Please help(65 Posts)
I cannot cope any longer. I have an exceptionally challenging class, 80% of whom have some sort of SEND (some undiagnosed), including ASD, ODD, ADHD and dyslexia. The SENDCo is the principal and is unqualified and has no idea how to support these children, and sets completely unrealistic targets (at least one third of the class exceeding ARE and two thirds at ARE and none BARE, in any subject area). I have also been handed additional responsibilities that I cannot manage.
I have two small children. I have no time for them.
I am constantly fielding complaints from parents (for example a parent has complained that I may prioritise caring for my child over ensuring their child makes accelerated progress). I am averaging three additional meetings every week, after school.
I am at breaking point. I can’t stop crying. I have been sick from the stress. My hair is falling out. I am shaking all the time. I can’t drive safely.
I’ve been sent home from work today. I am in no fit state to be in charge of my class (my 3yo was up all night being sick), but of course I am now worrying about the work I have to catch up and the meeting I have had to postpone. Being signed off is not an option. Not being there is not an option.
Why is getting signed off not an option?
In the grand scheme of things a job is rarely worth risking your health and family over. And no one is indispensable regardless of what all bosses try to make us believe in order to apply more pressure.
Thank you for replying, isthis.
There is just too much to do for me to not be there. Reports need to be written, SEND plans need to be done ready for transition, school play is looming, we’re already short staffed for sports day next week, not to mention all the meetings with parents and the complaints that need to be responded to. I need to be in school, but at the moment I’m not functioning.
You’re not functioning, therefore you cannot be in school.
It’s not your fault, you have been pushed to breaking point by unreasonable expectations. Going in will break you further, and you need to prioritise your mental health. Your 3 year old needs you to be healthy more than the school needs you to sort sports day.
Get signed off!!!
You're not doing anything useful at school and are making yourself ill. It's not worth it. School will cope. Look after yourself as a priority for a change... because no one else will.
You sound ill and unwell. Your hair is falling out and you are a liability on the road. An averagely paid job should not be having this effect on your health. You need to be signed off for the sake of your long term health, and your own children. Someone on a higher pay grade than you will have to deal with the issues. That is their job. In the grand scheme of things, sports day and the school play are not important. You are. I hope you get better.
No work for you. If you try and keep going there'll be issues on many levels.
Get signed off!!
I was signed off by the GP before Christmas for 2 weeks (due to a virus). No! I can’t take it off I stressed! Mock exams, reports, end of term reports, another member of dept off long term, syllabus constraints etc etc.
MY DH restrained me from the front door. I was so stressed about the catch up, but my body collapsed, I was so ill.
The place didn’t cave in, and kept going without me. It’s the heads responsibility to sort organise your workload when you are ill/signed off - not yours!
Speak to the union to confirm if you need to. It most over taken off in 10 years, but I somehow felt guilty. On return, I realised I needed it - and entitled to it, I wasn’t well!
Neither are you.
You will return clear headed and more proactive afterwards. You need time to get better, you are not a failing if you take time off!!!
This is my new attitude anyway....!
Honestly I used to work in construction and catering health and safety and I've seen so many people push themselves with more and more overtime (100+ hrs a week) and it leads to at best a broken family and relationships at worse total breakdowns and inability to return to work for years in anything like the same role and pay.
And you know what when those people had accidents or mentally broke down (completly in some cases) the next day people commented, but it was dealt with and the site / work carried on with no major catastrophy. Regardless of how critical or important they had been pushed in to believing they were.
It really is just not worth it. Please go an get signed off, prioritise yourself no blinking sports day, reports and parents won't remember your name in 6 months.
Also you can but hope it will make your head / leadership see that they have to take responsibility for managing your workload.
In the nicest possible way, you are not indispensable. None of us are, at work. We are to our families though.
Think about where your priorities lie.
If you work yourself to death, work will employ another teacher. If you work yourself to death, your family can't employ another wife/mother.
I am a teacher and we do like to think that the school will grind to a halt without us. But it really, really won't. I've been teaching for 25 years and a school has never fallen or stood based on the absence or presence of just one member of staff.
Get signed off.
Please, please get signed off. You don't realise how unwell you are. No job is worth getting to this stage and NOT ALL SCHOOLS ARE LIKE THIS! When you're better, if you still want to, you'll have options for looking elsewhere. But for now, your priority is getting better. No-one deserves to feel like this.
Absolutely echo above post, you NEED time for yourself to get better, you will be no use at school until you are. Speak to your doctor and call your union, that is too much responsibility fir a class teacher and you clearly need support. Look after yourself and your family before anything else. Take care 💐
You need some time off to recuperate and then you need to start looking for a new job. It absolutely shouldn’t be like this and doesn’t have to be.
Please talk to someone at work. There may be a solution or help that you haven't thought of yet. Then get signed off. Next year your class will move on but your own children are yours for life. Looking after yourself is a priority.
Get signed off and then if you feel unsupported by the head, write to the chair of governors expressing your concerns about the lack of support for the children and explaining your absence. If not addressed escalate to the local
Education authority, offstead or the local
Dioceans office (if a Church of England school) or even social services if some of these children already have a TAC in place or any other intervention or support plans. It's your role to identify issues but not to manage all of it single handedly.
If you carry on without taking any time out it could be damaging for your own health and you need to think about your family.
Hopefully once you're off, they'll realise how much you contribute - sometimes it takes something drastic to get something done xx
Please at least show this post to your partner and parents/pil/and aunt & uncle - to get a clearer view
Senior leader here. Please take some time off. I would hate for one of my teachers to be like this and worried about time off. Look after yourself - it doesn’t sound like your school will.
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to me.
Unfortunately I am definitely going to have to go in tomorrow, as the complaints from parents have started coming in already (“I don’t pay ££££ a year for teachers to be ill!”). Most of the children will be off for Eid in Friday, so that will give everyone a bit of breathing space.
I would by concerned about the sendco not being qualified do you have a LA contact to call for advice
processedpea, we don’t have any contacts with the LA, we’re an independent school (not a group), and the principal is the owner.
You do not owe those parents or your principal your health.
Get signed off and resign. This is NOT normal. Your health is the priority here.
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