PASTURES NEW – PART DEUX


Whilst Polkadot Pink has always been a place for positivity and pretty dresses, there comes a time when, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s important to share the more personal side of life. For most, today will mark the end of the half term break. For me, the half term break has marked the end of six years of teaching. You see, halfway through this year, I decided to resign. Amidst tears and guilt, it was with a heavy heart that I submitted my letter of resignation to our Chair of Governors. Most people asked why I was leaving and whilst there were many reasons to leave, one truth explained it all – I felt like I’d lost who I was. 

 
In the time at my school, I’d progressed from a year 3 teacher who coordinated humanities and dabbled with music, to a year 6 teacher responsible for literacy and a member of the senior leadership team. It took me a while to realise the signs, but shortly after Christmas I no longer recognized myself. I’d become someone who lived to work, but not through choice. I’d turned into a shell of my former self. 
 
Each weekend, I’d need to work at least one day just to keep my head above water. It was a vicious cycle. When I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. When inspections or monitoring visits were looming, I couldn’t switch off or leave the house, even if the work I was doing wasn’t productive.I’d work all weekend trying to get on top of everything (those that teach will know being on top of everything is an impossible task!) Then I’d snap at John about the smallest of things, usually when he suggested a break. Thankfully, he grew to learn that I just needed to be enveloped me in the biggest of hugs. 
Remarkably, my teaching improved. How do I know? Well, my teaching was observed regularly, without notice, or books were scrutinized. This year, my observed lessons were in the double digits. Comments were always positive, so why I did I worry so much about my lessons? Because, I was suffering with anxiety. I’d wake up early with my mind organizing what needed to be done by daily briefing at 8.30am. By the time I walked into my classroom before 8am, I felt sick to my stomach and some days was I physically sick. What if I forgot a resource? Hadn’t pitched the work accurately? 
 
Each night, I started to ask John to ring me when I’d finished my work- some nights it reached 11pm. I didn’t even have time to blog! Working around the clock meant I had no time to shop for food. I began to grab food whenever I could, so it’s no surprise my skin suffered and my waist line expanded. I either ate too much, or nothing. There was no in between. Living alone was both a blessing and a curse. 
 
Then came the heart palpitations and the visits to hospital. The migraines. The vomiting. I’d reached my limit. I didn’t need a doctor to tell me I was stressed and sign me off work, I needed to leave my job.

We’re not to feel sad about this though, oh no! It’s not the end, I loved teaching too much to simply walk away and I will return to see my class at the end of the year. After all, my feelings are based on the actions of one government and the pressures that all primary schools face. Come September, I may return to teaching but just as a class teacher (I chortle inside, is there anything such as just a class teacher?) Come September, I may return to work based in my degree field of Journalism and media. Who knows? 

For now, the future is an open book and for that, I’m blessed.
As always, much love,

 

Come find me, let’s chat about pretty dresses! I’m here: