Working in education

Cwg23 Member Posts: 2

Hi - I was first diagnosed in 2016. Am a full-time teacher but beginning to feel it now. Wondering whether there are any others who work or worked in education? Any tips?


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 869

    Hi @Cwg23 and welcome to the online community,

    I am sure you’ll find plenty of members on the forum, some teachers, who have tips on how to manage well at work while living with arthritis. It’s often about knowing your limits and balancing your priorities - which can be challenging in teaching I would imagine!

    You might find some useful tips from the Versus Arthritis pages below:

    Do let us know how you’re getting on, and please share any tips you may have.

    Anna ( Mod)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 140

    Hello and welcome from an ordinary member with widespread OA.

    Whatever form of arthritis you have "challenging" is an understatement for anyone working as a teacher, adding to a job that is already both physically and mentally demanding. You haven't said what age group and subject/s you teach nor what are the most challenging aspects for you but if you are able to give a little more detail I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions for you here.

    It's so long since I took early retirment from secondary school teaching that the things that helped me will no longer be relevant but I managed to work for a further ten years after diagnosis before finding it simply too exhausting to continue. My main subject was PE but that soon became impossible so I changed to teaching English at a time when everything (including putting notes on an old-fashioned blackboard) was done by hand. I succeeded in sourcing a number of gadgets that made life easier, supplied my own more comfortable chair for use in my classroom and replaced the blackboard with an overhead projector and screen - redundant from my OH's college. Now you should find help from within Human Resources provision, which didn't exist in my day and I hope your place of work is better informed and more empathetic than mine was nearly 30 years ago. (eg I was denied a ground floor clasroom.)

    Whatever is suggested on this forum it's important to recognise that only you know your own body and exactly how your condition affects you so try things for yourself before commiting to others' ideas and be creative in your thinking. Most teachers are expert problem-solvers with a positive mindset so consider the options offered by experienced arthritic teachers and professionals then work out what is the best way forward for you and go with that. What may seem like the end of the world can become one of the best times of your life!

    I hope you receive lots of tips and are able to enjoy your job for a long time to come but if not, try to stay positive and be glad of the time you had for making a difference to the lives of young people. I had to retire at 50 and it was a both a financial and an emotional hit but I am always thankful for having had that opportunity in education and, with the skills acquired, have been involved with amazing voluntary organisations since.