This morning I read a blog post by @SecretPhysicist
It appears we are suffering the same affliction today being 'off work' admittedly for different reasons but off work none the less. The link to the post is below so there is context for the ramble to follow (it'll be quick - Loose Women is on you know!)
I could not relate more to this post and totally understand the feelings discussed, especially that of guilt. So here goes.
In what world is it right for hard working and concientious (sp) individuals to feel guilty for being ill or looking after their ill child? Why is it that we feel the need as teachers not to 'rest' and 'get better' but to punish ourselves further and potentially making ourselves more ill by feeling guilty.
There is a lot of it around. I read something else last night by someone who will remain nameless, it was sent to me I think because I have asked this person if they are ok and need any help.
I was moved by what I read, this person also is hard working, wants the best for the children they teach and is working extremely hard against what sounds like a backward thinking school and SMT. This person should not be feeling guilty or questioning their own ability to do their job (as I frequently do - I wonder some days whether they are going to spot how awful I am and haul me off, but it never happens) they should be held up as an example to other less hard working teachers to show them - this - this is how it is done, lets celebrate this person's contribution!
Society and schools should be celebrating these hard working people (as its not always teachers) and supporting them if they are ill, physically, mentally or otherwise to feel able to rest and get better without feeling the need to work through their illness. I know I promised not to try and rant and there is an element of relief on my part because I thought it was just me that felt this - turns out its not - who knew?!
Many schools have very supportive systems and staff. I had to be brave enough to sit with the head and say 'no I'm not ok' but also 'this is what I am doing about it' as I have been to the doctor, I have tried to address some of the issues. That said there are things schools can do and I implore you, whatever stage of your career - Talk, to someone at school, to someone you trust.
I also cannot recommend more the support from the Teachers Support Network. If you haven't got anyone at school to talk to, talk to them they really do understand.
Seriously though, we have to try not to feel guilty, if you are a teacher and you are reading this right now it is likely you are off sick. So rest. Chill. Read a book (not a school improvement one or otherwise) and just get better.
I am (reluctantly) doing this until 8pm this evening. Then I will spend 1 hour (and 1 hour only) checking out stuff/lessons for tomorrow as I will be going in (pretty sure I will be well enough) due to an observation. I have not changed it or improved it yesterday or today, I was ill. It will have to do.
Our best is good enough, we have to start believing this more.