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Wondered if anyone can help. In May I started a part time maternity cover contract until Christmas, paid as supply,at a good school in Scotland. This was after a bad experience in my previous school in England when I was put on capability by the awful Head there. I got through this experience and moved away with my partner afterwards.That is a condensed version of the story
I have to do 60 days of probation which takes me to November as I work a 3 day week. After that I will be paid more - I was on MpS6 in England. Before the holiday the dept were assigned SOWs to complete to fit the new Scottish National 4 and 5 qualifications, including myself. I feel bogged down by this and I am expected to do work over summer when I am not paid for my holidays.
Also, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and each day is a real struggle to even get out of bed. I am on anti depressants but these are making me worse so I am returning to the doctor. I have felt like there is no point getting out of bed and that my other half would be better off without me. I have also started to have what I think are panic attacks and had one in M&S yesterday - sweating, heart racing, nausea. I get no enjoyment from anything and feel like crying and shouting all the time. I have not been able to get any work done as it's such a struggle. I don't know how I'm going to cope when I return to work next week with a classful of pupils, as I feel on edge and teary constantly.
Can anyone help?
Sorry if posted this in the wrong place
I am so sorry to hear of your dilemma....why you were given work to do over the summer when you are on supply beats me. Did you question it at the time? Is that the cause of your panics.....not getting it completed or well enough? Is there anyone from school you can contact who can help? I know there are some brilliant advisors on here who can talk you through the legalities of such a situation: union intervention etc. What I focused on was the fact that you have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. You are ill! All the symptoms you describe are clear indicators of that. It's not just 'feeling down' but a real condition which needs treatment. Has your GP signed you off as such? In term time it's more clear cut but in the hols we assume that school pressures relax. Not so in your case. You must go back to your GP and let them know what's happening. You will not be fit enough for September and should be signed off all work immediately. Depression takes a while to recover from with medication and it takes a minimum of 3 weeks for tablets to kick in. If they don't suit you, then you can try others. Prozac didn't do it for me but Citalopram is great for anxiety too. The GP should also give you a supply of Diazepam, only a small dosage, which you can take when having an attack. They are great. I found counselling useful too which can also be arranged thru the GP.
I'm speaking from experience missy. It was a hard one too. You need the pressure taken off and you need to do it now. You will feel so much better once it's done and the guilt will subside as you regain your strength. I know what you are going through. PM me if you like. I'll be here. Take care x
Thank you. I did not question having to do work over the summer as I was out of teaching for 16 months and wanted to make a good impression, as well as the fact that school were good enough to hold the position open for me when paperwork was late in being returned.I have done no work over summer and cannot face it. I feel silly as I only work 3 days a week which hardly counts as stressful. Only people I know at school are the department and I do not feel I know them well enough to discuss it. I saw the GP 3 weeks ago and am on lofepramine which is disagreeing with me. I return to see GP next Monday but am trying to get an earlier appointment. We return to school next week, Tuesday for me as part time. I really do not want to get signed off as I would be letting the school down and would not get paid either. I am waiting for an appointment to see a counsellor. I feel so lacking in confidence and again starting to doubt if teaching is really for me. I have started to apply for jobs outside teaching but still in education. I just feel like a waste of space
I know, I was not intending to question anyone's advice at all so apologies if it came across like that. I am determined to see the GP before Monday - it's a right pain to get an appointment!
I agree. You are ill, and although I can see your problem with needing the work, if you try to soldier on then you are probably going to end up off ill at some point anyway, and probably with a grotty experience of working whilst ill, which makes it hard to make any decisions. Go see the doctor, contact school to warn that you've not been able to do the SoW due to illness, and make getting better your first priority. Contact the JobCentre to find out what sickness pay/benefit you may be able to get.
Don't worry too much about the SOW, at the end of the day you are only at the school until Christmas on a maternity contract.
My guess is the process of capability has 'caught up' with you, it is easy to soldier on at the time but these things can take it out of you and cause things like depression down the line.
I know things seem bleak at present but get trying some different ADs and get signed off if necessary. Depression seems to be a self limiting illness and you WILL get out the other side and enjoy happier times. I have been there myself more than once.
