Joy Archer CounsellingPerson Centred Counsellor for Eccleshill, Calverley, Bradford and Leeds

Teaching Has Never Been Harder...

...than it is today. Over recent years the profession has become ever more stressful. New initiatives, increasing paperwork, onerous planning: and, of course, deteriorating standards of pupil behaviour, coupled with very limited sanctions at teachers' disposal. Not to mention pressure from parents, observations, performance management, OFSTED, and safeguarding concerns. For young teachers, the lack of work/life balance can be soul destroying, and experienced teachers may often reflect that the role today is almost unrecognisable from the one they went into. The ever increasing pressure from central government doesn't help, especially when the message conveyed is that teachers are lazy and privileged. The growing number of schools converting to academies means that teachers' pay and conditions are being systematically dismantled. And you're faced with working for longer, often under the threat of capability if targets aren't met, and even the job security isn't what it used to be...

Do You Want To Talk To Someone Who Understands?

I taught for 23 years in inner city schools. I've been a classroom teacher, a pastoral leader (Assistant Head of Year), and for the last ten years of my career, Head of Department. After leaving teaching, I campaigned in the media highlighting the pressures faced by teachers: particularly workload, pupil behaviour, and workplace bullying. I appeared on Radio Leeds, Radio 5 and Look North, as well as in the Yorkshire Evening Post. For several years I also ran an email helpline for distressed teachers. I am a long time contributor to the Times Educational Supplement Community Forum, and have links with a network of teacher contacts both locally and countrywide.

Counselling For Teachers. Library Image: Depressed Person

Teaching Can Be The Greatest Job In The World...

...but it can also impact negatively on health, relationships, self esteem and confidence. Retention is a real problem in teaching nowadays but many teachers are now trapped in schools where they are unhappy owing to the abolition of pay portability. Many teachers are leaving within a few years of qualification, while the government seems to be disregarding the very real crisis which has developed within the profession. It is unsurprising that increasing numbers of teachers are considering quitting, the majority citing unsustainable workload and micromanagement as the primary reasons.
Although I counsel clients presenting with a wide range of issues, I have a particular understanding of the difficulties faced by many teachers and the unrelenting pressure many are under daily. I see some teachers who want to talk about how to cope better with the role and some who are unsure about staying in the profession and who want to explore alternative career paths. My advanced qualifications in career counselling add to my understanding of what it means to be a teacher and enable me to help you to come to decisions about the best way forward for you. If teachers seek counselling they often want to do this outside school hours. I offer evening and weekend appointments to make the process easier and more discreet for you.

It's Not Getting Any Easier

It saddens me to see how education has changed: and in many ways not for the better. I hear from my teacher friends and acquaintances how many concerns they are facing. Experienced teachers are facing capability procedures, new teachers are often bewildered and struggling, health issues seem to be rife, and many say they are so exhausted they wonder how they will continue in the job for years to come. I read on a daily basis on TES staffroom how worried so many teachers are about their lives, health and futures, and of the effect their work is having on their families and relationships. If you feel you would benefit from sharing your feelings and concerns with someone who has direct knowledge of the issues teachers face, please contact me to arrange an appointment.

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I am seeing increasing numbers of teachers who are struggling with day to day pressure. Please feel free to get in touch if you think I can help.

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