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Any teachers out there? or general opinions on work :)

Hi everyone

I am looking for a bit of advice (and possibly encouragement :))… I am 22, I was diagnosed 3 years ago and I am currently on Tysabri (so that will give you an idea how advanced or serious my ms is at present). This treatment is having a positive impact on my condition however doesn’t seem to do anything for my most troublesome symptoms which include fatigue, mood (or organic depression :/) and dire concentration.

Up until recently I was on the teacher training course at my local university however after taking a leave of absence of 1 year (ms related) and returning to my course, going out on placement was a lot tougher than I remembered, I just couldn’t keep up with the work load etc (my previous placement was hard but not as difficult as this). Needless to say it took its toll and i gave it up, I will still graduate with my degree but I won’t be qualifed to teach.

Whilst on placement, my fatigue issue were terrible, which had a massive impact on my mood and concentration. My class teacher wasn’t particularly understanding, she almost appeared impatient at times with me… However I’m trying not to let this affect my overall asperation of becoming a teacher but this is now looking unlikely… I just wondered if there were any teachers out there who could share their experiences or words of wisdom :slight_smile:

I currently work as a receptionist, yes I do like it but it just isn’t challenging enough for me but teacher training burnt me out and pushed my ms to extremes… has anyone achieved a happy medium in regards to employment? :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance and sorry for the essay!! :o xxx

Bit different to you but may be able to help. My symptoms started in Dec - leading to diagnosis of transverse myelitis or the first episode of something more ie. ms. Will be mri-ed agian in September to see what’s what. Anyway I am an English teacher in a busy comp. Wanted to get back into the world as soon as I could so at the end of Feb went back to work on a phased return of 3 days a week. After Easter it will be 4 days and we will see how it goes. When I returned I couldn’t write so used smart board for all lesson resources etc… I had to blow up all mark sheets to A3 so that i could write something in and all marking was done by typing and sticking in. i am pleased to say writing skills are back a little now so I can mark by hand - it is scruffy and awkward, but I can do it. I now have an occ health report and have organised a meeting with hr, school and union to see how we move forward.

I would say working with kids and having a disability can work - especially when you have formed a relationship with them. They will do all they can to help and are genuinely interested in your well being. You just need to spend the time forming those relationships. I would say your nqt year is really tough- so be prepared. Also education is a stressful environment at the moment so you do need to be prepared for this. Part- time would be perfect as it gives you time to plan and mark on your quiet days. For me, I had to get back to work as I am in this ‘limbo’ period with potentially permanent damage to my hands. I don’t like sitting and over-thinking. Teaching forces you to think about other routines and the well-being of others. I have found 3 days a week perfect but I have to have days off work as quiet and calm days otherwise I would not be able to cope.

I hope this helps and if you need to know how I have adapted my working practices please let me know.

Ok, a bit of a curve ball, but have you considered teaching adults instead? I teach adult basic skills and (very basic) computers for beginners in community ed classes funded by the council. It’s very rewarding, and has lots of advantages over being a school teacher - small classes (6- 10 max) students who have chosen to be there, and you can more or less choose what hours you teach. The down side is it’s mostly sessionally paid and classes don’t run if there aren’t enough takers. Also funding is being drastically cut for most curriculum areas, but basic skills is still a priority so fairly safe! Gx

Hi. I have relapsing remitting MS and teach full time. I love the kids, my colleagues are mainly great but the stress caused by paperwork, targets and the unrelenting changes in education are hard to manage for everybody and worse for someone with MS. The worst aspect for me is fatigue - I am exhausted at weekends and always get a virus at the start of a holiday. My first incident (totally numb/tingling down whole right side, unable to bear weight on right leg) came shortly after my first Ofsted inspection. I really believe if I had more severe symptoms, as yours sound, I wouldn’t be able to teach competently. I had a choice when I got my maths degree - teaching/accountancy. I chose teaching as I felt it would be more stimulating. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. On a bad day I’m sure I’d find complicated numbers easier to manage than 30 children with their many needs. If you have a job you enjoy could you find mental stimulation in other ways? Volunteering - in a school maybe? Tutoring? Evening classes? I wouldn’t necessarily change my job but if I had the option of working part time I would. Hope this helps. Ann

Hi. I have relapsing remitting MS and teach full time. I love the kids and my colleagues are mostly great. However the constant paperwork, targets and ever revolving changes in the English education system are very stressful for all teachers. My fatigue is a nightmare. I sleep loads at weekends and am always ill at the start of a holiday. My first incident of MS came very shortly after an incredibly stressful Ofsted inspection. Your symptoms sound more severe than mine and I’m not sure how I’ll cope if mine worsen. My advice would be that if you have a job you enjoy, try to find mental stimulation in other ways. Volunteering - perhaps in a school, private tutoring or additional qualifications through OU or evening classes? Hope this helps. Good luck whatever you decide. Ann

Hello Jenn,

I was a teacher for 22 years while my ppms got steadily worse. My best advice would be to get your NQT year done by hook or by crook. During this time do all your work at school and save home for resting. I found the adrenelin of the job helped. A lot of your after school work can be done sitting down. If you can battle through that get an appointment with occupational health who will probably set you on the access to work scheme-there are many things which can help. If you can get through the first year you’ve definitely proved yourself. I was quite vague with management at first by just outlining the symptoms and saying I was being assessed. Using the MS term scares people who don’t understand it-they get all sorts of preconceived notions. If you can battle through the work you should get a good go at the job-it’s worth it!

Best wishes, Steve

Hello, me again.

Don’t be shy with your friends. Let them help you. If they’re real friends they’d be delighted to. From the first days I also had some excellent colleagues. If they know you’re genuine they will be only too pleased to help and accept your appreciation.

Steve

Hi jenn, I’m a teaching assistant , currently doing my level 3 . Also have 3 children of my own . Im on tysabri too , about 3 years now. My last relapse was 3 yrs ago, I returned to work soon after , I love my job it’s kept me going. There are bad days , with fatigue ,sleep issues that combined with school stress , and kids can be challenging . Don’t be hard on yourself because placements are difficult for everyone. Especially when you don’t know everyone at school . Don’t give up , you have worked so hard. Oh can work with you, choose you hours wisely , and once you have formed relationships with other staff it’s easier. Please don’t give up your dreams. Hope x

Hi there, I’ve never commented before as still going through diagnosis, so felt…well awkward! However your post inspired me to take the plunge. I am a teaching assistant and adore my job, have you considered this as an option…the joys of working with the kids, I also plan and teach, but don’t have half the paperwork of a teacher. The Monet is obviously nowhere near that of a teacher, but you can become hilta trained (higher level ta) and that increases your responsibilities and pay! Look into it :slight_smile: Never let go of your dreams!

Money not Monet :slight_smile:

Hi,

Just read Snowdrops post.

I’m a learning support assistant, work with max 3 pupils at a time with learning difficulties. I do the planning but it doesn’t take long. Don’t have a teaching qualification but have level 3 speciatist teaching assistant and a level 4 dyslexia qualification.

TA’s and assistants usually work part time which suits me perfectly. The joy of teaching and holidays to charge my batteries up.

Teachers have to do things I wouldn’t be able to do due to poor walking such as sport, field trips , outings etc

Think there are a lot of teachers/TA’s on this forum, hope you get some good advice.

Jen

xx

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

Thank you for all the feedback, I honestly never expected so many responses. Lots of good advice and words of encourage. Currently I am looking for a teaching assistant post… It does sound ideal :slight_smile: Thanks again everyone!

Jennifer xxx