How do you pick yourself up after messing up completely?(9 Posts)
I have been a teacher for 10 years and have just handed in my resignation. The past couple of years have been unbearable and I'm really suffering with depression and anxiety.
I have managed to hang in there until now. I still have a few months left before I am officially due to leave. Unfortunately the pressure cooker I call work has suddenly come to a boiling point and I don't know if I'm going to make it through the week.
Our school is Ofsted obsessed, the past two years we have been living under a threat (mainly due to our head who is lovely, but scatty and in a panic.) For the past two years we have had to endure weekly meetings/threats about what ofsted expect, want, demand. We need to be outstanding, at all times, all pupils need to be progressing at all times, we need to prove this progress at all times, we need to create displays of progress at all times, and this has turned our school into a complete mess.
Since September our school has upped their ofsted obsession. Ofsted didn't come during the first term so our head decided to hold a 'Mocksted' to see if we would pass. I received this message during the halfterm break and we had it the following week back. After that it was lesson observations from the senior leadership team. The following week was a drop in observation from an ex ofsted consultant. Now this coming week? Another consultant who will be staying to observe our whole lesson before reporting back to the senior leaders.
Tomorrow is my day off and I'm going in to talk to my line manager about refusing this observation.
The fact is I've fucked up. I can not work under all of this pressure and I've have been dragging myself through the last few months by the skin of my teeth. My files are in a mess - a reflection of my thoughts. And I have to say in my defense - my students have been my priority through all of this. Unfortunately I have no paper work to prove this which is what they want to see.
So where do I go from here? I've already handed in my notice knowing I can no longer do my job. I'm just terrified I'm going to leave with a bad reference, no job prospects, no self-esteem or confidence and it's all spiralling out of control.
Bless you - what a nightmare. I would contact your union - who are you with? NASUWT and NUT are both on action short of a strike and advising members to refuse to take part in 'mocksted' inspections, and to have an observation policy in place. I can't believe that, having handed in your resignation they are still piling on the observations.
I don't know where you stand wrt references - but again union should be able to advise.
I hope it gets better for you - teaching can be relentless - I took a year away after my second year - just wasn't doing a good enough job, lost my mojo -looking back think I was quite depressed. I went back after spending a year in an office job - got better, got bored, went back. Was definitely the best thing to do.
Oh my goodness, sweetsoulsister it sounds like an absolute nightmare!! It also sounds as if you are stressed out to the max and although I will probably be flamed on here for saying it, would you consider seeing your Dr and being signed off for a while?
IME managers who pile on the pressure in a relentless way are often weak themselves. A good manager should be able to instil high standards without people burning out.
How are your colleagues coping? If this is a school wide issue then I imagine other people feel like you
I notice from your post you are part time, and I do sometimes feel part timers get the worst deal- none of the advantages of full time but often you can end up dwelling on the job even on your days off. I can understand preferring PT if your kids are little (and indeed I worked a 3 day week until mine were 4 years) but its something to think about in future jobs. You mention going in to talk about work on your day off which I don't think you should do. Take the time to try to recharge your batteries and look at future jobs.
I don't imagine all schools are like yours. It sounds like you have an insecure headteacher who lacks confidence in his/her own ability and is slave driving staff as a result
If your mental health is bad then do talk to your GP about taking sick leave.
It doesn't sound like you've screwed up. It sounds like you've been under an unbearable amount of pressure and you've reacted how most people would.
I don't really have any advice suffice to say that you need to just put this down to experience. It sounds like you have been struggling since this head came in so the problem lies with her rather than you.
When you finish, take some time off to get yourself together then get back in the saddle. You will be fine.
Thank you so much for all of your responses, I can't tell you how helpful they are to read.
This morning I went in to work to talk to my line manager and I thought if he wasn't able to help I would go to the doctor's to get signed off. They were supportive however and they have cancelled one of my observations. I never thought of going to my union - I will keep that in mind for future issues, hopefully I can keep on sailing through until April.
There are a lot of teachers and staff in my school who feel the same way, a small handful of us are vocal, most complain behind closed doors. And you are very right about a weak management team.
Thank you all again for the comments - hugely appreciated.
You probably need a couple of mantras...
"I'm doing the best I can."
"It will all be over soon."
Best of luck!
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