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Not sure where to start...

Hi all, 

I had a friend of mine recommend I find services to better support my state of mind and thoughts, so here it goes as an attempt at least. 

I've been feeling quite...stuck lately, I guess I can put it the best that way. I am someone who can see the good in a situation normally, but I can't lately. A lot of new things have been thrown at me in my life the last few months and most of it has not been what I expected, wanted, or needed. For example, my role that I wanted and really worked hard for, was not what it was supposed to be here in the U.K. (moved from Canada specifically for this). I was to be a teacher with English classes while covering for others when absent, a mixed role that would be really good for pay. It ended up being just a cover/supply role only for the school. It has been challenging because I wasn't properly trained, thrown in with very little guidance and an outdated handbook, and no one knew who I was. Luckily, this point into the term, I have picked up on the role better, but it isn't what I wanted. Every week I feel a bit more miserable. I came into Education wanting to teach material I was passionate about, connect with students, see them succeed in my lessons and even outside of the classroom. Currently I am just watching students complete work on subjects I know very little about with a curriculum I only get to see bits and pieces of. My role also constantly changes, from being a form tutor and cover, to just cover, to SEN support and cover, to SEN/EAL support and cover, to just cover, back to SEN support and cover. All these changes make me feel like so lost and this feeling lingers with me throughout the entire day and into the evening. My standard of living has also been very low the first couple of months due to pay mishaps and no clear communication between my agency and I. Barely affording rent, food, transportation, my health and mental health has taken quite a low point. I know there is a ton of good things to come out of this experience but a lot of people/staff/friends/family are wondering what I want to do after this 1 year contract. Stay at the school and hope I end up teaching and learning the curriculum in this country, ask the agency to move me to another school, or go back home...and I honestly do not know. I am quite stuck. I feel like this experience can be good, I just can't see it between all the changes, lack of communication, lack of training, and lack of support from most colleagues, especially my manager. This negative perspective I have of this work life and living life in the U.K. so far has clung to me, and while I recognize it is good for me, I can only feel overwhelmed, uncertain, and lost right now. 

I am not sure what I am hoping for from posting this. Nothing really I guess, just want to be heard/seen, and if there is anything to be said, would love to hear from you. 

Sincerely, 

A young teacher just wanting to be a teacher and enjoy life again. 
Shaunie

Comments

  • CarolineVCarolineV Posts: 133 Moderator
    Hi there!

    Welcome to the message boards, and also to the UK! I'm so sorry to hear that things have been difficult since you moved here :(

    I hope that posting here helped you in some way, how are you feeling since you posted this?

    Your situation at the school sounds really difficult, have you been able to talk to anyone about this, a boss or someone at the agency? You say you're considering what to do at the end of the contract, how long away is this? Do you have any thoughts?

    How are you finding life in the UK outside of your work situation? Have you been able to make some friends or enjoy any interests? Sometimes people find that having a focus outside of work, especially if work is a negative situation, can really help their mental health.

    We all care about you here at The Mix, we see you and we hope things improve soon

    Caroline

  • VioletDraganVioletDragan Posts: 8 Newbie
    Hey! 

    I've felt a little better just getting that off my chest though some of my friendships I've been shying away from, so better, but still some setbacks I suppose. 

    Everyone I've talked too has told me just the good things about this situation or experience, not really about advice on what to do after this year with the school is over. My contract with the school is 1 year, but I am over here on a 2 year visa so I am hoping to make the most of that visa and be here for the full 2 years. I miss Further Education quite a bit, and been leaning towards messaging my agency to see if any of those colleges still work with them and if maybe I can get an interview with some other school, but my stubborn self is saying, no. Stay at the school, ride it out, really learn and grow here with secondary students. Hence, the feeling of being "stuck." :/ 

    I actually quite enjoy living here in the U.K.! Transportation here is easier and way more accessible than in Canada, the history and arts scene here in London is amazing and I am so close to mainland Europe via train or plane that is astonishes me how many potential countries I can see in two years.  I have a lot of interests and little bucket list items to do so that's nice, but I haven't really met anyone wanting to do those same things with me. I am used to travelling alone, so that isn't a big deal, but other than work mates, roommates, and a Dungeons and Dragons group I sometimes can make it too, no really new friends or anyone to do the things I want to do with. 

