MS and being a Teacher!
Hello, I am new to this website, having recently been introduced to it by my MS Nurse (legend!) and being recently diagnosed (I am 33). I am interested to see how teachers cope with the work/life balance of having MS and physically and mentally being a successful full-time teacher (English secondary teacher to be more specific). I am getting pretty fed up of people suggesting 'try not to get stressed' when the word 'teaching' right now should mean 'stress'. Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi there @jurassicpark. We teachers are a special breed at the best of times. It’s really, really tough to convey to others in the school workspace what it feels like to be in our positions. Especially when our world is so compartmentalised into regular, structured boxes of time which MS doesnt fit neatly into. There is another in your position called @niccis who I believe was supported to change position to make working life easier. Have your school offered you an Occupational Health assessment? This would be invaluable. Also, have you consulted your union about your diagnosis? They will, I’m sure be a most valuable source of support for you, what with you having a protected characteristic! The other option could be do look for an alternative school which you might not previously have envisaged. As you know, here is a shortage of teachers so you will be highly marketable. Good luck with yourself and tackling your possibilities. It might not seem like it, but there are lots of avenues out there for you to pursue x
Hi @jurassicpark! @vixen is right, I did end up changing roles and I'm about to change again. I was an Assistant Head when I was diagnosed a couple of years ago and just found I didn't have the head space to do it anymore. A combination of fatigue, recovering from a big relapse, the usual constant stream of colds and other bugs, brain fog, the stress of the job and the uncertainty of a new diagnosis were enough to convince me to take my foot off the gas a bit. I had to change schools, but I dropped down to a Head of English post at a different school. It was more in my comfort zone, I knew the job and managed much more easily for a while. Over the last year I've been in the job though I've gradually realised it's probably still a bit too much of a drain on my resources so I'm going part time in September. The school have been great and said I can keep my head of English role on 4 days a week so I'm going to give that a try first. If I still need more rest then they'll let me share the job with someone else and dtop to 3 days or even 2.5. I think it's important to re-assess and make small changes until you find a situation that works for you, rather than anything drastic- and accept that things might change again in the future. Roll with the punches! Teaching is exhausting enough without MS so make sure you look after yourself. Send me a friend request if you want to chat privately.x