04-10-2019 04:57 PM
yes hot and dry @Hamsolo01
did have our first shower of rain in ages but need more
04-10-2019 05:02 PM
05-10-2019 12:20 PM
@Zoe7 I've been thinking about your post from the 20th.. Really makes me hopeful that more workplaces become like yours, particularly in large businesses, unfortunately, I think it's more the exception than the rule
The place I work sounds supportive, but, in practical terms it really isn't and is pretty harsh, especially on front line staff, expectations and pressure are so high. I am really grateful to be in the back office and out of the firing line.
Thanks for sharing with us all.
Ps I loved the pea-mobile you got out of storage the other day 😊
@FigBell0917, thought you might get something from it... You may have to go back a page.
05-10-2019 12:41 PM
Unfortunately the school I am in presently is the exception rather then the rule @Gazza75 Whilst there has been a big push to value and maintain mental health for education employees the reality is quite different. It has been a priority push from the department yet the workload continues to increase and despite teachers voicing their increasing concerns on how detrimental that is to our mental health and stress levels there is very little actual action being taken. It is a systemmatic issue that despite a lot of government postering is still not being addressed. Instead of reducing workload it is continually being increased with paperwork, data collection and reporting. The actual time for planning and working directly with kids is often overtaken with all the 'paperwork'. There is also very little support within the classroom when working with children with behavioural issues - again the system does not address that. We do get some support with children with additional needs such as autism but in my experience it is easier to plan and integrate learning for these children than it is for those with behavioural issues as you cannot plan for what they bring in from home or how they are feeling on a particular day. It is constant monitoring, listening and encouraging that helps with those kids and that is draining on the teacher with no support and affects other kids in the class when the focus is just on a few rather then the whole. Extra support for those kids - to make them feel wanted, loved and cared for in my experience gives them a sense of place at school and helps them stay focussed but one person cannot do all that all the time and still maintain a positive learning environment or one on one support for everyone. As educators this is a line we have been pushing for a long time yet those 'in charge' do not or cannot see how imperative it is to provide extra support for these issues within the classroom - and that adds to both our frustrations and stress as teachers.
05-10-2019 05:44 PM
Hi @Gazza75 – Thank you for tagging me in this. I did read back and it was great to read about @Zoe7 experience within the workplace. Unfortunately I am yet to experience it. I did find it incredibly frustrating though working in the Government and seeing all these signs up, emails and events regarding mental health yet when it came to reality it was deemed too much to handle. I can only hope in time that more workplaces become supportive of mental health.
05-10-2019 06:31 PM
There is a very real gap here between what the government and it's departments publicise and the actual reality of what is offered when it comes to mental health @FigBell0917 ...and there is still very little underestanding and stigma associated with Mental Illness. From my experience mental health and mental illness are still treated as very different - while there is constant talk about mental wellbeing and self-care when it comes down to dealing with people with a recognisable and diagnosed mental illness people often take a step backwards. I am super lucky that the present school I am in everyone is supportive ...there is a good culture of support at this school though and whilst I have not been upfront in the extent of my MI (basically because it is no one's business) they do know I have been struggling for some time with depression and it has never been an issue. People at this school check in with each other - they ask how you are doing regularly and do everything they can to support each other. Sometimes people are just having a bad day but everyone rallies around to help out - that is so different to the previous school I was at though. I was made feel like I should not be going back to the job and constantly monitored, assessed and critiqued. There was no positivity, no empathy and certainly no understanding of how hard it was for me to return to work in any capacity. As a result of the horrible way I was treated - which also included someone close to me there disclosing some personal information - I requested not to go back to that school - after more than 10 years there. When I first became unwell I had the full support of the Principal but she left while I was on leave and someone else took over - the difference in the two were poles apart - the new Principal was the exact opposite and I was treated very badly. I was not the only one though - there have been resignations and many request transfers from that school since so I am glad I got out when I did.
Unfortunately I am only at the present school until the end of this year and then will be somewhere else next year. I have a meeting next week with the HR person to discuss what that is going to look like so very much in the dark as to what the future will look like but also now (after being at this school) aware that it is not only possible to do the job with a MI but also have support in doing so - what that will be like at the next school I can only hope is the same but also very much aware that it may not be.
08-10-2019 10:26 AM
Hi @Zoe7 – I don’t I could have said it any better myself; you are spot on with everything you have written. I agree that there is very little understanding when it comes to mental illness and the stigma I have experienced first hand when I was employed in Government. It was horrific to say the least, to the point that I ended up leaving. I had never experienced anything like that before it and it was a real eye opener for me.
I am so glad to read that the people at your school rally together. I think this is very important and something that needs to occur more broadly within workplaces. It is important to work in a workplace where everyone is supportive, as you simply do not know what occurs behind closed doors. I think it was incredibly brave of you to leave the previous school that you were in. This takes strength and demonstrates your resilience.
Please let us know how you go with your discussions with HR, if you feel comfortable to do so. We are here to support you. I hope that the conversation goes well and remember you have got this! I am sending you positive vibes.
08-10-2019 01:30 PM
The meeting with HR is tomorrow morning and with all I have been dealing with the last 4 days I am really nervous about it @FigBell0917 I have not met this HR person before but from what I have heard she is really nice and gets things done quickly - very much hoping that is also my experience tomorrow too. Whilst I may not have any answers straight away at least the ball will be rolling - and I hope there will be options for next year and preferrably somewhere close.
Whatever the outcome I know I have to move schools again and get used to new processes, kids, staff and expectations. All that is hard and takes time but vry much hoping this will be a permanent move and I can settle in knowing that is where I will be more long term. It is important to have that sense of place and belonging and whilst that has very much been the case this year I have always known it is temporary - I did hope it would be extended but also did not expect it to be. I am lucky to have had the wonderful support I have had this year though and that is something I will very much look back on fondly - some workplaces do care and act on their beliefs in a positive environment.
I totally agree that workplaces need to be more open and accepting of menatl health and mental wellbeing. Being in this workplace has shown that that is possible but unfortunately it is not the cse across the board in the eduction system. Despite it being a focus in the department guidelines the reality is that it is dependant on the culture and acceptance within the school you are in and not every leader in schools has the knowledge or focus that can provide for that culture and understanding. Mental wellbeing is given lip service rather than being embedded in the culture - and that relates to the staff as well as the kids ...definitely something that needs to be given more focus and much more implementation.
13-10-2019 04:04 PM
Hi @Zoe7 – I apologize for my delay in replying it has been a busy few days here. How did your meeting go? I hope that it went well and that there was a positive outcome. I love reading that you have had wonderful support. As much as you have to move schools again at least this is a positive reminder that there are good people in the world who are supportive and do care.
It is interesting to hear that is how mental health and mental wellbeing occur within the school environment. It seems near identical to how it is in Government. It is sad to know this occurs in a learning environment, as this is where I feel acceptance of others should be really instilled. Maybe I am too naïve?
However, I can understand how this can occur within a school environment as my cousin is a teacher (we no longer have a relationship) as she believes unless you can see an illness you do not have an illness therefore I do not have a mental illness. It is unfortunately a very narrow-minded train of though however if this is the perception of one there is always guaranteed to be more.
I am interested here in VIC to see what comes out of the Royal Commission and hope that there are changes to include implementation.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful day. Sending you positive thoughts.
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