    Thank you so much, it's a weird thing how one big part of your life affects the other little parts negativity wise...

    Violet
    Shaunie
  • MikeMike Posts: 1,636 Staff Moderator
    Welcome again, @VioletDragan. Cool to see you posting. 

    As @CarolineV said, it sucks to hear things have been so rough since you got to the UK. It sounds like you were promised a role different from the one you were actually given, which would be unfortunate in any case, but much more so when you've moved to a new country for it.

    I miss Further Education quite a bit, and been leaning towards messaging my agency to see if any of those colleges still work with them and if maybe I can get an interview with some other school, but my stubborn self is saying, no. Stay at the school, ride it out, really learn and grow here with secondary students. Hence, the feeling of being "stuck." :/  

    It's awesome that you're finding the drive to learn and grow through something challenging - not always easy to maintain that when things are tough. I would say, though, that if you have been mislead and what you're left with is taking a toll on your happiness, it's totally fine not to be okay with that. I guess there's a difference between a healthy challenge and an unhealthy challenge.

    Which category this would fall into is of course down to your judgement - just highlighting that wanting something better for yourself isn't something to feel guilty about; it's not a crime to look out for your wellbeing and seek opportunities that suit you. :) 

    Being in the UK certainly does have its advantages - the close travel destinations are certainly one of them! Definitely worth making the most of while you're here. You can pretty easily make it to most European countries over the weekend.

    Realise it's been a few days since you last posted - how have things been towards the end of this week?
    this too shall pass

    ---
    on holiday until the end of September
    VioletDragan
  • VioletDraganVioletDragan Posts: 8 Newbie
    Thank you so much for your response Mike, everything you've said I appreciate and resonate with well. My apologies for a delayed response, had a cold all week and just managed to survive work (yay for no sick days...). 

    I feel as though this challenge falls under both healthy and unhealthy at times, but trying to stick to the positive side of it the best I can. Healthy challenge for growing and finding out who I am as a teacher in regards to classroom management strategies is definitely good. Unhealthy in the sense that when days go bad, it will have an affect on me for the entire day and week even if things do not get resolved properly. Those are the days and weeks where it is hard to really be social and reach out and do what I've done here actually. 

    That being said, lately, and this week has been a strange turn of events for the better. My school finally hired a second person in my role and I've been able to meet with her and help her out with this difficult role. Basically giving her everything she needs right away, instead of waiting to find out through mistakes like I had dealt with. She is really lovely and appreciative so it makes me feel like this role is good and helping someone out also makes me feel really good too. However, there is that tiny little piece of me that wishes I hadn't met with her and helped her so she could experience what I did, but that's a petty response and something I've been pushing away and trying to ignore. No one deserves to be left in the dust, especially in a role as challenging as cover/supply. 

    Also managed to get a bit of feedback from a staff member who has come to observe my lessons the past few weeks so that's lifted my spirits quite a bit as well. I suppose everyone was right; you do need to just give things time to see it get better. Time is just.. well... slow. Very slow. 

    ~Violet 
  • MikeMike Posts: 1,636 Staff Moderator
    edited November 2018
    Glad to help @VioletDragan. :) 

    I feel as though this challenge falls under both healthy and unhealthy at times, but trying to stick to the positive side of it the best I can. Healthy challenge for growing and finding out who I am as a teacher in regards to classroom management strategies is definitely good. Unhealthy in the sense that when days go bad, it will have an affect on me for the entire day and week even if things do not get resolved properly. Those are the days and weeks where it is hard to really be social and reach out and do what I've done here actually. 

    I was about to ask how you think this is affecting your overall quality of life, but by the sounds of the next paragraph, things are looking up?

    It's awesome that things have improved and it's kind of you to be looking out for your colleague so diligently. :) It's probably fair to say you're still within your right to be unsatisfied with the experience you had, and airing those grievances may help avoid that happening with new staff in future. Is it your role to train/manage the new person?

    How do you feel about things overall after this new development? You sound bubblier than you did in your earlier posts - really glad you've found some positivity. :) 
    this too shall pass

    ---
    on holiday until the end of September
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