I took the decision and informed my Headteacher yesterday that I wouldn't be back in school any time soon. I do still have the cough/chest infection but said when I see my GP for a Fit Note (sick line) next week, I will be citing work related stress. I'm still incredulous that it's taken 2 teachers at the same time to replace me in my classroom and that will count in my favour when it comes to talking to HR!!
I've had so many lovely messages from my colleagues all wishing me well and saying I'm doing the right thing. They've seen me struggling for months and aren't in the least bit surprised. I've said I'm not hiding away and will be spending my time (once this fecking cough has gone!!) in my garden and at the allotment. And I'll take as long as it takes to feel properly well again.
The above quote is from a book called "The Teachers" by Alexandra Robbins. It's about the American school system but the findings apply to teachers worldwide. Teacher burnout post pandemic is very real and it's not their fault.
I had major surgery and went back to work sooner than the consultant recommended. I paid the price. I lasted seven years and eventually took early retirement on the advice of the Occupational Health official who asked me "why are you so set on returning to work?" He knew it was too much. Teaching is demanding and the more you give, the more you do the employers will just take. Rest and recuperate. Soon be time to get in the garden and watch the flowers grow, so to speak.ReplyDelete
It is so true - the more you give the more they want. It's the same in the NHS. Everyone deserves fair pay and fair treatment. My body is forcing me to rest, which is a good thing I guess. Hope you're enjoying your retirement. I can't wait! :-)Delete
I'm glad youre in no hurry to return. My daughter left teaching several years ago. She'd done over 10 years in a high school, teaching English. Since leaving I feel that I've got my daughter back, rather than the shell of herself that she'd become due to stress and anxiety and feeling she needed to drag herself into work even when unwell. The management team were horrendous, so her GP had no hesitation in signing her off for months until the end of the Summer holidays. Now, she works from home, doing something she loves, and has never looked back.ReplyDelete
Definitely not in a hurry to return, if at all. Your poor daughter, I'm so glad she got out and got her life back :-)Delete
Good, good, good. I think you are doing totally the right thing and I'm glad you are citing work related stress.ReplyDelete
Now - breathe and go gently into your brighter future - and don't go back until you are completely convinced that you are well enough.
Much love to you. xx
Aww, thanks Joy! I have no intention of returning until/if I'm well enough. I went to bed with a raspy throat and woke up this morning with a painful sore throat and a bit of earache on the same side. And still coughing up a ton of yuck!!! xxxDelete
Sorry you are feeling poorly again-this virus that isn’t Covid seems to be very hard to shift. Your tank is empty and you need to refill it with gentle care, rest and hopefully some bright spring sunshine. CatrionaReplyDelete
Yep, empty tank is the perfect description!! My Lovely Mum visited this morning and we did a wee garden audit. It felt good to be outside and see the shoots of so many things starting to pop up. Garden therapy is the best medicine!! :-)Delete
I don't know where my comment on your last post vanished to, but there I agreed wholeheartedly that you were doing the right thing in taking time off, permanent time off until your finishing date. That it took two teachers to replace you is an sure sign of how hard you have been working, and how much you have been giving of yourself to your class and your school.ReplyDelete
I think part of the problem is that teachers do not get enough support from the parents of the children, and are expected to almost raise the children as well as teach them. We used to hold our teachers in such high esteem years ago and this seems sadly lacking now.
The main problem for me (and my colleagues) is that I can't do the job to the standards required in the paid time. And because I'm working with children I can't just stop halfway through the day and say sorry guys, we can't do any more because I've not had time to prepare this task. Or write this report. Or attend this meeting to beg outside services to support a particular child because their parents don't know how to ask. There's no overtime paid or time back when you work in a school. When you're feeding and clothing children as part of your daily job then something's wrong with the system.Delete
Dunno where your comment on my last post went but yes, 2 teachers to replace me says it all :-)
An excerpt from a book review of 'The Teachers' by Alexandra Robbins: 'Politics, greed, and mismanagement have made this profession incompatible with physical and mental health. Teachers have to deal with students and their problems while juggling inadequate pay and resources, unrealistic workloads that eliminate any semblance of work/life balance, and pervasive disrespect for the profession, especially from parents.' ~ skyeReplyDelete
Scary isn't it? Part of me wants to read the book but the other part of me already knows exactly what's in it!! :-)Delete