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My job is making me ill

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
You may or may not know that I'm a teacher. I used to be a good one. My classes were well controlled and the pupils' results were excellent.

I started at a different school in September and have hated every minute of it. I receive some form of verbal abuse every single day - ranging from basic name calling to being told that I should die.

On Thursday I was prevented from getting out of a classroom to confront a pupil, who had followed me around throughout the day, by him holding the door handle.

I can't cope with my workload for various reasons - not given enough free time, no advance warning of what is expected of me.

I have asked for help and advice from my immediate line manager and more senior staff but none has been forthcoming.

I come home with splitting headaches every night and I get awful stomach cramps in the morning. I cry at the drop of a hat. Within minutes of being around pupils I just want to run away. I am irritable. I have no interest in sex or anything remotely active. I can't focus on marking and just sit around watching television repeats but that bores me!

I don't know what to do. I have my dream job lined up for September and I don't want to jeapoardise it by taking time off ill but I can't bear the thought of going back in.

Comments

  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    Have you gone from a school in a good area to a school in a fairly rough area? If so, then it is hugely possible that you cannot cope with the children. I am currently in a school that is in an extremely rough area of Sheffield (I'm a teacher too) and I love it. However, when I first went there, I was told that they have such a high turnover of staff because teachers just cannot handle the children - answering back, swearing etc etc. There is no shame in this, if this is the case - what suits one person wouldn't suit another. If I were you, I would seriously consider looking for a new position.

    EDIT: Or, as you have a dream job lined up in September (I missed that bit of your post :/ ) then why not do some supply until then? Or a temp job? It is still 2 terms away until then and I would seriously consider changing your current situation as 2 terms is a long time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If I'm honest the areas are pretty similar - both quite small towns that are quite insular. This school is bigger which in some way accounts for the poorer behaviour. Staff turnover is relatively high, as you say, because people can't handle it. It's not the kids that people leave because of though; it's the apparent lack of support from SMT.

    I do want to leave but the problem is that as my dream job is abroad, I could really do with getting paid over the summer while I get set up over there. There's also the issue that I now can't leave until the end of this term anyway and if I've got to stay 'til then, I may as well stick out the last term, where Year 11 leave and get paid over summer.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    Loopi wrote:
    If I'm honest the areas are pretty similar - both quite small towns that are quite insular. This school is bigger which in some way accounts for the poorer behaviour. Staff turnover is relatively high, as you say, because people can't handle it. It's not the kids that people leave because of though; it's the apparent lack of support from SMT.

    I do want to leave but the problem is that as my dream job is abroad, I could really do with getting paid over the summer while I get set up over there. There's also the issue that I now can't leave until the end of this term anyway and if I've got to stay 'til then, I may as well stick out the last term, where Year 11 leave and get paid over summer.
    Lack of support from SMT is the worst thing in a school. Is there anyone outside that you can talk to? Just even to sound off to? Or get ideas on how to deal with the children?

    Surely, the LEA must be realising that SMT are pretty poor if they have so many teachers leaving? *Something* has to be clicking *somewhere*, surely? Can you not talk to your union about it?

    It's a shitty situation to be in, I know, but if you can grin and bear til Easter, keep your head down and work your socks off, you have something to work towards in September.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers little missy. Emailed my union on Friday but no response yet. Going to the doctors tomorrow hopefully to get advice about dealing with the stress because I can't cope with feeling this bad all the time.

    I've worked through every behavious strategy pretty much but with little success. I did my NQT year in a special needs school and never had anything like the problems I'm having here.

    If it was just the kids, I think that I could deal with it BUT it's the unprofessional staff that bitch to the kids about other staff, the very odd dept that I work in and so on and so forth.

    Fingers crossed it will get better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My mum is a teacher. One school she worked at she was abused by the pupils a lot. She had her glasses broken by one of the kids throwing something at her head.
    It was so bad that the senior management were beyond being able to help.
    She got out pretty quickly.
    I think she'd tell you that although it is really shit, it really prepares you for anything... I'm sure this experience can only make you stronger, even if you feel like it's making you sink.
    My advise would be not to avoid going to the doctors... because like you say in the title of your thread, stress is an illness and therefore you should take it seriously. There's no point avoiding the doctors because you don't want it to affect the next job you'd like to get, if you get so ill that you can't even apply for other jobs.
    It sounds like you're doing well given the circumstances... don't give up!
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Hi Loopi,
    I'm sorry to hear that lack of support at work is getting you down. Littlemissy has clearly been really supportive and helpful, but thought I'd just direct you to TheSite's article on work related stress as you might find some of the tips on how to deal with it useful. I hope all goes well with doctor and union.

    Take good care of yourself!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Still no reply from the union. Can't book appointments in advance at the doctors. Work have rung me and I've ignored the phone because 1) I hate talking on the phone and 2) wtf am I going to say to them?

    Shit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you told them you're not coming in? You need to talk to them, even if it's just to say you're not well enough to come in today.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh yeah, I told them that yesterday. You'd think really that she might have called over the weekend to see how I was but instead she waited until she actually needed to ask me something practical and just politely tacked 'how are you?' on to the beginning of the message.
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