How do you cope/switch off?(8 Posts)
I've just started working in a school; on the admin side as a business manager rather than as a teacher, but my role means that I deal with attendance and all the related issues.
I don't want to give details, but one situation now involves social workers and safeguarding and was quite distressing to hear about - goodness knows how those actually involved feel!
How do you stop yourself from thinking about it and feeling so sad for the kids? I don't want to become heartless, but equally, I'd like to reduce my emotional response; it's not my job to become involved with it, I'm not going to be involved (other than in a recording details if required fashion) but I can't stop thinking about the poor kids.
I work in a pru and I hear/witness heartbreaking stories from the children all the time.
I found that it gets better with time. I exercise whenever I can. I try my best to be my best for them and to make a firm, predictable, warm, caring environment for them that they feel safe in.
It is hard but caring - from an emotional distance - does come with time. Occasionally there's something still that floors me but talking it through with managers and colleagues is a big support when that happens.
All the best for your new job.
I gave similar issues in mine. All you can do is know you are doing your best for them. It is a system and you are only one person.
We are only human though and its hard to become immune to all the suffering and neglect you see
I have a pastoral role at school and I find it very hard to switch off even after several years. Apart from feeling sad for the kids I often lie awake wondering if I have dealt with situations correctly, what else I could do to help etc. If it's the middle of the night and keeping me awake I have to tell myself that worrying at this time won't help but getting some sleep so I am more refreshed tomorrow will.
I was a social worker,then changed careers and am now a primary deputy head,so have spent many years dealing with this.
I have a few ways,one I tell myself that I can help them more by looking after myself,so to eat well have a rest and laugh.
Laughing although my job is serious I try not to take myself to seriously.I also laugh with the kids and the staff.
This may sound harsh its not meant to be ,there is a difference between sympathy and empathy,sympathy is about your feelings,empathy is about theirs and I don't get to put myself in the middle of a situation.Empathy lets me focus my energy on them not on me.
Being kind can make all the difference your smile offer of a chat a biscuit can mean the world to someone in distress.
I have also been a single parent for nearly 14 years so have had to find a way to cut off as I cant help other peoples kids by leaving mine in the lurch.
Always remember its good to care,but never give away more than you have .
I don't think you ever switch off from feeling for at risk students. You learn to focus on what you can do to be a positive experience in their lives and give them hope.
Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'll be in the situation where I will need to do anything, other than file yet another report for the safeguarding people on staff so I don't need to worry about whether it's sympathy or empathy (although I get what feelingdizzy means), but it's more the feeling of "how the hell can xxxxx happen" or "why would someone do/say/not do something to or for a kid".
Distraction is good as I don't want to bring my work home so I'm investing in a thing so I can play my loudest music on the way home in the car and sing to my hearts content!
Keep reporting and passing on - it's all you can do, and somewhat frustrating when you don't know what's happening (if anything) to support the student - but of course, that's how it is.
I love yoga, I only do it once a week in a class, but it is an hour and a half when I switch off the outside world and only think about me and my body.
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