Teachers have taken to social media to express high levels of anxiety about returning to school after Easter amid Covid restrictions – but say that counting the days to the summer holidays is helping them to cope.
One supply teacher doing maternity cover posted on Reddit.com today that he had calculated there were now just 60 teaching days left until the end of this academic year, and said: “This is the most stressful job I've ever done. Counting down the days is one of the things that gets me through.
“If anyone is struggling like me, then hang in there – you're not alone! Sorry in advance for the negativity. Just classic Sunday anxiety.”
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Another teacher posting on Reddit.com this morning, said: “The Sunday night anxiety was so bad last night. Could not get a wink of sleep. I've got a weekly countdown on my home whiteboard.”
Wellbeing: Teachers 'just want a normal year' after Covid
The disruption caused by Covid has been widely reported as taking a toll on the mental health of teachers.
The NASUWT teaching union said earlier this month that one in 50 teachers had "self-harmed" amid Covid stress and that a quarter had taken medication to deal with stress at work caused by the pandemic, while 12 per cent had sought counselling.
And the Education Support charity, as part of its annual teacher wellbeing research, revealed that 52 per cent of teachers had reported difficulty sleeping during the pandemic – a jump from 37 per cent in the previous two years.
Another teacher posted on Reddit today: ”I normally love teaching but with the lockdowns and everything happening this year, I'm so looking forward to summer and (eventually) starting a new academic year again and hopefully seeing it all through normally."
Another said: “I feel exactly the same. We’ve had two disrupted years now and I just want a 'normal' year.”
Last year, psychologists who are part of the Department for Education’s £8 million scheme to improve wellbeing and mental health support in schools and colleges said the current school year “may be the toughest that teachers and pupils will have ever faced".
The supply teacher calculated the 60 teaching days until the end of term at their school by subtracting half-term, bank holidays and Inset days.