Here are all three interviews about understanding what teacher’s are going through currently, wrapped up in one episode.
Each time I spoke to the fabulous Cassie James, we kept running out of time, which is why I was invited back. Cassie shares my concerns about the profession and supports my campaign to government to help provide counselling to teachers.
The job of a teacher is truly sacred and much more than academically focused. We develop the whole child when they are in our class including personal, social and emotional well-being. We help children understand healthy habits, boundaries with others and ways to communicate well with different people.
the job doesn’t allow for much attention to personal issues, or even sickness
It’s crucial to remember that teachers are human! They have lives, families, life events and go through tragedies too. However the job doesn’t allow for much attention to personal issues, or even sickness. The workload is extremely heavy and consistent pressure to do more becomes a way of life. Many live with perpetual stress, a sense of not doing enough and unhealthy work-life balance. Increasing levels of anxiety are being normalised by a culture of over working and dedicating more and more of one’s life to the job.
Many live with perpetual stress, a sense of not doing enough and unhealthy work-life balance.
Many who are also mothers have to continually choose between their job or time to see their own children grow up. Although this is the case in many other careers, it’s a particular shame when the very people who’ve gone into the job with a love and ability to work with children, do not have the chance in raising their own in the way they want to.
Statistics show that one third of teachers leave within five years of qualifying, the cost of which is in excess of £25k. They leave with heavy hearts, feeling they have failed and at such huge personal cost to their mental health. Losing the life long career means financial instability, a grieving process and usually a re-birth into a different field.
Too many teachers have left years, often decades before, the ago of retirement. I would even guess we have as many teachers as we do ex-teachers currently in the UK. Diluting quality through under staffed schools and losing so much experience doesn’t benefit our children.
Taking care of teachers by providing counselling within schools is a vital and small, yet significant step towards tackling the recruitment and retention crisis. Working six days per week, usually 10-12 hours per day leaves little time for much else and mental health isn’t prioritised. If we want our children taught by people who are real role models, then we must invest now. Our children get one education, they deserve the best.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, get in touch and invest in you. Your health comes before your job.
Thanks to Cassie James and Mighty Radio.