Another teacher worried

(137 Posts)
Toastybutt Sun 15-Nov-20 10:30:23

I’m really lucky.
We are allowed to wear masks and cases have not been too bad in our area. But it’s really starting to get to me. I’m vulnerable- as are many of our staff. Not very very vulnerable, but enough that, now that cases are rising sharply in the area, I’m getting scared.
Not just for me. I’m worried about bringing it home to my family - I’m the only one who has to go out to work. I’m worried about passing it on to a colleague. I’m terrified that something I do (or forget to do) will put a child at risk of getting it and taking it home.
It’s really starting to drag me down.
It’s Sunday morning and I already feel sick about work tomorrow. I enjoy my job. But we are working extra hours because of staggered starts, doing extra break duties, doing various cleaning tasks too. Plus I need to get work ready for isolating children, prep and teach amazing lessons because my class deserve it and stay upbeat for the kids.
I know lots are in worse positions, I’m lucky to have a job etc. I have no idea how teachers in secondary are coping. I understand it’s worse for nurses. I know all that. But I’m stressed and sad and it’s only going to get worse now for at least the next few months.
Just needed a whinge. Thank you.

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lesleyfish Sun 15-Nov-20 10:35:52

Me too. I'm 60 and have lupus, although not severely. Loads of younger teachers aren't so worried but I feel like a sitting duck confused

pombal Sun 15-Nov-20 10:42:06

Hello I’m an HCP, I understand how you feel.

Get yourself the best mask possible. Change frequently.
Be brutal about ventilation. Whinging children need base layers, hats, body warmers.
Any children with any symptoms - home ASAP
Avoid the staff room - only take that mask off to eat and drink outside, or in a well ventilated room, alone.
Wash hands constantly.
Wear glasses to stop yourself touching your eyes.

You can do this x

KatherineOfGaunt Sun 15-Nov-20 10:45:52

I'm just still going because I have to. I'm the breadwinner so I can't just quit, even though I'm worried about bringing it home. I teach children with physical needs so distancing is not possible at all. Then, when you hear two parents at pick up talking about arranging a sleepover for the kids for a birthday this weekend, you realise some people don't care sad

I do try to remind myself I'm lucky that I still have a job and a roof over my head. But I understand you feeling worried, OP. I know several people who have this "long covid" thing, two with bad "brain fog" (mother and son) and the son used to be a solicitor but can't work due to it. I'm scared this could happen to me (I have depression which hasn't been helped by covid and it's making me anxious).

It's all a bit shit, isn't it? Hugs to you, OP.

BustopherPonsonbyJones Sun 15-Nov-20 10:57:40

I could have written this. Many of us feel exactly the same. Do something nice today to give yourself a break from school and thinking about school.

AlexaShutUp Sun 15-Nov-20 11:03:33

flowers So sorry to those of you who are feeling stressed. It's a very difficult situation, especially for those who are more vulnerable. I just want to say that, as a parent, I really appreciate all that teachers are doing right now, and I have written to the school to tell them so. I have also written to my MP to ask what the government is going to do to make schools safer.

Many of us are doing everything in our power to encourage our kids to follow the rules so that they don't increase your risk, but I know there are others who think the rules don't apply to them. I'm so sorry that you feel unsafe at work.

Letseatgrandma Sun 15-Nov-20 11:06:18

Yup-totally agree with you. It’s the extra duties that are making things so hard at the moment-early and late finishes due to staggering, table cleaning at lunch and break time due to a lack of staffing etc. Then the normal job on top of that.

My NHS worker siblings are in a very similar situation, so this isn’t a ‘teachers have got it worse than anyone else’ type of post-just an, ‘it’s hard at the moment’ for lots of people, so I hope this thread doesn’t descend into a post where people reply saying other people have it worse as I’m sure they do.


borageforager Sun 15-Nov-20 11:08:07

I’m sorry you feel so unsafe at work.

My DC is off with symptoms right now while we wait for a test result, and I was gobsmacked that the head told me I could send my other child in while we waited for the test results. I’ve been thinking about it all weekend and your post has convinced me to send her an email reminding her of the guidelines & her duty of care to her staff. She might think it’s worth the risk but she can’t decide that for everyone.

Ashard20 Sun 15-Nov-20 11:13:10

Maybe the John Lewis kindness advert is spreading its message (sorry that was flippant)but how lovely to read a kind and genuinely supportive thread on the subject. OP, I could have written your post and feel just like you about tomorrow, but somehow on this Sunday morning thread, there is a real sense of all being in it together.
@letseatgrandma - I agree with you. Let'[s hope not.
Thank you everyone, for the supportive comments and to pombal for the practical advice.

Toastybutt Sun 15-Nov-20 11:15:06

Thank you everyone.
To be clear, my head is making us as safe as we possibly could be.
We have windows that open too, which I know is not always the case.
I’m lucky. I can’t even imagine what some other schools are like.
It’s the steady grind of extra jobs and underlying fear.
My class are just bloody amazing too. All the shit they’ve had to take on and they are just bouncing along like normal ten year olds.

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Didiusfalco Sun 15-Nov-20 11:17:12

I work in a non-teaching role in secondary, but high pupil contact - pay is not even good to counteract risk. Have underlying health problems. I’m really questioning my life choices at the moment. Anxiety very high. Totally understand where you are coming from.

