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worried about tomorrow

Good evening everyone. Just wondered if you could offer some advice. I have been signed off work for the past two weeks with an ear infection. I have to say that I have not felt as ill with anything else! Totally wiped out…anyway during the two weeks I was off I missed a lot of important events, such as parents evening, meeting my new class day and sports day. My attendance has not been that bad this year but i am really worried that im going to get called up to the head and put through another intimidating meeting, maybe even getting a verbal warning. I understand that its not good for the school, children and parents thst I have periods of sickness but I really couldn’t have even made it into work.

P.s is it true that people with ms are prone to ear infections- I read it online - or am I just clutching at straws!!! :slight_smile:

Hi Emya,

Sorry to hear you have had an ear infection-not sure if MSers are more prone to them-In 18 years of MS I have not had one. Try not to stress about tomorrow-I take it you are a teacher-I used to teach primary kids and it is not your fault you had 2 weeks off and missed some events-this happens all the time and probably better at the end of the school year than at the start. I’m guessing that you have written school reports for your class which I always did in Summer term rather than have parents evening so the parents will have had that communication from you. Sports day is nice to be at but not essential and can you meet your new class during a PPA slot instead?

Take care

Cathy

Not aware that MSers are any more prone to ear infections than anyome else ?

I’ve been diagnosed for the last 15 years, and have only had one ear infection in all that time …caused purely by my being heavy handed with a wax-clearing routine. Entirely my own dault, NOT the condition’s !!

It’s very easy to blame MS for anything wrong that happens to us, but there could easily be other causes, and we need to keep that in mind

Dom

hi i have had a lot of trouble with my ears i am given drops by my doctor helps clear it up but he tells me it just one of many things that go wrong some times they go numb and hum [not a nice tune]

Hello, I had a servere ear infection which triggered my first MS relapse last year - double vision. More recently I had another ear infection (mild) this Feb. I never used to have ear infections.

It’s important you think of your self and take this time you have off work to focus on getting better with lots of rest, good food. Your body is fighting the infection. Hope you feel better soon xx

I was a primary school teacher so I understand all too well the guilt that goes with being off sick. You worry about the children and the effect your absence has on colleagues. However those worries are not yours - the senior management team are paid to make sure the children’s needs are met and that colleagues are not unduly burden by absences. Having been in a management roll I can tell you that the biggest headache is the member off staff who is off work regularly, a day here, a day there, letting school know 5 minutes before the day starts that they won’t be coming in. Teachers who are genuinely ill and off for blocks of time create challenges not headaches (senior managers are paid to cope with challenges not winge about them!) if your head teacher starts in on you for being ill, remember that. You can’t be sanctioned if you follow the sickness procedure - not to say that some heads will not try the odd guilt trip but you need to be assertive. Your right to be ill is protected by law. MS is not something you “enjoy” to get time off work. There are various things the head can do to minimise the effect of your health on her school but telling you off is not one of them. Jane

I agree with Jane. Your head should check that you are fit to be back at work and should be concerned about your health and about you as a person but NOT about the fact that you were off and created a problem in terms of being absent. You cannot help when you fall ill and let’s face it, these things always happen at the worst time. If you do get any grief, perhaps you can turn it around and thank him/her for his/her concern but politely tell him/her that you are now fit to be back at work and are ready to catch up on what has been missed with your usual gusto? Maybe he/she will have the decency to be a little embarrassed at that.

Tracey x

Thanks for replies…as expected I have just had an email to say the Headmaster wants to see me tomorrow morning to review the year…which is basically an opportunity for him to tell me how much time I have had off and that he was right, the support worker that AtW have provided isn’t making a difference.(which actually she really is but ca’t prevent me from being ill!) I have only just read the email and am already worried sick about the meeting. Last time I had to go in for a meeting with him, he was so intimidating and I ended up walking out in tears- not very professional at all I hate to say. Any advice/Suggestions?

Can I suggest you take someone else intothe meeting with you? Have you got a union rep in school or failing that a colleague who you trust?

