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I'm not sure if I can keep going on like this

(8 Posts)
Justbumbling Thu 25-Oct-18 12:15:18

I've just returned from mat leave. I loved my job before having a baby but now I don't know if I can hack it. I have 1 dc, it shouldn't be this hard right? There must be something wrong with me.

I lead a successful department but the year I was off results plummeted and now slt are on my back to get them up. We have a new department that was hired whilst I was off who can't teach. I have no idea why they were offered perm contracts (oh I do, because they are cheap). 1 of them will take on feedback but the other won't and can't see a problem. It looks like regular observations are necessary, taking up precious frees. They have no classroom control so I have been given all the bottom sets. So I spend all day peeling kids off the ceiling to then go home and fight with an overtired 1 year old to get her into bed. She wakes up hourly and it's a battle to get her to sleep every time. Evenings I'm just too exhausted to work so my weekends are taken up by planning. I haven't had time to mark books. My tutor group are taking all my time at school and my HoY just keeps adding to the workload and if I approach her about it like not having to do an assembly or ring home every time a kid is off sick, I just get told to suck it up because it's my job. Which I guess it is.

I feel like I'm letting my exam classes down if I go part time and my daughter loves nursery and has made friends so I feel guilty quitting as I wouldn't be able to afford the fees. If i stepped down as department head, again, I couldn't afford the nursery fees on a normal teacher's wage. I teach a pretty niche subject, that mostly only grammar or private schools teach, so I honestly can't see it getting any easier moving schools. Plenty of teachers have kids, more than 1 even, so I'm feeling a bit of a failure right now and I guess I just needed an ear and maybe some advice.

OP’s posts: |
SayNoToCarrots Thu 25-Oct-18 12:23:32

I feel like I'm letting my exam classes down if I go part time

Don't let this be a consideration. You cannot burn yourself out just to support your exam classes. Plenty of teachers are part time and your school should have systems in place that allows students to succeed regardless of how many days their teachers work.

Where do you live that you can't pay for Nursery on a normal teacher's wage? Are there no term time only nurseries near you? Or are you a lone parent?

SayNoToCarrots Thu 25-Oct-18 12:23:55

Sorry, those questions seem a little aggressive, which was not my intention

Justbumbling Thu 25-Oct-18 12:43:25

So it's sw London. All the nurseries are owned by the same parent company, so they can charge what they like. I've been on a waiting list for some childminders since I was 7 months pregnant but there seems to be limited around here. If i were to move her to a nursery closer to work, I would be paying 1500 instead of 1700 per month but it wouldn't be near my husband's work so the nursery run would be 100% my job and that would be difficult with parents evenings and open evenings. I'm not a lone parent and he takes her on a weekend so I can do some planning but the bedtime he's never managed to crack (not for lack of effort).

OP’s posts: |
SayNoToCarrots Thu 25-Oct-18 21:05:44

Gadzooks that's expensive! I used to live near London and paid £945 a month and thought that was a stretch. It doesn't matter how many children you have, a young baby is hard work, but it isn't just that that is the problem. You shouldn't have to just 'suck it up ' - your job is harder because they hired someone who is no good at theirs.

Are you important to your school? If you said, sorry, I cannot do this job with the workload you have given me, would they wave you off cheerily or would they try to keep you?

BarbarianMum Thu 25-Oct-18 22:47:26

Your dd is one. She doesn't need nursery (unless you need childcare) and she won't "miss her friends". Whatever you decide, dont do it on this basis.

shiningstar2 Thu 25-Oct-18 23:05:42

You have come back after maternity leave to lower results in your department than when you were there. SLT clearly want results raised yet they have given you all bottom sets which seems to leave the other classes to cheap therefore inexperienced teachers. You need to raise this now with SLT. The year is only half a term in so still time to change this. If they don't ...well if you point our the foolishness of this strategy now ... they can't expect you to be fully responsible for the likely results outcome. No way should any teacher be expected to take on all of the lower groups. There should be a fair division of all abilities. How else will these new teachers get the experience they need/ You are the experienced teacher with proven results and you should state your case now with SLT.

If you and husband are both working would it not be better to go part time for now? If you can afford it with some cut backs it will be better for you and baby. Teaching is relentless with planning marking parents' evenings ext ext after a full day's work. Add Department Head and a new baby into the mix and no one can blame you for feeling your position at present is untenable.

noblegiraffe Fri 26-Oct-18 07:54:41

Why on earth do you feel like something’s wrong with you and that you’re a failure? Plenty of teachers have kids, but there are also plenty of teachers who quit because they find the job too much.

You’ve got a one year old who wakes hourly in the night. That’s insanely disruptive to your sleep - sleep deprivation is a method of torture. Have you considered that the other teachers who have kids who cope are actually getting a decent night’s sleep? And probably have some reasonable classes?

When I went back after my first, who was also a terrible sleeper, I was a shit teacher. I spent most of that first year in a fog doing as little as I could AND I was part time. When I had an afternoon off instead of spending it playing with DS, I’d spend it trying to get him to nap so that I could nap too.

Does your DH help out with the wakings?

Things got easier after that first year, but now I’ve got two kids both in school and I still am part time and don’t think I could go back full time.

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