AlexaShutUp Sun 15-Nov-20 11:20:55

Didiusfalco, thank you for all that you and your colleagues are doing to keep schools running too. We shouldn't forget about the contributions of those in non-teaching roles, who are also putting themselves at

Toastybutt Sun 15-Nov-20 11:34:20

Definitely not- I’m really feeling for the cleaners and lunchtime supervisors in particular at the moment sad

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Glitterynails Sun 15-Nov-20 11:35:32

I’m a pregnant teacher and I’m worried about covid and stressed with all the extra work. I have colleagues and pupils off isolating. That means I’m covering more or managing without enough staff as well as teaching AND providing remote learning. Oh and cleaning toilets and sinks and having no real lunch break. It’s all the extra things that are making life more difficult but we have no money for extra cleaners and no money for cover when staff are off isolating and no money or staff to sort out the remote learning.

Glitterynails Sun 15-Nov-20 11:36:55

Definitely haven’t forgotten the other school staff. That’s why I’m doing some cleaning and lunchtime supervision myself even though it’s ‘not my job’.

savagebaggagemaster Sun 15-Nov-20 11:49:00

Hi OP I hear you. I really do.
I'm a secondary teacher who teaches small classes of 16 year olds in a converted tiny office (no fresh air or ventilation) as well as bigger groups in old fashioned rooms with tiny windows that don't open properly.
I share a work zone bubble with 13 others, many of whom think 'it'll never happen to me' therefore they laugh, hug and almost sit on each other's laps with no masks. Many of them are younger. They also close windows because it's too cold. (I've opened them all again as soon as they leave the room!)
School say the work and classroom set up is fine. They think teachers don't need to stand at the board and have measured 2 metres incorrectly as a result.
Basically I feel like nobody gives a damn and the only thing that keeps me going is not wanting to let my classes down.
My dsis has long covid. She can't walk without becoming very breathless and this has been the case since April. She's stuck in the house. She's had a battery of tests and nothing seems to show up. She's ten years younger than me and it's awful to see how this has affected her.
I don't want to catch this virus or pass it on to anyone else.
I'd feel better if track and trace were made

savagebaggagemaster Sun 15-Nov-20 11:50:31

Sorry posted too soon:

I'd feel better if track and trace was much better and used properly in schools, if we had the quick tests available in schools and if masks were made mandatory in the classroom.
I'd also feel better if I thought I could get a vaccine but I won't fall into any category that's allowed it anytime soon. I'm slightly too young.

Possums4evr Sun 15-Nov-20 11:55:25

Toasty I've got up this morning feeling ok and after my usual morning dose of news I've just sat here crying silently - I don't want to go back in tomorrow but I will be, and I'll smile and do my best but I'm so tired and scared inside. More cases in my secondary now and my own children's school.
I wish the governments would take more action before it's too late.

AppleKatie Sun 15-Nov-20 11:58:35

It’s the steady grind of extra jobs and underlying fear.

Yes this. It’s shit isn’t it.

year5teacher Sun 15-Nov-20 11:59:13

Honestly you don’t need to teach amazing lessons every single lesson. It’s not physically possible to be constantly performing at your peak right now. I’m not saying stop bothering, but do not beat yourself up if your lesson quality isn’t constantly up to your highest standard. My kids did some of their shittest writing since September last week, because I was so tired and on the edge due to ridiculous pressure outside the classroom. Will they fail their SATs because of it? No. We move. I’ll do a better job this week.

0ellenbrody0 Sun 15-Nov-20 11:59:57

I feel you OP. I’m primary too. The fear is real, I can’t think of the last time I slept through the night and my hair has started falling out with the stress. One of my colleagues has long Covid and is a shadow of her former self.
But, kids and parents would never know because we’re all so used to putting on a show.
Take care. X

Toastybutt Sun 15-Nov-20 12:00:51

Hugs for everyone.
School staff, retail, healthcare. Everyone. It’s shit. And (unlike many people on many other threads, it seems) I have literally no idea what the answer is.
I declare this now a safe space to just let your feelings out.

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RingPiece Sun 15-Nov-20 12:03:45

It's a terrible situation for many at the moment. I'm so sorry. I hope the government start to put the safety of school staff on their agenda but I'm not holding out much hope.

I know someone who is teaching two year six classes. That's almost 60 children. They're adjacent classrooms and she has the door open with both classes seated to face her in the middle. Not one of the parents has expressed concern but all the staff have. There's no head or senco; they're also isolating.
It's stressful, unsafe and quite frankly, impossible. The other teacher is off with covid, tested positive last week. They are not allowed to wear masks in their school. She was working from home last time as CEV.

I hope someone somewhere reads some of these posts and does something.

RingPiece Sun 15-Nov-20 12:06:28

Oh and I've been helping her with planning and resources all weekend. I don't teach anymore but I used to and it's not the first time this month I've emailed an ex colleague with work. They don't get a rest.

Toastybutt Sun 15-Nov-20 12:09:37

I’m slightly concerned someone will come along and assume I’m saying schools should close btw.
I think children need to be in school. But there will come a point when schools won’t cope. We are already on skeleton staff. At some point there just won’t be enough staff to be safe, that’s what I think people aren’t getting, what then?
There should have been some sort of plan. I have no idea what. But this is not working.

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