is shit. Clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable expected to be working as normal. I think the public has no idea.

(Irs rely complex, because I also want my ds to be able to go back to school and were trying to address a complex issue with simple thinking.)

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:19:21


I do sympathise but at least you’re decently paid for what you do. My 62 year old mum will be doing all of that for what is basically minimum wage, as a TA. I’m hoping she’ll choose to retire earlier than planned 🤞🏻

Thanks but my dh and my brother are decently paid. They still get to stay at home and protect themselves.
Its worse though i agree for your mum.
However, i am 52 so not that young.

Nowtherave Thu 27-Aug-20 20:20:18

I'm a teacher too. IMO the risks are minuscule (depending on where you are I suppose). I can't wait to get back to school. The amount of hand wringing on here from teachers gives us all a bad name so I just want to put it out there and reassure parents that hopefully, you are not sending your kids back to petrified teachers. I know of one staff member out of about 40 in my federation who has this level of anxiety. I have kids myself and the worst thing about all of this is other people's anxiety. I'm more worried about them spreading that to my kids than Covid (and vice versa). I mean no offence at all to the OP but perhaps you should consider being signed off work if you cannot rationalise the risks involved. I hope you will feel better when you are back in the busy swing of things. PS you need to speak to your head if you are not allowed to wear PPE and have an individual RA done. Our federation allows staff to wear PPE if they wish.

Utrecht Thu 27-Aug-20 20:21:41

I hear you. Secondary school teacher, worked in school throughout last term and going back next week. I’m particularly bitter as I’m currently in quarantine after a camping holiday in France - we interacted so much less there than we had been here, with me at work and DD2 at school. Out of quarantine just in time to teach 150 kids a day, in groups of 30. As if that’s safe. I’d hoped to see my parents between our holiday and the start of term, but can’t because of the quarantine rules, and won’t be able to see them once term begins because I’ll be a total virus vector, so they won’t be able to see their grandchildren either. It sucks.

BigPlanes Thu 27-Aug-20 20:23:27

I’m secondary so lots of exposure, I’m already back. However, one member of my family has been ill (not with covid) so we have had to self-isolate already.

I keep telling myself that people being out of the office, college and so on, is for the purpose of keeping infection rates down so schools can open. Is it better for young people’s mental health.

NebularNerd Thu 27-Aug-20 20:24:17

I'm secondary.
I keep seeing studies that say over 11s pass transmit the virus same as adults.
Been a teacher for 13 years & I have two young children and a big mortgage. Even so, thinking of leaving but still can't go until Christmas.
I can't actually believe this is happening. The government have had MONTHS to put SOME/ANY safety measures in place for teachers, but nothing.
And then you've got articles arguing against masks in schools....
And teacher bashing from every angle...

I know that transmission is relatively low, but it feels like going to work will be like a game of Russian roulette.

OP’s posts: |
mnahmnah Thu 27-Aug-20 20:25:02

In the first week back, we’ve got the parents of every child in the school (1200!) coming in over two days and an evening. Yes, social distancing and sanitising is in place, but it doesn’t seem very sensible in protecting staff and our families. As well as the students and their families. Then we have two more evenings in the two following weeks, including open evening for yr 6. Yes, around 100 families from across three counties wandering the school. Add on childcare issues for these evenings, because I don’t want my children to pass anything in to grandparents after mixing at school.

As well as being around hundreds of different students each day with no PPE. And even teenagers don’t follow social distancing well, judging from the occasions I have been in school over lockdown. So yes. I’m nervous.

Utrecht Thu 27-Aug-20 20:25:08

Yes, the risks to me, my students and my children are minimal. But the risks to the other people around me aren’t, and so I’ll be limiting my wider interactions again once term starts - not because I’m afraid, but because I’m reasonably responsible and don’t want to spread a debilitating virus.

BikeTyson Thu 27-Aug-20 20:25:22

I do sympathise with teachers and the guidance has been crap.

However, you could have taken a different career path and now be sitting amid the ruins of your business that you’ve spent your working life building up. Or have been laid off in an industry with little prospect of reemployment. Or have been a care worker operating without proper PPE at the height of the pandemic back in April for crap wages and no job security.

I’m not sure this kind of envy of those who can WFH (I am one of them - my workload skyrocketed from March to August, I couldn’t take any leave, I had to care for my 2 year old at the same time and it’s pretty much destroyed my previously fairly robust mental health) is really a useful emotion. If your circle of friends and family was a bit more diverse you might not be feeling quite so badly done to.

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:25:45

I have tried to abide by the SD rules in the class but part of teaching is that interaction. The children have to sit on their desk all day and are not allowed to go anywhere except at breaks, lunch or outside with me in the playground for outdoor learning and that's not possible when it rains constantl [ which it can do]. The interaction with children is really hard to avoid. It is part and parcel of teaching. It really is a struggle.

Appuskidu Thu 27-Aug-20 20:28:30


I do sympathise but at least you’re decently paid for what you do. My 62 year old mum will be doing all of that for what is basically minimum wage, as a TA. I’m hoping she’ll choose to retire earlier than planned 🤞🏻

Completely agree with this-TAs are paid buttons for what they do.

Why will you have no PPE/social distancing?

We have been told staff aren’t allowed to wear masks. We can wear visors if we wish but the science seems to suggest they’re pretty pointless.

We also can’t socially distance from the children as the rooms are way too small.

We can’t open the windows as they don’t open so good ventilation is out.

It’s back to ‘wash your hands’ like in March. It’s not much protection in jam-packed schools with hundreds of people.

We’ll do it, but it seems utterly ridiculous when I go into a shop and have to wait for someone to come out before I can go in to ensure there are no more than 5 people in a shop that is bigger than my classroom. Where everyone has to wear a mask.

I am fully expecting cases to sky rocket, people to die and schools to close. I’m sure I will be accused of not having a ‘can do’ attitude which isn’t very fair as I will be at work following orders, as instructed. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a very short-sighted plan which will end badly and put lots of people at risk.

It pisses me off no end that I know of nobody else who is going back to work with only ‘wash your hands’ as the risk assessment.

Utrecht Thu 27-Aug-20 20:29:06

Sorry - that was in response to Nowtherave - I didn’t mean to imply that others have no reason to be anxious, or that other teachers should necessarily restrict their interactions - but for me personally, that’s what galls me about the situation.

neveradullmoment99 Thu 27-Aug-20 20:29:21

I also have children at home. My dd is at home with a cold. She had a little rise in her temperature and i will book a test tomorrow but that also worries me. I do love the fact that they are back at school so i appreciate it from both angles.
The children here in secondary are wearing masks from Monday in high school.

IWantAPetUnicorn Thu 27-Aug-20 20:29:32

I’m pregnant and a teacher. I’m really worried. I’ve just been told to try and stay 2m away from 30 small children in my class. It’s not possible!

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