Back to school teacher struggling

My Mum died during the May half term after a short but very tough time in hospital. I had a couple of weeks off school when Mum was in hospital, she wasn’t expected to die, then after for the funeral. I was back to school two days after the funeral and expected just to get on, catch up with reports, plan for the next term. Now back after a difficult summer and have been told by school management that as teachers we are “expected to be at the top of our game all the time, the children have to make progress as we all have targets to meet.” None of the management at school have dealt with a parent’s death. What can I do? (My Dad died 18 years ago, so they have both gone now)



I understand where your coming from as my Step Dad passed away on the 30th of August,the day before the 2 year anniversary of losing my Mum. Feeling very empty at the moment losing 2 parents in such a short time frame,and i feel i have little family left other than my 13 year old son. I am a stay at home Mum,due to battling with an illness for just over 7 years. If i were you,i’d find the most appropriate person to go to and confide in them at the school for some advice about getting you some support,the headteacher of the school,or management team,a trusted colleague,etc. Even if it is just 5-10 minutes at the end of the day,it would be some support. Nobody knows how you feel until they have actual been in that situation,so that can be difficult in getting people to understand. Hands down to you,because being a teacher can be very stressful these days. I wouldn’t like to do that. I find being on this site just before bedtime has gotten me into a routine,to make me feel i’m not totally alone. Also this site does video chat counselling,which even i may pluck up the courage to try in the near future. Hope this helps,feel free to message me anytime,normally on here in the evening. Take Care,Lucy xx

Hi Lucy,
Thanks so much for your message, I’m really sorry to hear about your stepdad, so close after your Mum. I understand you feeling empty, the emptiness has been hitting me a lot. I managed to speak to someone at school who has been through similar and she was able to approach the Head to explain what I’m going through and that I would need support. Thanks again, it’s so comforting to be able to share and know people understand.

Dear Alijay. I lost my husband suddenly on the 29th of September. I had just started a new post in a new school…only been in the job four weeks. I’ve been off work ever since as the trauma has really affected my resilience and ability to focus. It has really torn my stuffing out. I hope to return to work on a phased return next week. The school has been supportive so far and have agreed to let me reduce my workload by renegotiating my contract. I just don’t think I’ve got the capacity to run three subjects any more…I am terrified of going back as I feel so fragile and vulnerable, but I know I have to do it…the longer I leave it, the harder it gets. But yes. I know teaching is not forgiving and the expectation will be to work as well as I did before…I wish you luck, and hope you can find your feet again soon. I’m hoping I can compartmentalise and be a robot at work and continue my grieving in the evenings. Sending love. Liz x


I’m sorry to hear about the sudden passing of your mum. My mum died very suddenly in june and my dad died very suddenly 21 years ago so the shock of being parent less has had a dreadful effect on my ability to work and concentrate I ended up taking 3 months off sick and only went back to work on a phased return 6 weeks ago. Due to my works support and understanding I an now rebuilding my confidence and hope to be back af work full time in about a month.
I could never have got this far without work allowing me to drop my workload and resume very slowly. Hopefully I can repay them by being fully operational soon. I have kept in regular contact with my line manager, not been afraid to show my grief and have spoken frankly with my team about the difficulties I have faced. Being open and honest has helped me a lot although I appreciate not all workplaces are this accommodating.
I hope things are getting better for you.
Cheryl x