Back to Work? What? Really?

I’ve a confession to make. I think I might have turned into a crap teacher. There’s every chance I have. Unless you play the piano every day, or speak a foreign language, you lose the fluency. And that’s where I am. I last worked the second week in January. In my defence, I’ve been busy. First shingles, then a stomach infection, then pneumonia. Just as I was about to go back, I had a grand finale – slipping on the ice and shattering my humerus.

I’m a lucky girl. Work were endlessly sympathetic. They don’t even want me to go back full-time when I eventually get there. They’ve offered me a phased re-entry –  5 x 2 day weeks or whatever suits me best. Like I said, very very lucky.

I called in to see them last week and I had stage fright. It’s ridiculous. They’ve had 12 years of my life up to now. Some of my class were a bit shy with me. Schoolgirl error – should have taken Haribo.

The irony is, I’ve offered to go in and help interview for a post so I’m not the one who should have the nerves – but I do. What if I’ve forgotten what to do? What if my class liked their supply teacher better? What if the parents preferred her too?

When I called in, the staff were bombarding me with information – courses they’d been on, new initiatives, medical updates. I felt completely out of the loop. I’m starting with a story and a bit of a sing with my sheep. They might be shy of me but my sheep is infinitely loveable.  She sometimes forgets the words and  she never remembers how to count to 10 but she tries, bless her. I’m hoping she helps me through the first few sessions.

Incidentally, if your child’s school has a policy of no cuddly comforters I’ll get cross. If I need my sheep, then a nervous 4-year-old most definitely needs a cuddly too.

By the time I get back properly I’ll have been off over 3 months. How does it feel, I wonder, to be off sick for years rather than months? There’s a lot of hype about getting people off disability benefits and back into the workplace just now. I really hope that some thought has been put into supporting people to do that. If I’m in a panic about going back to a welcoming place with people who’ll help me, what must it feel like to be pushed into an organisation hostile to your medical needs?

I’d like to think this has been thought through. I have every confidence that it hasn’t.

About andromedababe

Schoolteacher,shoe lover,garden geek.Likes glitter.Any views on educational practice are my own and are not to be taken as endorsement of any specific educational theories or schemes of work.Note: this is my personal blog - not all my posts relate to education.
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8 Responses to Back to Work? What? Really?

  1. You’ll be fine. Just don’t try to do too much. Your class will be delighted to have you back, just you wait and see.

    And yes, I hate interviewing, too, but it’s never as bad as you think it will be, especially if you let the cuddly toy ask all the questions ;-)

    Lots of luck xx

  2. Loaf says:

    It always takes a few pushes until you’re back on the swing and flying high again; once you’re there, it’ll be like you never got off!

    I’m sure it’s the same for the kids too, thinking back to my early years and the shock of a new face (or one they’ve not seen in a while) walking into the classroom. But they’re often quite adaptable, easily won over and will be all over you in no time :)

    Good luck and hope it goes well for you!

  3. ambushpredator says:

    “Incidentally, if your child’s school has a policy of no cuddly comforters …”

    …it’s a clear sign someone has too much time on their hands and should never have attained a position of authority!

  4. I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’re just worried you’ve lost your edge. The fact you still care means you’ve probably lost nothing. I recently went back to work (different job, different company) after being off for over a year with back trouble. You’ll be fine *hugs*

    P.S. Love the sheep :D

  5. jools says:

    having a son who had a long term serious medical condition, often resulting in endless months off school..i can attest that many schools do not have a support system in place for children or teens returning from long absenses or indeed much understanding of the chronically ill so yours seems to be a good school..but having said all that having watched him throw himself headfirst back into education without any safety net four times now at various ages i can honestly say the headlong and hold on method seems to work! for him at least. i guess its a bit like getting back on the horse…you can’t do it in incriments. plaster on the fake bravery and take a deep breath…i bet youve been missed far more than you think…after all, you have the cuddly sheep! best of luck.

  6. I’m a teacher and had a staged return last year. I was off from Christmas until end of May after breaking three vertebrae. You’ll be fine. It was like falling off a log.

  7. I’m sure you’ll be great, you and the sheep…
    The simple fact that you re concerned means that you will be looking for and polishing out any rusty patches, and apart from being knackered you’ll be flying again in a week. But good luck, anyway.

  8. Catherine says:

    you’ll be fine. Once you’ve been back a few days you’ll forget you’ve ever been away. Good luck and all the best

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