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Should I go part time???

LubsLubs Posts: 155
Hi,
I've had one of those conversations where I nod my head while my husband continuously talks about the issue at hand. My problem is my job 'Teaching'. It takes a lot out of me both physically and mentally.

So the new topic today was for me to go in on Monday and speak to the head teacher and request to go part time, from five to four days. How will it impact on my life? Well at the moment I teach 19 lessons plus I have two cover lessons. By reducing my time by a day, I will not gain cover (yeah right - they always expect you to do one period on top of your lessons) and my lessons will reduce to 17.

My husband has just accepted a promoted post himself as HMI for Ofstead. So money may only be a problem until he starts the new job (two months). We can cope with that, but I can't explain why I'm not happy! Yes I'm very happy for my husband and his new job. But I'm not completely comfortable with going part time because I will be using the free day to plan my lessons, is that why I'm going part time?

I guess I will just see how it works out for me!
Lubs

Comments

  • Megrose489Megrose489 Posts: 734
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can sympathise. I did a job share for quite a few years and found, as you've said, that the days I didn't work I spent planning. On the plus side, I was at home and I didn't have the stress of the classroom on those days.

    I know when I was working that I was given some free time at school for planning. Have you been getting that and will you continue to get it when you go part time?

    Good luck.

    Meg
  • LubsLubs Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Meg,
    Thank you for your reply. I am currently working on the laptop preparing to go back to work this week. My hands are in a lot of pain from the preparation work required in this new school that I joined. I can't sit for long, but have managed to work on and off since 8am this morning.

    I do not think people understand that you can't go into a lesson and just try to hope the kids will get on with textbook work. That is if the school you are at has textbooks. The one I am at has no textbooks for students, if you want to use them you need to order them from the technicians - a week in advance. Even then they only have enough for one between two/three students. So I am not in the position to go into a lesson unprepared.

    I already have no lessons on a Monday and spend that in the science office planning for the rest of the weeks lessons. It is just the rest of the week when I have a full day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and no breaks. My only break comes on Friday, when I get the second period off.

    I think by going part time I may start to tick the boxes required for early retirement. That is the only advantage I see by going part time?
    Lubs
  • LubsLubs Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    Thought I should give an update. I returned to work today, everyone was nice (apart from the HoD) who didn't even ask how I was. I found out that I had to fill in a form on return to work, which involved speaking to the HoD. I finally had enough courage to ask when we could meet about 'the return to work form.' She was busy throughout the day and told me after school. I waited after school, but then noticed she was in another meeting. I asked another member of staff when would this meeting end? She told me that they usually last an hour or so. I gave my apologies and left.

    In the morning By 9am I noticed that I was in a lot of pain in my lower back and was needing my walking stick more and more throughout the day. By the end I could hardly move. I do not teach on Mondays, I only had a cover lesson that I had to walk to.

    Tomorrow will be a different story as I now teach three full days. I spoke to a member of my union and they advised me not to go part time. They said that I should get OH involved. I have a GP appointment tomorrow and will see what he advises.

    Take care!
    Lubs
  • Megrose489Megrose489 Posts: 734
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So sorry that your first day back was so difficult and that your HoD was so - well, words fail me. I once had a Head like that who just couldn't empathise (or understand) at all. I think it's a good idea to think about what your union have advised.

    I hope your GP is able to offer you support and advice tomorrow.

    Take care.

    Meg
  • LubsLubs Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Meg,

    The GP fully supports my decision to stop working. In fact he was honest and said that many people with my conditions do not manage to hold down a part time job, let alone a full time teaching job.

    I am finding the throat issue is making it difficult to speak to the students in the class. My throat is painful to swallow food, it feels like something is stuck there all the time. The consultant requested an urgent barium swallow test. However, sometimes I can't speak, this lump is affecting my voice! Wait until the students figure this out! I will be needing a whistle!

    The test date is the 20th for the barium test, has anyone had one of these? If I find speaking difficult the doctor said to take time off work, I will be speaking to the head-teacher about early retirement rather than going part time. I will keep you informed.

    Take care
    Lubs

    P.s. The HoD wants to meet with me weekly for a probation period! I have been teaching for 13years and am now being made to feel like a failure due to one class, in which she undermines me in! We teach the same yr10 class.
  • maria09maria09 Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lubs
    I went part time as a staff nurse abt 4 years ago working 3 dys a week then as my Arthur got worse I went to 2 days and now I'm retired on health grounds.
    Working part time really helped I was less stressed and managed to get through those last 4 years which if I was full time I would have not lasted a year.
    My friend has been teaching full time for 26 years and through choice not ill health decided to go down to 2 days a week and hasn't looked back her stress levels have lessened and her energy levels have increased she is much happier now and wished she had done it years ago.
    At the end of the day only you can make that decision and you have to do what's right for you
    Teaching is such a demanding job just remember to be kind to yourself and make yourself some me time
    I'm sorry you are having such a tough time
    Maria
  • Megrose489Megrose489 Posts: 734
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lubs,
    So pleased that your GP is supportive - not so pleased about your HoD's lack of support. It must be adding even more stress to an already stressful situation. I've taught Year 10 in the past - not easy!

    You say you're going to talk to your Head about early retirement rather than going part-time. I think it's good to have all the facts in front of you before you make a final decision.

    I would suggest that you also discuss all this with your union. I retired early, but it was initially down to my husband's ill-health rather than my own. He became ill and I had an extremely difficult few months when he needed me at home and I had to take all my compassionate leave. Then my Head told me that if I needed any more time off it would be unpaid. It was only at that point that I spoke to my union, who were appalled at the way the Head had managed the situation and said they wished I had got in touch with them earlier. When my GP agreed that I would have to finish work to be at home for my husband, the Head wanted my employment to end straight away, but the union said I was entitled to be paid until the Easter (I was off sick myself by this time as my blood pressure had gone through the roof) and helped me to sort this out. So, I wish I had thought to involve them sooner.

    I don't know if your throat problem is connected with your arthritis, but at present I'm having treatment for Laryngeal Reflux, which causes the perception of the lump in the throat, constant throat clearing and croaky voice. I didn't have a barium swallow test, but a nasal endoscopy which confirmed my GP's diagnosis. The medication I'm now on has improved things, but I understand it can take a few months for everything to heal. Just a thought.

    Sorry if I've gone on too much. I hope both the barium swallow and the talk with your Head goes well.
    Take care.
    Meg
  • LubsLubs Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    I have spoken today to the HoD as she had to meet with me to fill in forms on my absence. She suggested that I try going part time before putting in my request to retire early on ill health. In fact she wants me to let her know next week Tuesday. She doesn't have to make any changes to my timetable, so it will be straight forward and can start immediately.

    My husband thinks it is a good idea. I will give the union a quick call on Monday before speaking and confirming it with the HoD.

    Thank you for you advice!
    Lubs
  • LubsLubs Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I didn't make it into work due to excessive pain in my left knee and lower back. However, I have decided that I will go back to work part time. I will let the HoD know tomorrow if I can make into work.

    Lubs
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