Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rock and a Hard Place

As you're probably aware, teaching in the UK is getting worse and worse. Shifting goalposts, enormous workloads, constant negative feedback, absurd performance pay, and so on. I'm going crazy with stress and can't keep up with everything I'm supposed to be doing unless I have absolutely no life. I could work 12 hour days 7 days a week and still never get on top of it all.

I keep reaching breaking point, then finding I can go that little bit further, then reaching breaking point again. I almost resigned for Christmas, but I was too scared of the money issues. Now I'm invested in these kids and want to see out the year, but the fight-or-flight response is on constantly and I'm living through a rollercoaster of adrenaline. This has to be my last year of this. Come summer, I am done with classroom teaching.

I'm going to try to get a job back in the heritage sector, with supply teaching as my stopgap until something in that field comes through.

But this comes with a price. I was hoping to have a baby in the next year or so, but we can't really afford one if I'm not in a full-time, decently-paid job in which I am entitled to paid maternity leave. Statutory maternity pay isn't really enough for very long, and I'd be wary of not having a job to go back to anyway. So if I take the plunge, and get out of teaching and into something else, I have to put off having a baby until I'm in whatever that something else turns out to be. At nearly 33, that's not a decision to be taken lightly.

And yet, it's simply not safe, mental health wise, for me to suck it up long enough to have the baby.

I can't balance it, and I don't know what to do.