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Teaching destroys me, but I cannot find anything else.

(47 Posts)
Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 16:49:04

I like the kids, but it just destroys my confidence. I get lower and lower every term, and only seem to revert back to the person I really am in the summer holidays. I was off stick with stress a year or so ago, am on Ad's have had tonnes of CBT and Mindfulness, reduced my hours, but I still hate it. Well don't hate it, but just feel crap at it.

I have looked and looked for other alternatives until I am blue in the face. Unfortunately we need the money I bring in, and I just cannot find similar money elsewhere. I would up my hours elsewhere if I could find something, but I can't. How do the rest of you cope?

Ilovemyrabbits Wed 11-Sep-13 16:54:40

I just wanted to say, I really feel for you. I'm watching a colleague go through this right now and she really should get out of teaching. Unlike you, she doesn't like the kids and her performance has been going down and down and down for some years. Have you spoken to your management about how you feel? Or about how they can support you? I know some people think teachers have it easy, but having worked in school and seen it close up, it's not an easy job at all. The six week blocks sound manageable, but actually, if you are struggling, six weeks in a class with 32 kids can take its toll.

It's not an easy situation to be in and I didn't want to leave your post unanswered. I hope you manage to sort out a solution that suits you and your family.

Have you posted on TES? You might get more teachers who've been in this situation or experienced something similar on there.

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 17:03:23

My performance hasn't changed. I always get good lesson obs , although they are part of he problem. No way am I speaking to SM about it.

CheeryCherry Wed 11-Sep-13 17:04:03

So sorry you feel like this.
Any chance of tutoring? There are many agencies who need staff.
Or if you don't mind the pay cut, become a TA. The best bits of school without all the responsibilities. Three TAs at my school are ex teachers, the pressure is off.
You must get out if its affecting your health.
Best of luck.

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 17:04:47

I think it might be resilience I lack rather than confidence...

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 17:07:36

But how do I apply for a TA job without SM wanting to know why. And then forcing me out for not wanting to teach any more if I don't get the job?

Ilovemyrabbits Wed 11-Sep-13 17:19:33

I would say that TA pay is poor but if you can afford to take the hit on pay it is a great way of staying involved with the kids and utilising your skills and qualifications.

Would agency work be easier? Less involvement with the politics of teaching and less expectation on results perhaps?

Genrally speaking, I think a lot of issues arise in school because teachers can't talk to the SM. Seems sad to me that we can't have a more open environment in this arena. Everyone is so quick to blame and heads are keen to push staff out if they aren't coping. Such a shame...

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 17:21:46

I'm not worried about the results. They are usually good. I just find anything knocks me back, whereas before I used to bounce back, now it takes a couple of weeks

muminthesun1 Wed 11-Sep-13 18:38:41

Coffeetrunk, what year do you teach? I have changed from KS2 to nursery and find it a lot more managable, no marking so a third of the job taken away, no demands on grade achievement, all about being in the present and just being with the kids. I used to feel like you and nursery has been a revelation. Never thought it was me, but now really into it. work load literally halved.... feel competent at last. Not stressed, leave at 4, no work in evenings. Good work/life balance and kids a delight and love their teacher! Would have liked to have stayed in KS2 with half the workload, then I might have felt like I was doing a good job.

muminthesun1 Wed 11-Sep-13 18:39:37

BTW, feels like best kept secret in teaching.... Shhh don't spread it! Someone needs to stay in KS1 + 2

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 19:42:48

I teach secondary, a creative subject. I've name changed for this thread. Nursery would be lovely, but again, it's down to cash. I'm at the top of UPS.

KatAndKit Wed 11-Sep-13 19:49:29

It was resilience i lacked and secondary teaching ended up really damaging my mental health. Cant help with alternatives as i am sahm at the moment but i am looking at moving into early years, hopefully something like working in a sure start centre. Teaching gives you a good start with working with parents. Obviously with a career change there will be a pay cut but what price do you put on your well being? I would start planning your way out. If you give it a good go as soon as possible you could be out by next summer

KatAndKit Wed 11-Sep-13 19:52:16

I did supply teaching for a while between quitting my job and having my baby. Pay was ok and leaving school at four was great. However it isn't a guaranteed regular income as so many schools have cover supervisors. I did ok on it as most cover supervisors cant teach French.

