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having a really crappy week

(4 Posts)
amarantha Sat 12-Sep-09 21:15:53

Hi ladies,
I'm having a really bad week and need to whinge. Sorry. I've started back at work this week after 6 weeks of thinking about nothing but baby (am a teacher) and have been knackered, I'm not sleeping, waking up at 3:30 and not getting back to sleep or end up lightly dozing until 5:30-6:00 when I get up and to to school. I'm working pretty much 9 hours with 30 mins to myself for food and loo time then going home and being unable to relax. Then its bed at 10. I keep being given more work to do than I have energy for, things I've been responsible for have been stolen making me feel like I need to replace them from my own pocket.
Dh and I had w blazing row on Thursday which was the first time id seen him since Sunday, we've never fought in the 5 yrs we've been together.
Then today I'd been looking after our dog who was out in the garden for 2 hours with water and shade when dh came home to take him for a walk. I decided to go with them and we collected another dog we've been looking after before setting off. When we got to the field near where we live we let our dog off who proceeded to run to the top or the hill as usual, we followed and when we couldn't see him we called him but he didn't come back. We let the other dog off who followed ours and they both then came into sight but our dog laid down and then rolled onto his side. When we reached him he was making a horrid whine and couldn't move. Dh carrier him home but in less than 5 minutes he'd died. I feel so responsible and sad, we'd had the dog 4 months and he was only about 2.
I'm sorry to put all this here but I just needed to vent how low I feel right now.
X

Armi Sat 12-Sep-09 21:52:18

I didn't want this to go unanswered.

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog - you must be terribly upset. Do you know yet what caused his collapse?

With regards to work, you're bound to feel shit. I'm a teacher too; I'm not even pregnant (yet) and am already drowning in work that there's no time to complete, it must feel a million times worse if you're also having to deal with pregnancy. Is there any way you can ask your colleagues to help out a bit? Does your school have a really short lunch break - half an hour sounds totally unreasonable to me, but I know lots of schools have changed their school day so lunch break is shorter. If lunch break IS longer and you're spending it dealing with students, then kick the little weasels out and give yourself a proper break. Just tell them you need a full lunch break (you are entitled to it, after all!) and whilst you're aware they'll be scarred for life they'll just have to live with it. Suggest they go to the library and take responsibility for their own learning for a few months. grin

Don't replace anything from your own pocket - it's not your fault that schools occasionally contain gangs of thieving little gits the odd light-fingered individual. Can you speak to your head of dept, or if you are one, your line manager? There must be some way of taking some of the load off you. Gawd knows teaching is knackering enough at the best of times, never mind when you're trying to grow a person in your innards.

Once again, I'm so sorry to hear what happened today. I hope you feel better soon.

amarantha Sat 12-Sep-09 23:42:22

Thanks armi for listening. It's all been too much. The vet suspects it was anaphylactic shock because it was so sudden. I'm an nqt and second in dept, our lunch is 40mins with a 15 min break in the morning, I'd love to have a few more moments but I'm finding that someone finds me with some -crap- really important question that has to be done then and there.
Are you ttc? If you are good luck
X

Armi Sun 13-Sep-09 21:30:02

I did wonder about anaphylactic shock - a similar thing happened to the dog of a friend of mine. It's just awful.

Yes, I'm ttc - if I can find the time/stay awake long enough to manage it!

Teaching is a great job (I love it) but if you're not careful it can eat you alive. Just remember - if something doesn't get done, it's not like being a brain surgeon - no-one will die! Ask yourself, 'What's the worst thing that could happen if I don't do this thing I've just been asked to do?' Usually the very worst thing might be that your head of dept gets a bit angsty. One trick I've learned over the years is avoiding the Corridor Ambush - you know, when you're wandering off to get a coffee and someone leaps on you, waving a piece of paper 'Aaaah!! There you are! I was just wondering if.....' At this point you have to stop them and say, 'Can you get back to me in ten minutes? [Please note, it's 'you get back to me', not 'I'll get back to you'] I've just got to do something urgently.' I swear - 9 times out of 10 they find someone else to do it or they send you an email which you can deal with in your own time. This works really well if you always carry a folder/diary/ piece of paper with you as you move around school. It makes you look busy, so people are less likely to ask you things!

You've got to look after yourself. NQT year is really really hard work even if you're not pregnant, and it's hard to filter out what's urgent and what can wait until after you've had a break. I would say that the only urgent thing you should be dealing with is your own health and that of your baby. Teaching is rather like trying to bail out a sinking oil tanker using a child's bucket with a hole in it; the workload is ridiculous and it's never going to go away so you need to come up with strategies to manage it without running yourself into the ground. You probably know all this anyway, but think about getting the kids to mark some of each other's work (tell your head of dept you're experimenting with Assessment for Learning), avoid re-inventing the wheel by checking to see who will share resources. Remember lessons don't have to have the production values of a West End show - you don't need to spend hours making whizzy Power Points when your objectives can be achieved with a marker pen and a white board. I don't know what subject you teach, but you might be able to work in ten minutes of private reading for the kids, which gives you ten minutes of peace to get yourself calm and sorted for whatever is coming next.

You might want to check what provision the school should make for you now you're pregnant. Ask one of the useful people in the school office - there'll be a policy on it somewhere. And speak to your mentor - it's what they're there for.

Sorry to ramble on; I think NQTs have a tough time of it and too much emphasis is put on being a 'perfect' teacher, when the reality is most of us who have been teaching for years are scraping by by the skin of our teeth and scrabbling along trying to keep up with everything. Chin up - it WILL get better, and you've got a lovely baby to look forward to.

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