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Any good tips on switching off from school and focusing on your own children?

(28 Posts)
Asleeponasunbeam Sat 24-Jan-15 06:41:33

I'm really suffering from this at the moment. Every waking (and most of the sleeping) moment seems to be filled with thoughts of school. I don't want to think about it! I do the work that needs doing, but don't want to have to think/ worry about little Jonny's number bonds and Lucy's I last Big Write.

I know it's probably an anxiety thing, and I have had problems with that in the past, but it's nothing severe. Just really annoying and I feel like I'm missing out on my own small DC (2 & 5). I only work part time, but it feels like a full time emotional commitment.

I have the easiest work load in school, so won't be able to, and don't expect to, reduce it any further.

Just wondered how other people switch off. Thanks.

qumquat Fri 30-Jan-15 05:29:21

No advice I'm afraid as I'm in exactly the same boat. I feel so bad that even when I'm with dd physically I'm worrying about work. I am trying to do mindfulness exercises to help get me out of my head

Asleeponasunbeam Fri 30-Jan-15 05:48:34

Thanks for replying. I just logged on to MN to try to clear my mind of work. It's awful. I'm almost dreading the weekend because it feels better bring at work than thinking about work.

ElleMcFearsome Fri 30-Jan-15 07:13:16

Do you have any form of reasonable commute? I know that I'm lucky (I walk 1.5 miles each way) and that for some people it's a drive etc but I really try to sort through the baggage of the day as I'm coming home from work and then shut the door on it.

Caveat: I work in the pastoral side of a secondary so I don't physically bring marking home... but I do deal with the upsetting and emotional side of our students' lives so it can be easy to bring them home in my head and worry about them.

I think my life is helped by DH working in defence so he can't talk about work at home - it's not a routine we've got into ever.

Having said all that - I do fret about the students. I've taken to waking up at 3am (thanks brain) and have been known to reach for the smartphone and start googling and trying to find resources etc. It's tough isn't it sad

threepiecesuite Fri 30-Jan-15 09:11:48

I suffer from this terribly. I only have a short commute so I'm still fraught and tense and occupied when I get home.
When I can, I try to drive home then walk to after school club to pick dd up. It's a 10 minute walk and the fresh air helps me refresh myself a bit.
It's one of the worst aspects of the job though, that you can't let go.

GoldfishSpy Fri 30-Jan-15 09:13:41

I used to pull over and have a 20 minute nap in a layby before I got home so I was switched off from school and had enough energy to deal with my DCs when I got home.

40thisisit Fri 30-Jan-15 20:23:05

I too am suffering badly from this, at 42 I'm doing my nqt year full time with 3 children, I can't carry on this life style....

echt Sat 31-Jan-15 05:22:02

Years ago I felt I was giving my best self to my pupils and not my DD. I felt ratty, drained and preoccupied with work. I read an article in, I think, the Observer about journalist who went on a weekend self-hypnosis course. This was about 1997. I signed up for the course and it was excellent, no bollocks, no mysticism, no other products. Unpretentious and informative.

It gave me short-cuts to relaxing I still use today, once I overcome my urge to procrastinate.grin

None of the techniques are unique, can be picked up on Self-Hypnosis for Dummies, but the guidance through how to DIY was invaluable.

The company was called Lifeforce, but Google tells me there are lots of companies with at name now.

There must be reputable self-hypnosis instructors out there.

Asleeponasunbeam Sat 31-Jan-15 09:27:38

I can't believe how I have just shouted at my five year old because I was desperately trying to finish planning so we could spend the day together properly. She's so much more important to me really. I'm determined to switch off now till marking time after they've gone to bed.

KinkyDorito Sat 31-Jan-15 13:50:18

I can't believe how I have just shouted at my five year old because I was desperately trying to finish planning so we could spend the day together properly. I'm often like this.

I am very tempted to go outside and build a bonfire with the, frankly, shoddy mock exam papers I am currently wading through and dance around it with DS grin.

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 08:47:04


I was the same

I dreaded the weekends, because worrying about work and preparing for work was worse than actually being there.

I lost it with my own DC repeatedly.

I have now left teaching and taken a lower paid job, but guess what - it is far more PER HOUR!

And I am a human being again, and enjoying life.

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 01-Feb-15 08:55:45

I'm only part time and don't even teach whole classes, but the pressure is ridiculous and although I enjoy the teaching, I get little pleasure from it as I can't meet the ridiculous and constantly changing targets. Workload is crazy in our school. I've already taken a massive pay cut - from UPS3 to M6 - in order to get a part time role.

We are preparing for me not to work next year - childcare takes more than half my pay anyway. But I'm worried about losing employability in the future, having already lost so much with maternity leave and part time work.