Sarah x

Hi Sarah,

Was then thinking about who I could ask…I work in a private school, so nobody really wants to take on the role as union rep…because of what the Head is like…will have to ask someone though…I always said I wouldn’t ever go in alone again. So worried :0(

Hi Emya. I’m currently off having had Labrynthitis (inner ear infection). I can totally sympathise as I have never been so unwell I totally agree with above suggestion of taking someone in. Having an ‘observer’ I think naturally makes people (in this case the Head) more conscious/aware of their behaviour/language etc. It’s so much easier to simply say try not to worry, but I know it isn’t easy. If you think it would be helpful you could maybe try and prepare? Jotting down notes on your symptoms, any record of medical contact, notes of what you feel able to do etc. If you do this though, have a cut off time and remove any work stuff from your sight. Maybe then read something totally unrelated or just get lost in rubbish TV. I will send good thoughts your way. I hate others worrying as I know it’s horrid! Do let us know how you get on L x

Hi Emya. Is it possible for you to take a family member or a friend to the meeting? You need someone to remember the things that we’re said and discussed, it’s hard to do that yourself when you are feeling stressed and under pressure. Are you in a Union? The school doesn’t have to have a Union Rep for you to have union representation there will be one based somewhere in the area you work. I would think that the Head has to give you enough notice and time to arrange for someone to attend the meeting with you. Good luck Jan

Thank you for advice,

I have had to take my union rep in to a meeting with him not long ago, after the meeting where he made me cry…it was unbelievable the difference in his attitude towards me, made me want to slap him! I have just contacted the local branch of my union- and Jan i know you are right, he should give more notice. I will just have to be more assertive towards him…I know how I feel and him being an ignorant bully is only making matters worse. oh well, only 2 more days left then summer holidays!

No more School no more s**t no more bloody arithmetic !!! Sorry that just popped into my head. Hope everything goes well for you, as Star says let us know how you get on. Jan

Are you telling us that despite being signed off work you have to go in to see the head?

That’s unreasonable and hints of bullying!

You contact him to tell him you’re not well enough to go in.

That will give you some breathing space to plan your next move.

Come back to us fo advice and support.

How did you get on? I’ve been thinking about you.

Sarah

well it’s a bit of a long story…I asked for my colleague/friend to come to the meeting with me as it was too short notice to arrange a union rep to come in with me…however the head refused to let her come in with me as he wouldn’t let her (or any other teacher/TA) out of class- so that left me with little option to go in alone (even though it was ok for me to be out of class?!) Talk about stressed…anyway, I spoke to my head of department who was also going to be present at the meeting and explained that if the Headmaster is at all intimidating towards me I would walk out and contact my union again. With that my head of department went into his office and shut the door…a few minutes later she came out and said that the hadmaster has now said it would be okay to have my meeting with my head of department instead- but he still wants a review early next term. It was obvious to me that he was going to have another go at intimidating nd bullying me, so I have littl choice but to leave. I have to admit that I am very close to resigning. I am sick of this!! It’s not only me…our last day in school today and we said goodbye to 16 colleagues…its not just me that has been affected by his bullying ways. Told you it was a long story|!!!lol xxx

your head sounds like a bullying pig!

stick to your guns emya.

notify your union.

enjoy the summer holidays

carole x

ps hope your ear infection has cleared up.

We had a year like that when loads of staff left after we had recently got a new Head. Now 3 years on, the Head@s still there and there is only 2 out of 18 teachers left - they’re part timer’s who don’t have to put up with the Head full time!!

I agree with pigpen you MUST notify the union about everything that’s been happening. If he doesn’t give you much notice again just reply to his email saying the union will be in touch to arrange a mutually convenient time. Don’t resign, if you really do feel that’s what it has come to then you still MUST have union involvement to ensure you get the best outcome (whether that’s financial or being given a decent unbiased reference, for example)

Take care and enjoy the holidays!

Sarah x