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yanna08 yanna08 is offline
 
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May have to take stress leave
Old 10-30-2017, 06:28 PM
 
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I am so stressed that if I don't find relief soon, I may have to take stress leave. I have a post on the special education board about my situation also. I have 18 students with varying disabilities in my small group classroom, from SLD, MOID, EBD, OHI, and even an OI. I teach ELA small group, which we see is not so small in addition to an ELA co-taught class, and 2 SS co-taught classes. The co-taught classes are just as large. There are more special education students than regular education students in those classrooms as well. It is so bad that that General Education teachers are complaining and wanting me to pull them everyday. That is not the worst, I also have meetings everyday being that my school was almost on the failing school list. There is so much pressure and I am not having enough time to complete all of my progress monitoring, teaching and IEPs. My teammate and I have spoke to the Administration as well as Special Education Lead Teacher. We are not getting anywhere. I am so stressed that I can not focus, sleep or get my thoughts together from being overwhelmed. Has anyone been out on stress leave? I am not sure I can hold on if I do not receive any relief. This is so unfair. Please advise.


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stress leave
Old 10-30-2017, 06:33 PM
 
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I took a leave of absence last year because it was affecting my health. My anxiety was through the roof and I had a lot of the symptoms you have. I did a partial leave because I didn't want to have nothing to do, but it was the best decision for me. You could also just do a full leave if that's what is best for you. Speak to your doctor since you'll need a doctor's recommendation.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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No wonder you are stressed
Old 10-30-2017, 07:13 PM
 
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That sounds like a huge number of SpEd students to have in one class. Do you have all 18 in your ELA group--and by yourself?

Have you talked with your union? Are you getting the planning time that is in the contract? Have you called the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP). They should be able to set up a few counseling sessions for you--free.

Over the weekend, try doing the absolute bare minimum of school-related work. Spend time doing what YOU enjoy--out for dinner, go to a movie/play/concert/party, buy yourself something new, go for a walk.

And, absolutely, take the leave if you need to. Have you seen your doctor yet? How's your blood pressure? One of my sisters once left a teaching position (with a doctor's note) because of stress. And once she was feeling well again, she easily found another teaching position. Oh, and FMLA can be intermittent if that works better for you.

The current situation can't possibly be good for you or for your students.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:49 PM
 
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eeza, what is a partial leave? No I have not seen my doctor yet. I keep saying I need to make an appointment but was so dedicated I did not want to miss work; however, now with all of the stress along with my co-teacher taking out her frustrations on me, I am not sure how much I can take. I am also starting to have anxiety. Were you able to get paid during your leave? That is another thing, I will not have any income unless I am able to get short-term disability.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:56 PM
 
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TAOEP yes I have all of the sped students in my small group ELA class. I have a para but it is like I do not. It is still not enough being that I am teaching a curriculum that is very rigorous and above the student's level.

I teach in GA, which do not have unions unfortunately. We only have teacher advocates or whatever they are supposed to be.

Thanks for the advice. I am trying to be strong but I am sure if it is this bad now, it will only get worst. The students are already arguing and fighting. There are just too many in the classes.

Of course my IEP caseloads are high being that we have so many students. There are only two 6th grade special education teachers. We are both overwhelmed! She only been back from leave one month and looking for anything to do besides this. It is so unfair.

Oh and did I mention, I also have a general education homeroom that I teach SEL for an hour with 30 students. I don't have any breaks all day. It is crazy!


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Old 10-30-2017, 08:14 PM
 
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Your doctor immediately. You are only human.

You can take a leave of absence due to health issues.

Go see your Human Resources person in your district. Don't tell everything, just the pertinent facts regarding your health. Just say your doctor is putting you on a stress leave and you are there to advise them of this fact. This way they will know to get someone to take your classes while you are out sick.

Human Resources can also answer any pay and benefit questions you may have.

Stress is a silent problem than must be managed. You must save yourself and not quit your job.

Let us know what happens and how you are doing.
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Don't call it stress!!!
Old 10-30-2017, 08:28 PM
 
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Don't tell your district why. Go to a psychologist and describe anxiety. That is something he can give you family medical leave for. You have up to 12 weeks. Please go online and do research. Get doctors orders before you talk to district. Your psychologist or doctor can word it in a way that doesn't disclose the dx. Researcc it.
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I apologize
Old 10-31-2017, 03:55 AM
 
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What I wrote must be wrong. I wish you well.
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No need to mention stress
Old 10-31-2017, 10:17 AM
 
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You can choose to mention stress or not if you and your doctor decide on a leave. All the doctor's note likely needs to say is that you are under medical care and need to be off work from (date) to (date). Or alternatively that you need to work only (number) of hours per week or...

You may choose to give them more information, but you do not have to--and HIIPA regulations prevent their asking.

You will probably need to have a medical note clearing you to return at the end of the leave.

As far as being paid, if you have any sick days, you would be paid as you usually are for an absence. Otherwise, it would likely depend on whether your district has any type of short or long term leave.

Your teaching situation sounds dreadful to me, especially the part about not having any breaks and the high numbers. I think the school needs a third sped teacher at your grade level with those numbers. Either that, or they will soon have no teachers.

Take care of yourself--#1 priority right now.
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partial leave
Old 10-31-2017, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
What is a partial leave? Were you able to get paid during your leave?.
I took a leave where I only worked 25 hours a week (so my leave was 12.5 hours per week). You could do something like that or only work 4 days a week or only work X number of hours a day. I used all of my sick pay at first and then it was differential pay.

Go see your doctor for anxiety. It's not really stress, it's anxiety that's afflicting you and it's causing stress. Anxiety is a medical diagnosis where stress is not.

Let me know how it goes and if you have any other questions!


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Can You
Old 10-31-2017, 04:04 PM
 
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Can you go outside your school and to your district or county level special ed department? You could describe your situation and ask if they have other similar situations in your county, and if they do, if you could observe the teacher.

This puts you in the light of someone who is a team player and wanting to improve. My guess is they won't be able to come up with anything and then may intervene in your situation.

One could only hope. Take care of yourself.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:28 PM
 
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Thanks so much everyone for your feedback. It feels so good to know that what I am going through is not my fault. I keep wanting to push on but I already feel the affects of all of this. I left work at almost 7 pm trying to do a bulletin board, which we have to change every month in addition to all of the other responsibilities that I have to do.

I will do my research about the medical leave. I had anxiety years ago from a bad teaching environment and haven't since until now. My doctor had me on leave but did not word it correctly, so I had to resign. It was back in 2009. I thought I was managing well until this happened again. I had heart palpitations and could not sleep. I cried a lot and vowed that I was not going to teach again. Well, I later learned that it was not teaching but the bully lead teacher that was harassing me that caused all of this. I know what it feels like and I am not wanting to go down that road again.

I had two meetings today, one IEP and one content meeting. This is how my days are going. I am beyond drained! Today I had to get an AP for one of my homeroom students that is a general ed student. She was walking around, eating, on her phone, talking back etc. The AP stuck his head in my room. I informed him that I could not reach her mom. He took the phone and then told me that if I have any problems to let him know, which meant that he didn't want to deal with her.

One positive from my follow-up IEP meeting was that it was with an attorney. My sped teammate let the cat out the bag about our class sizes. Well, the Sped Coordinator was there also. The attorney stated that the numbers were over state regulations and asked if they were hiring another teacher. Ofcourse the Lead Teacher and the Coordinator pretended that they were working on it but I know it is not true. They both looked as if they were shocked and did not know what to say. We will see what happens as a result of this. I am so over the foolishness and inconsideration at this point.
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