It’s the end of a long day and I feel emotionally drained after spending part of the afternoon sitting in the head’s office in tears – and then spending much of my evening in the same state. Not because of anything I’ve done and not because of any one thing: it’s everything and nothing at the same time. I realise that I am suffering from stress, complete with palpitations, racing heart and feelings of inadequacy. A primary school teacher writes in Tes.
I’ve recently returned to teaching after taking some time off to raise my daughter. I do love teaching and I thought that things might be a little easier after two years away. But, if anything, the job feels even harder now.
As the latest crying fit was the second incident within school hours, I decided that it was time to ask for help from the headteacher. This took a lot of courage and I thought I’d feel much better once I’d shared everything, but the headteacher gave me more things to think about, so now I’m even more worried.
She asked the same questions I have been asking myself as I lay awake in bed, then latched onto one or two issues she felt she could deal with. And then came a brusque “right, do you think you can go back to class or do you need a minute?”
I was still in tears and my eyes were red, but I felt compelled to say “yes”. I just splashed some water on my eyes and hoped no one would notice.
The headteacher asked if I have any “me time”, to which I laughed in response. Every spare moment I have once my daughter is in bed is spent doing school work. So, where does the “me time” come from? Out of my daughter’s time? Or out of the working-at-home time, which barely allows me to keep up with the workload?
I consider myself to be a strong person. This feeling of helplessness is hard for me to deal with. I’m not used to asking for support – and when that request for help is not handled very well, it only makes things worse.
Have you sought help from your headteacher and found a similar repornse or were they understanding and helpful? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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