Driven to despair and to depart
I am at present in this situation, and after reading the article feel even more despairing that my own application will be turned down. The waiting period between making the application and a final decision is bad enough, but reading that "most of the applications on the basis of stress are being turned down" is really distressing. I am beginning to fear that I may end up without a job or a pension, because I will not be able to afford to pay a consultant for a second opinion should my application be rejected.
I have worked as a primary teacher since 1968, taking a brief time out to have a family whom I have brought up virtually single-handed. (My ex-husband has since died.) I can no longer cope as a full-time class teacher and two months ago completely caved in. Over the past few years I have experienced a slow build-up of pressure and frustration combined with feelings of claustrophobia and despair which all suddenly came to a head. My confidence suddenly deserted me and I no longer know what I am doing.
Experience is no longer valued - instead, one's capabilities are measured in meaningless jargon on endless pieces of paper. If the child wriggles under the microscope, make sure it is recorded in triplicate.
I can stand it no longer. I am a teacher, not a pen-pusher; a communicator, not a bureaucrat. I can no longer work in a profession where "bums on seats" seems to be the order of the day, where political correctness and paperwork have gone berserk and where senior management teams - especially in small schools - have created a policy of "divide and rule". My morale has been completely undermined, and my self-confidence gradually eroded. Trying to teach 10 subjects to the required standards required to unresourced and overcrowded classes has become a living nightmare.
I know that I am sorely missed at my school by pupils and parents - not to mention my colleagues - who all wish me a speedy recovery and want me to return, but my instinct for self-preservation has finally overcome the call of duty, I'm afraid.
Name and address supplied