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Teacher work stress in 3rd trimester - don't know what to do

Hi all,

This is my first time posting on any pregnancy forum...but I just really need some advice.

Basically I'm a ks1 teacher and 31 weeks pregnant working in what I used to think was a really supportive school.  But since I've been pregnant I just feel like they're piling the pressure on. We had ofsted 2 weeks ago(obv not the schools fault tho!) and then a round of unannounced observations last week (as well as during the first half term). All went really well with my obs and figured now I'd just be left alone to do the million and one things they want me to do before I finish at Christmas including:

- the children's tests/marking and all data to be inputted in 2 weeks

-the joint planning/leading of the church nativity where my class are acting 

-my class' assembly this Friday, when all parents come in after to look at books/have a chat etc about how their children are getting along

-planning/leading my own teacher assembly next Tuesday morning 

-helping set up /running a stall at the school xmas fair till late on 4th Dec

...and all this on top of break duty/before school duty and the actual teaching itself! 

In addition I've just received an email reminding me the head governor is coming to visit my class tomorrow afternoon and that 2 days before mat leave, I'm to lead the staff meeting as a particular subject co-ordinator!

I just feel like I'm absolutely drowning and everytime I think I'm just going to be let to get on with my actual job, more stress is added. 

I feel pathetic but on top of struggling with sleep and general everyday exhaustion I'm just feeling on the edge and liable to burst into tears all the time. I'm not the type of person to be soft etc and was a solicitor in a previous career so am used to hard work and pressurised environments...but this just feels insane!

I don't really know what I expect anyone else to say to this. ..but I just wondered what working in others schools is like during pregnancy? Or in other jobs? Is this just me or is it extreme? Most days I work 12 hr days at least,including a few hrs on a Sunday.  I even ended up ringing my union last week regarding the most recent set of unannounced obs and they were totally in agreement with me that the amount of obs we are having is unreasonable...especially personally at nearly 8 months pregnant (being observed every half term)but my school just don't seem to care. I just feel I'm almost being forced out/pushed to go off with stress early. ..but don't know if it's the hormones talking! I've also never seen any sign of a risk assessment.

Can anyone give me any advice ...or even just a kind word would be much appreciated. at this moment I just can't face going in tomorrow and am worried I'm going to end up at the doctors.  I really don't want to do this but I've waited such a long time for this baby and feel I'm not dealing well with all this extra pressure at all -surely it can't not affect the baby in some way....I just want to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy but so far school are making this impossible!My husband thinks it's ridiculous what school are expecting too ...and wants me to go to the doctors. He's seen the hours I'm working and just thinks it's crackers -but I can't stop worrying. When ofsted were in I was one of the last teachers in school both evenings and not once did my head/slt tell me to take it easy etc. I think they think I'm superwoman....

Thanks in advance for reading and apologies for the rant - just at a loss... xxx 


  • I feel your Pain Mum to be - l

  • Opps posted too soon 😳

    i fell your pain , looks like the work load is too much for you . 

    Have yuu tried to speak to the Head Teacher , of how you feel ? 

    speaking up sometimes is good , plus the hormones can be contributing as well . 

    Risk Assesement is crucial to any working Pregnant Mom - but if it's hasnt been carried out , someone has failed their work somewhere . 

    The good thing is you have very days left , but they are crucial to you and your baby . 

    See if The school resolves this and if not , see your GP . 

    Hope that's help xx 

  • This could have been written by myself! I know exactly how you feel! I just started teaching Reception at a new school and felt guilty being pregnant 1 month after I started there. I wanted to make a good impression with the new Head so I tried to work thru the vomiting  (running out of class repeatedly to do so), fatigue (leaving early to nap at home and finish work at night), and all the other horrible pregnancy symptoms.

    However I started having serious complications with my back and getting chest and sinus infections constantly. I've only taken off 3 days in 1st trimester when I couldn't physically move. Now though I'm at 27 weeks- Still NO risk assessment has been done or mentioned, and although I've tried to speak to my Head about my problems she just downplayed it all and actually pulled all my classroom assistant time as if to punish me!

    I also went to the union about it but they were so slow to respond that I figured what's the point (time to look for a new union I think). I have thoracic nerve damage in my back that makes sitting, bending and moving in general make me scream in pain and also triggers nausea that usually makes me vomit. At this point, my physio told me to take time off work because I'm not getting any support from my work (my physio is completely shocked at how I've been treated) and making myself more ill.  When she initially told me to take time off I refused. But now, especially without even a simple risk assessment, with a refusal to professionally discuss these issues and with all the support I did have pulled, I simply cannot cope. Last night I was sprawled on the floor unable to move for an hour from nausea and muscle spasms and my husband said "enough is enough".

    I think good teachers get so caught up in worrying about their students and making a good impression, like I was, that they forget to worry about themselves until it's too late. I didn't want to leave my lovely class and feared the pain of sitting in a chair to even write up lesson plans for supply but I've actually made my situation so much worse now. 

    All I can say is don't feel guilty if you need time off. Be open with your school, demand a risk assessment, and tell the school you need them to work with you or else you will have no choice but to take time off. I didn't do any of that and now my physio fears I might have permanent nerve damage. I wish now I hadn't been so afraid to take time off. Now I'm miserable, guilt-ridden, and fearful of the pain I'm in...

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