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Help, don't really know what to do for the best

(4 Posts)
TeacherAnon Mon 16-Jan-17 08:17:32

I had to leave my job last year because of burn out. I have fibro and, after years of working daft hours, I could hardly function.

I've had several months off and I thought I was much better. A second condition has been medicated and I was feeling far more energetic and active. I planned to drop the responsibility, drop hours to part time and go supply. I've started a lovely role in a nice local school (supply), albeit with some disruptive groups (large numbers, a bit daft and need work to control). I teach 3 days in a row and they are pretty full on. I don't think there is any scope to change this and, as a supply, that I can't really ask for anything.

Within a fortnight, I feel shocking again. I am functioning at the moment, but feel like I'm on a downward trajectory. I really don't know what to do. This is scary because I need to earn, I like my job and I don't want to let anyone down, especially kids who have already had a change in teacher. I feel completely past it sad. They also took a chance on me after I explained my past couple of years. A couple of lessons were quite noisy - which is very out of character for me as I am usually very on-it and able to manage that with no difficulties. I feel like the one things I've always been very good at - teaching - is slipping away from me sad.

I'd resigned myself to tough it out, but I'm not sure that I can. It means coming home and going to bed as soon as I get in, plus 4 days off where I need to do as little as possible or I can't work at all.

Any reassurance, stories of hope or suggestions would be very gratefully received. I'm feeling pretty useless right now.

I should add, this is my first time on supply work too.

latedecember1963 Mon 16-Jan-17 11:29:21

First of all you are not useless! You have health difficulties and have taken steps to try to make the best of your situation for your health and in order to be a reliable colleague and effective teacher.
Being a supply teacher is tough. When I was at school I had no concept of supply teachers whereas today's pupils are much more clued up. For whatever reason Supplies tend to have a lower status than regular staff until you have had time to prove yourself.
Your class/ groups are probably testing you out. If they've had several teachers they may not even expect you to hang around for long. I know it's wearing to be faced with that attitude. At the end of each day make a point of mentioning something you've enjoyed about them that day and give them a cheery, See you tomorrow/ next week as they leave. They might continue to be hard work at times but most children cotton on eventually to which teachers care about them.
At home try to continue getting as much rest as you can. You'll be more effective with your planning/marking if you're not tackling it exhausted.
Of course it's easy for someone else to say all this, not so easy when you're caught up in it. I haven't sussed how to add pictures but if I had I would have added a huge bunch of flowers at the end of this!

TeacherAnon Mon 16-Jan-17 16:54:29

Thanks late. I'm feeling really rotten today - now have vertigo as a new symptom and am totally wiped out. I'm happy to stick out a job, but I can't decide if I am capable of it. Saying that, with the new symptom, I'm wondering if I have picked a bug up and that's why I'm feeling worse. It's so difficult to tell.

I don't know. I can't even plan today - I can only look at a screen/books for a few minutes at a time, which is not great for productivity.

latedecember1963 Mon 16-Jan-17 19:07:12

You may well have picked up bug, especially if your health is compromised to begin with. DH came down with a horrible cold when he went back to work almost a fortnight ago and DS2 and I have had vague symptoms over the last week. DH & I are usually immune to each other so it's obviously a nasty one. If you're incubating an ear infection that can affect your balance.

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