Tes reports the president of the ATL section of the NEU teaching union has spoken about how workload “burnout” left her crying on the way to work and caused her to walk out of the classroom.
Addressing ATL’s last annual conference, Ms Sweeney said: “Four years ago, I walked out of the classroom, left students mid-way through their sixth form and felt horrifically guilty. I still do. I feared at the time that I was leaving forever. I was due to leave at the end of term for a job with the local authority, but two weeks before the Easter break my doctor signed me off with burnout. I was spent. I had a chest infection, had lost my voice and just couldn’t put myself through it anymore.”
“Add to that a testing and exam system that sucks the love of learning out of everyone. A system that excludes, off-rolls and ignores those with most need and those most vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. I left.”
Ms Sweeney said she had returned to teaching through the support of the ATL. “I wouldn’t have had the confidence to call for a workload survey, or approach my line manager about the chronic lack of resources and support being given to my subject.”
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