What exactly is the problem? I mean, what is it that destroys your confidence? You like the kids, you get good obs... this all sounds good! Where do the problems start? Would it be beneficial to start there and work out how you could make teaching work for you rather than to look for something else?

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 20:42:27

I don't know what the problem is. I just think I'm crap

newgirl Wed 11-Sep-13 20:50:55

But obviously you're not! Maybe you are tired, working hard and need tlc x

KatAndKit Wed 11-Sep-13 20:58:24

Might a change of school be what you need? Worth thinking about why you feel you are crap though as it sounds like you certainly are not. Putting cbt techniques to use when thinking about work might get you out of negative thinking mindset

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 21:21:24

Could be, but this is a nice school, and the staff are great. I can't put my finger on it, it's just the constant monitoring erodes my confidence so much. All the observations and inspections. Other people seem to shrug them off, but they kill me. I had a 10 min obs last year, which I thought was crap. When I got the judgement, it was fine, but it really knocked me sideways. It took me 2 weeks to recover. We had Ofsted in recently. After they had gone, I got home, laid on the floor and couldn't stop crying or move for 2 hours. My hands had bruises on them from where I had been digging my nails in for 2 days. It didn't seem to poleaxe anyone else like that.

KatAndKit Wed 11-Sep-13 21:39:15

I know what you mean,i had a breakdown after an ofsted visit which led to two terms off. The monitoring in the lead up was insane.

Coffeetrrunk Wed 11-Sep-13 21:42:16

But observations are meant to be supportive, but they're not. They just destroy me

joanofarchitrave Wed 11-Sep-13 21:44:53

Would an independent school suit you better, I don't know what the regime would be like? Sounds like you are a really good teacher, it is awful to hear how bad things are sad

thecatfromjapan Wed 11-Sep-13 22:02:38

I'm not a teacher but I really related to what you are saying and just thought I should tell you.

I'm the sort of person who could not cope with a job where I was being monitored and assessed and so on a lot of the time. I'm quite anxious, and have self-confidence problems.

I suspect that if I did teach, I, like you, would do quite well in the assessments. I'd make sure I did - I'm a bit like that. But doing well would make absolutely no difference - it would kill me by inches. The stress of being judged, the pressure I put on myself to do well - I know what I'm like - it would take me to the edge.

I'm wondering if you are a bit like that? If you can identify the thing that is really getting to you, you really can work out a way around this.

Teaching has many transferrable skills. Obvious transfers - tutoring, supply - have been mentioned but there are lots more - the trick is to work out what you really hate and then that will leave you with the outlines of a job you really would enjoy and excel at.

Good luck. Life is far too short to spend it doing things that make you miserable.

thecatfromjapan Wed 11-Sep-13 22:06:28

By the way, I'm not saying "Get me, I'd make a great teacher." In fact, I'm saying the opposite - I think it would pull me apart/I'd fall apart. What I mean is that I sense a kinship in you. I'm the sort of person who would try with everything they had to "do OK", even if it was something that was quite unrealistic. And I would never realise that I was actually doing OK, even if I was.

I really sense something of that in your post.

(And you are making me think about all the reasons that I don't want to be a teacher.)

Coffeetrrunk Thu 12-Sep-13 17:35:45

Yeah, that's about right, that's just what's happening. Wish I could find something else....

nkf Thu 12-Sep-13 17:46:02

You like the kids. They get good results. Your obs are good. All positive. Yet you still are unhappy. It might be looking at why. Are you generally unhappy. Clearly you aren't crap. Not based on external evidence. Yet you think you are. It might be worth exploring why despite all the positive strokes, you are unhappy. Sorry to hear you're having such a hard time.

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