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 09:00:05

I tried part time, it is a myth.

there is no such thing as a part time teacher, only a teacher who is payed less.

This is the austerity no one knows about. Pile up more and more work onto your existing staff until they crack, and go "part time" then continue to do what is still a full time job, but for less pay, and bingo, you are wringing more slave labour out of your staffing budget.

The sensible thing for the government to do would be abolish ofsted, and cut the work load of teachers.

In fact, why not cut it back to just doing a teaching job???

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 09:03:14

Asleeponasunbeam - teachers are leaving by the thousand. There are so many empty teacher posts now that you would be able to walk back in if you were ever misguided enough to think you wanted to. So many of my colleagues are now accepting short term supply only, to get away from all the pressure, that some schools and departments are only 50-75% staffed by actual long term teachers. Honestly, we get job offers pouring in the whole time, but none of us want them.

KinkyDorito Sun 01-Feb-15 09:07:11

It is getting truly ridiculous. Accountability is killing me in secondary. I am full time - my holidays are used to work and do the things I can't do in term time, like clean the house thoroughly, go to dentist, doctor, etc. I don't have weekends ever without at least a day of working.

I absolutely agree, Caronaim - more and more women with children who teach are going part time to manage their full time workload. Every PT I know works a day off. It is absolutely the austerity no one knows about.

Soon, school will be populated by NQTs who burn out over two years and leave. The wages bill will have dropped, but all that expertise that comes with experience will go. It scares me for my children. It's like nobody really cares about the quality of education that they get anymore in the state sector.

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 09:08:17

40thisit. No don't carry on with this life style. Get your QTS then leave. Don't get trapped on the treadmill with no way out.

Sorry if I sound angry, but I really am. I have left teaching now, and it was the best decision of my life, but when I think of what my friends are going through, and hear descriptions from them and others, i just think how can this abuse be legal in the 21st century? Isn't slavery against the law? Don't the UN consider sleep deprivation a form of torture? The things that are done to teachers are inhumane, but when you are in the middle of it it becomes normal, it is only once you are outside that you get a clear view of how horrific the situation is.

KinkyDorito Sun 01-Feb-15 09:08:42

And yep, we are staffed on a mixture of teacher exchange (from another country so need to learn), NQTs and supply. There are only a couple of experienced FT teachers. I'm one of them and may have to reduce or give in if it gets much worse in terms of workload.

WineCowboy Sun 01-Feb-15 09:09:08

caron what do you do now if you don't mind me asking?

And OP, I was in the same situation work and stress wise, but now don't bring any work home at the weekend. I stay as late as I need to (and get in to work at 7.20) to get it done at school. And I work till about half ten on school nights. Is there any way you could do this?

The only thing I do is check my emails on a Sunday night and that is stressful enough!!!

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 01-Feb-15 09:10:27

You're right, Caronaim.

I have a huge amount of experience and expertise so may take some time to get a more specialist qualification so that I can focus eventually on the bits I do want to do (SEN but NOT SENCO!).

Seeing the next term and a half as the end for a while might help me through it!

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 01-Feb-15 09:12:25

I definitely can't get in at 7.20 and work till 10.30 pm, no! I used to do that as an NQT and young, childless teacher. I only have childcare for the hours I'm at work!

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 09:19:03

I'm working for a temping agency, so the actual job, hours and pay vary, but even the minimum wage is more per hour than teaching! I'm also studying in my days off and evenings, to change career.

Caronaim Sun 01-Feb-15 09:19:55

The last couple of weeks I've been doing data entry in a analysis lab. It is fun and interseting, stress free, and paid more per hour than teaching.

WineCowboy Sun 01-Feb-15 09:22:09

OMG asleep have just pm'd you but spectacularly misread your last post blush......

Skatingfastonthinice Sun 01-Feb-15 09:22:51

I struggle with this for the last 15 years.
Naps are good, Goldfish. I did that. smile
Changing my clothes the minute I got in.
having a place to put my teaching stuff out of sight until I needed to do it.
Tai Chi helped, I'm not very co-ordinated and so I have to concentrate very hard on the moves. No space in my head left for thinking.
Likewise playing an instrument.
Not being married to a teacher, or socialising with them.

Then I left FT teaching after almost 30 years and went on supply.
That was the best answer. Proper, unbroken sleep. No marking at home. No planning at weekends. No worrying about children beyond the actual day I was with them. I've taught in a dozen schools this term and I love it.

WineCowboy Sun 01-Feb-15 09:23:17

Thanks caron I often have a look at other jobs but can't quite find one that utilises all the teaching skills we have!

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