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How will I get through this term? (Mum diagnosed with Leukaemia) NQT

(9 Posts)
bumbleclat Mon 11-Apr-16 20:14:54

I'm coming up to the last third of my (successful) NQT year and on the Thursday I broke up from school 2 weeks ago I found out that my dear mum (100 miles away) has Leukaemia which is very aggressive.

She is on day 6 of chemo and struggling to breathe. It has kept me awake at night and the visiting, ringing, researching and supporting has left me going back to work tomorrow completely ill-prepared and disorganised.

My classroom is a mess, the displays are long overdue, none of my marking or assessment is done and I haven't planned for the term.

My head teacher has said all the right things etc take it easy, try not to worry etc. But I just know already how ineffective I am going to be just based on how tired I am from waking up with this huge anxiety at 4:15 am every morning.

I don't want to be so weak that these life events destroy my prospects and balance but I also need time to rest and cry etc.

It feels so wrong, my class have their SATs coming up and I feel like I've hardly given them a second thought sad

Thanks for reading.

hollieberrie Mon 11-Apr-16 20:26:42

So very sorry for you and your mum. This is an emotional topic for me so I'll keep it brief - but from my own experience of losing my mum, put yourself and her first. Yes it's a shame for the kids but they'll cope, they'll have many other great teachers - you've only got the one mum.
Can you take compassionate leave? Unpaid maybe to get more time? Or failing that just get signed off by the doctor - my GP was very helpful and sympathetic.
Seriously your nqt qualification and your career can wait - do prioritise yourself and your mum. The school and kids will be fine - it's usually better for you and them if you're not there when you're struggling anyway. Sending flowers for you, so sorry.

partystress Mon 11-Apr-16 22:07:16

First, i am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Talk to your mentor and maybe whoever looks after NQTs in your LA. It may be that you are doing so well already that the school have no concerns about you meeting the standards by the end of the year, but if it is making you anxious, it might be worth checking whether this would fall into the kind of exceptional circumstances which allow your NQT year to be put on hold.

SquidgeyMidgey Mon 11-Apr-16 22:22:02

My dad was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at about this point of my NQT year and I couldn't juggle it all. My advice would be to step down from teaching this term if you possibly can. It's a complete nightmare and I really do feel for you.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 12-Apr-16 07:04:18

I have no direct experience but I really feel for you. I agree with the others - speak to your HT, mentor, union maybe about possibility of completing the last term another time? Spend the time with your mum - the job just isn't worth it. You'll come to resent it. Wish you all well.

Ditsy4 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:33:22

So sorry to hear this news.

Do you have a TA or is there one in school you are friends with? If so, ask them to strip and recover board so it is ready for new work. Or would they be willing to help one afternoon after school as two people are much quicker than one.
Same with classroom. Could they tidy a corner a day for you?
Planning needs doing quickly try to concentrate on getting some done ( I know difficult at this time) perhaps a day at a time for this week. Marking set yourself a time limit in short bursts. 15 m at lunchtime then lunch and a quick walk even around the block can make a difference. 1 hr after school. It might not get it all done but their wont be as much of a gap.
By completing things in small chunks it will become more achievable. Even if you don't get it all done it shows that you are trying.
I'm a TA and I have often helped support people who have had similar stress in their life so if you have a kindly TA who doesn't clock watch take them into your confidence and ask them to help do some of these jobs. You might find they take on some others without you having to keeping level of classroom mess down. I sometimes quietly sort and tidy or mark at the beginning of lesson. I have happily stayed behind to do boards. I'm assuming you are Primary. I was in a Secondary school (evening class) where they didn't change the boards all year!
I hope you find someone to give you the support you need.

jellyfrizz Tue 12-Apr-16 17:30:01

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this bumbleclat.

I have to second what a few posters have said; spend the time with your mum, it really is more important than anything else (I say this with the cold, hard benefit of hindsight).

You are not going to be able to give your best to the children at the moment either. great advice in previous posts - speak to your mentor and head teacher to arrange finishing your final NQT term another time.

flowers Good luck.

bumbleclat Tue 12-Apr-16 20:01:08

Thank you, I can't afford not to work so I have to keep going with work even though I wish I could just take a few weeks off and be with her.
She says she was unable to breathe yesterday and it was really harrowing. sad
The small staff team at my school were so lovely today, sharing stories of hope and telling me they're there if I need an ear.
I think because I have had a strong first part to my NQT year I'll be okay- my mentor is writing my final report in a matter of months (quite long before the end of the summer term) so I can afford take my foot off the pedal a bit with their understanding.
If it gets really bad I will of course take leave and be with her she is experiencing horrid chemo side effects at the moment but I'm glad I've still got her thank you xx

seven201 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:01:30

When I was completing my pgce my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was horrible and involved scary surgery etc and I didn't really tell anyone which was silly! I just struggled through.

A couple of years later it turned into terminal brain cancer and I had recently started a new teaching job. I was so worried about not looking like I didn't care about school that I muddled through when perhaps I shouldn't have. I think I only had 2 or 3 days off when it was towards the end of her life. Looking back I do feel stupid for not asking for say the occasional Monday or Friday off so I could have visited for longer (she was 3 hours away).

Obviously mine is a worst case scenario type thing (and I'm not trying to scare or upset you) but you need to think about if you'll look back and regret putting work first.

Best wishes to your family X

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