For Gandalf

For Gandalf

For Gandalf Hi Gandalf

I remember from one of your previous posts that you are an ex-teacher. Do you mind my asking whether you packed up because of the bc, or were there other reasons?

I am asking because the thought of returning to the classroom (be it only on a supply basis) fills me with anxiety, something which I have never suffered from previously! For financial reasons, I know that I will have to face my demons ultimately, but my confidence seems to have taken a battering since this all began. Also, I’m pretty sore and tired after having finished rads last week.

Feeling like this seems so illogical, since my prognosis is pretty good.

If you don’t want to reply in such a public arena, I shall understand.

Thanks for reading this.


teaching Hi

I hope you dont mind me butting into this thread!! Im a teacher and due to go back to work after the easter hols. Ive 5 more sessions of radiotherapy to go. Like you the thought of work fills me with horror - making decisions , paperwork , planning etc. I have been having serious doubts about my capability as a teacher!! Ive even started having dreams about school and not been able to control the kids - the ones I usually get the night before a new term!!
It does concern me that once back I will just be expected to “get on with it”.

This is probably not much help to you but I do know how you feel.

love cally

Butt in as much as you like, we’re all in this together!! Hi Cally

I gather that being on a contract, you will have to go back, unless you resign. Probably a bit early to make that decision. Better to give it a go first and then see how you feel.

My position is somewhat different in that I can choose how much work I do (assuming it’s there in the first place!) Up until November when I was diagnosed, I had been pretty busy, but of course, that’s all stopped for now. The longer I leave going back into the firing line, the harder it will be! There is also the risk that my regular schools will have found others to take my place. Having said that, my main two schools are keen for me to return, so maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic here.

People don’t realise how demanding teaching is, and you need to be firing on all cylinders with eyes in the back of your head! Not surprising then that we feel somewhat vulnerable at the moment.

Good luck with your return to the classroom after Easter.

Best wishes


Hi Mcgle I gave up teaching because I was in a secondary school where the head prized sporting prowess above all else, and the senior staff bullied their younger colleagues. The crunch came when I reported the school’s football captain for seriously disruptive behaviour and the head said ‘I’ve only got your word against his…’ He had my resignation the following day.

I fled back to uni to do a Master’s degree, then couldn’t face going back into a school environment, being equally loath to face disruptive kids and possibly unpleasant colleagues. After a spell of supply teaching infants when my children were small (OK but I wasn’t trained for that age group), I became a civil servant until I found my present job in archives, which I love. My husband has taught for 30 years and been successful and happy, but it wasn’t for me! But I miss the holidays :frowning:

Maybe you could find some work in a private school with smaller classes or a 6th form college where the pupils are there because they want to be? The TES sometimes has ads for supply agencies.

To teach, or not to teach… Thanks for that, Gandalf. I salute your courage in standing up for your convictions.

I’m not as clever as you, and usually find that primary supply suits me well (have been doing it long enough!) It’s just at the moment I feel particularly fragile, and am hoping that this vulnerability will disappear (or at least dissipate) once I’m further down the line.

My son is doing a Master’s through the OU, whilst working full-time. Interestingly, he is thinking about teaching in a 6th form college where, as you say, the kids SHOULD be more motivated.

Glad to hear that bc was not the cause of your change of career. I was pleased to read that you have now found your ‘niche’.

Kindest regards


— —Hi Mcgle
I am a primary school teacher. I started a phased return to work in December and have been full time since middle of January. I’m finding it very hard and if finances allowed i’d go part-time. I wouldn’t want to give up completely as I’d miss the children and the staff room banter.
I am a lot slower & less able to keep control of my class. I’m so knackered after a day in the classroom, i can’t keep up with the marking and paperwork. Hope i’m not being too negative.
I’d have thought that supply would be quite good as you can build up your confidence gradually and just not work if you get tired.
I agree the longer you’re off the harder it is to go back. Why not go in and hear some readers or help with Art. This might tell you whether you’re ready or not
Best wishes

Hi mcgle —Found your post about teaching interesting. I went back to teaching 4 months after my mastectomy and found my confidence had gone, I had lost the ability to plan and organise myself.
I was ok with the kids because they just carry on as if nothing has changed. Thats the wonderful thing about being 5 or 6 years old, very few worries and I found they just brought me back to reality!!
18 months down the line now and I feel like I am still not completely back to my pre bc self. I have lost the sparkle and energy(ho ho) I used to have.
I am getting there but it seems to be taking a long time and I am hoping I will get there in the end.
One strange thing I have noticed is I keep forgetting how to spell the simplest of words!! I have a dictionary close by especially in literacy hour!!!

I am sure you will be ok but it will be getting that first day over with that will be the worst.
The thing I think was the hardest for me was that you have to give it your all, there is no gentle breaking in process. You are there with 30 children to teach and no one can lighten the task. It is all or nothing!!!

So true Sue I so agree with you. It’s not a job you can do well half-heartedly.
And despite having a phased return you know that if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. My head kept coming up to me and saying how marvellous i was and to let her know if things got too much, but then said she didn’t know what she could do if they did!
Do you think it is getting better? I was hoping that by 18 months i might get back up to speed.

Hi Kelley —It was getting a lot better but I had a bit of a set back with recon problems and had to have another operation in November. Then I had another lump scare in my remaining breast, so it all knocked my confidence again. It made me think how easy it would be for everything to go pear shaped again.
But like they say if at first you fall off the horse, get back on and try again(sorry am horsey as well)!
I am getting back to full strength again slowly but still have a few problems with my recon.

There is nothing like children to make you snap back from a" feel sorry for myself day" though!!!


For Kelley Thanks for your reply. Like you, I need to keep going for financial reasons (daughter is in her first year at uni) and normally, I really like the variety and challenge of supply teaching. So this indecision is really unlike me! But I do miss the staffroom gossip!!


For Jacks Thanks for responding. Don’t need a dictionary, but not sure about the Maths anymore! As you say, I just have to try it and see.

With supply, you have to be super confident (or at least pretend to be!) so this another hurdle to overcome. I’m sure that it will all work out in the end.


—For Mcgle —Good luck with it, whenever you decide to go back.

Sue Thanks for your response.
Did you have an immediate reconstruction? Did you have any other treatment? I was off work for 9 months as i had chemo and rads but i was very anxious to get back full time as soon as possible because i wanted to have my delayed reconstruction as early as practical. I will be having my reconstruction in May so i’ll have been back to work for over 5 months by then. I’ve timed it so i, hopefully, will be fit to return in September.
Sorry to hear about your reconstruction problems. Hope they are now sorted out.
Best wishes

Hi Kelley —I had an imediate lat dirsi recon and had a really good quick recovery. All was well and I went back to work after 4 months.
My problems started further down the line. They are not completely resolved but bit by bit I am getting back to my old self. It is two years today since I went in for my mastectomy so I am feeling quite relieved I have moved on so far!!!