It certainly sounds like you have a lot going on in your life right now - mostly negative. I know what it's like to feel isolated. I relocated alone 3 years ago and have made hardly any friends. If it wasn't for my daughter living nearby, I'd probably have been unable to cope. I never really fitted in at my last school either. After a whole year, no one was really bothered that I was leaving. So I can empathise with how you feel to a certain extent. As for letting people down, don't we all feel like that in this profession? Even taking a day off ill seems impossible when we are made to feel bad about it, mostly by ourselves but also by the school system of feeling like we are causing a nuisance to others. Yet everyone does survive it and cope. We are not indispensible as is always demonstrated by how quickly schools will get rid of us. I understand that your school has been highly supportive of you so the pressure to continue is going to be strong but they would manage without you and would understand the situation you are in. Being on supply doesn't bring you the security or salary so I completely see where your extra dilemma comes from.
So missy, it's time to take stock of everything and prioritise what's most important - your health and wellbeing. Then you will need to try and sort out the other issues relating to your life and career. You may need some help here which is where the counselling comes in. An impersonal, rational mind always seems to make us verbalise what we actual feel and want.
Things do get better. These days do pass. There is hope. You are not alone. xxxx
There's so much stress being generated around the new qualifications, and every school seems to find the need to re-invent their wheels completely in isolation from their colleagues. Daft!
Your biggest adjustment problem may well be learning to trust your colleagues, after 'capability' proceedings under another system, which teach you to trust no-one and fear everyone (because they WERE out to get you. You weren't paranoid.)
Having worked both sides of the border my experience is that in Scotland the system assumes you're a professional, and tries to support you as such, while in England Mr Gove knows that the only solution for English Youf (and the Tory Party) is to make all teachers feel incompetent to do more than obey their Masters' tick-box instructions. While there ARE exceptions on each side, try and find someone to trust, and be honest with them.
And, as has been pointed out, you're on a supply contract, so shouldn't be being asked to do development work in the holidays, anyway. Especially development work that is best done collegiately!
Often, going off sick makes depression worse; your part-time contract seems a good compromise between workload and re-establishing confidence, so well done for finding that - especially at a time when established supply teachers in Scotland are having difficulty in getting supply contracts of the 'more-than-5-days' variety!
But do watch out for Diazepam and other benzodiazepines: they are highly habit-forming. Beta-blockers (the '-olols') are effective for anxiety symptoms, without impairing concentration or being addictive.
Counselling often helps - via workplace or union, NHS, or some GP practices have their own.
Try phoning first thing in the morning for the 'emergency' GP appointment slots on the same day, given that your need isn't non-urgent...
S3 is a kind of foundation, getting-up-to-speed year so one can do (at least in my subject) exactly what we did in previous years, at least this year 2012/13. S4s are still doing Standard Grades this year.
ADs usually don't work for the first couple of weeks (depends on the type), so do stick with them as you seem to be able to tolerate them ok.
Of course, that's not to say that you're 'ill' necessarily: it could really be that teaching's not for you.
But I'd hate to lose a colleague from the profession because of a hasty decision when under stress.
I'd talk to your HoD or Regent, and talk to your GP or counsellor again, or NHS24 (for what they're worth) before making a decision.
Don't forget your union can also support you at times like this...
Just make sure that any decision you make is about what's best for you in the long term.The most important thing is to find a way to be yourself in the bets way you can. :-)
misssoontobemrsWhat time should I be getting into school and leaving?I am on a maternity cover being paid as a supply probationer even though I taught in England for 6 years,I have to do 60 day probationary period. I have been getting in for 8 (school starts at 9) and leaving at 4.30 (school ends at 3.30)
It's not as hard-and-fast as in some schools (esp academies) in England, but that sounds ok to me - a lot does depend on local 'culture': I once had a HoD who arrived 5 minutes before the bell; she often stayed relatively much later after school, and expected me to be available then for meetings.
On the other hand, if there tend to be informal planning sessions in the mornings there would be no problem leaving the premises at 3.35 except when there are formal staff meetings.
The important thing is whether the work that needs to be done is done effectively. And most schools will understand about childcare commitments, or the need for car-pooling.
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