TesWhen I was asked to write an article for the TES about my experiences with anxiety and depression as a teacher and the more general issue of teachers’ mental health, I was delighted. If you are a teacher reading this I hope that you won’t be able to identify with it but unfortunately it is a far too familiar tale.
Something has to change but unfortunately public perception still seems to be that teachers work 9am-3pm and have such long holidays that it must be a dream of a job. We have to start raising awareness and shouting about the conditions our teachers are working in, the impact our current education system is having on our children and the horror that is the upcoming budget cuts. Hopefully the more we share our experiences the more chance there is something will listen and make the changes so desperately needed in schools.

TES Article: 

“Statistics about female primary teachers being more likely to commit suicide come as no surprise to this former teacher

When I recently read that female primary school teachers are 42 per cent more likely to commit suicide than the average woman, it made me angry but did not come as a surprise.

I am a very sensitive person. This seems to be a negative in society these days, but I know that it is my biggest asset. I care when children are upset and I care when colleagues are stressed.

But being a sensitive person made it almost impossible for me to teach. I was a good teacher and I enjoyed my job, but I would also regularly lie awake at night worrying if my best was good enough.

At times, the anxiety was crippling. Senior management would often criticise the one thing out of a hundred that I hadn’t managed to do. Parents didn’t notice the 29 kids I had managed to hear read that week, but were angry because I hadn’t had a chance to hear their child.

And it wasn’t only me. I would look around at my colleagues and see them drowning in paperwork, with little or no energy left for forming meaningful relationships. I heard teachers ask for help because they were waking up every morning feeling unable to face another day.”

Read the full article.

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