Counselling for Teachers

Teachers,

I’m fighting for each and every one of you.

Thank you for all you do that’s beyond the scope (aka 90%). You’re changing lives everyday.

Like a marriage, I signed up for life to be a teacher. For it to be over in my 30s is really devastating to me.

Even worse knowing that this is not an exception.

A huge culture shift is needed starting with government who continue to make questionable decisions in their handling of the pandemic. In terms of education the lack of respect, investment and awareness of teacher working conditions by the government is unfair on a dangerous level.

The profession needs proper understanding and support. It’s clear by the number of misinformed comments I see daily about teacher holidays, short work days and weekends off just how hidden the realities are. The truth needs to be exposed.

Change needs to happen.

Now, more than ever, we need to invest in our teachers.

I believe that children should be cared for by teachers who are cared for and I’m asking government to provide free counselling for teachers within school.

I’m saddened so deeply by the state of the education system and have seen too many great teachers leave the profession.

The pandemic is causing even more damage.

It is not fair, sustainable or ethical to continue to run schools the current way.

Just as the saying goes, happy mum equals happy baby, so the saying I believe in is, teachers with good mental health equal children whose mental health is good.

The extreme working conditions in schools is a pandemic that has been going on a lot longer than Covid-19. For every teacher we lose, we are depriving our children of quality and experience plus, further stretching a system already at breaking point.

Action is needed now. Look at the numbers who continue to leave if you don’t think there’s a real problem with recruitment and retention. So many leave with heavy hearts, guilt and a sense of utter failure because keeping up with even the basic demands of the job (planning, marking, assessing, parents evenings, nativities, fetes, after-school clubs and much much more) is unrealistic. 

Save teachers from being casualties of increasing levels of stress, anxiety and unfairly compromised well-being. Our society is getting more and more stressed, anxious and depressed. We must educate our children in life skills such as compassion, connection and emotional intelligence.

The current education system prioritises achievement and results. What message does this give our children?

Invest in teachers.

The current system is breaking these beautiful souls and too many excellent teachers have left because they are not able to give more. They already give their lives and health. Making them choose working instead of family, time off and being well is not fair or humane.

From my campaign, I ask that qualified counsellors who are registered, insured and unable to get jobs provide a counselling within school. So many counsellors aren’t booked up. So many teachers are suffering.

Going to a counselling session if you are a teacher is ‘luxury’ there is no time for, just like attending their own children’s sports days, going to the dentist, or having whole weekends off regularly. 

We must invest in our teachers now if we care about our teachers, our children or our futures.

Petition by Priya Burton MBACP

Qualified Psychotherapist, mum and experienced teacher.

https://www.change.org/counsellingforteachers

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