About seven and a half months ago a combination of circumstances including a decline in my mental health saw me leave my last full time role and the teaching profession frontline for the final time. My last visit to the school buildings was a surreptitious trip to collect my belongings at about 7 in the morning before staff were about to avoid meeting others except those supervising my visit.
Since then I have spoke with many of my ex pupils, some of their parents and some ex colleagues. The school premises however were an area I had no reason to return to, but had a shadow for me,
Today I ran a stand at the school’s Summer Festival. I was on the school grounds again but in plain sight. I found out about the event from friends involved in the school. I contacted my ex headteacher to see if he and staff would be ok with me being there, his reply was positive.
I did not take much financially, but got to raise awareness of my art work. The key for me was that the shadow of creeping back into school is now laid to rest. I found it very touching that after 35 weeks of the school year my 10 week stint was still significant for a number of pupils who have had several staff since.
There will always be others who will not want to communicate, I respect this but today was another significant step for me. I continue to have nightmares where teaching situations go “wrong” and it is going to take a long time to finally let go of my teacher role after 28 years plus, I hope it does come sooner rather than later.
Dear reader, have you had circumstances where you have laid a “shadow” to rest?
I am now happy to use the word artist to describe myself after a very successful Purbeck Art Weeks 2017 fortnight – to see more re detail please read the posts on Http://AndyKnillArt.wordpress.com .
In 16 days 252 people visited my Open studio, they spent over £400 on art that I produced and I worked 16 consecutive days – not a pattern to repeat too often.
I would like to thank my blog followers and especially old education teacher friends for their support in my “new life”.
I awoke at 06:30 in a slight panic and need to escape my dream, not the first time and I am quite sure not my last since I left teaching I have quite frequently had bad dreams about me failing in classrooms / teaching because of Poor discipline or breaking down mentally / emotionally. I have left, I am not going back to a classroom ever again because I know I have lost / used up all my mental resilience. I find myself talking to visitors to my art studio at the moment about my mental health ran out, came to the end of its tether.
My brain/ memories however won’t let go. I had the messages of support from ex pupils and colleagues. I k ow that most of the time I did a good if not excellent job but no more. That last statement still saddens me as I came out because I fell apart for a range of cumulative reasons.
Please do not offer me spiritual / religious belief based answers to my dreams because I will not be able to cope with such theories.
In reflecting, I realise how quickly I feel on edge in situations where I feel I have let others down. I must allow myself some space, forgiveness and aim to let go of things and thoughts, but it is not proving easy. Since I started essentially a new direction in my life officially on January 1st 2017 I have had several crises of confidence. However, at the same timeI can recognise that I have had many successes from:
– Glimpses of Brilliance (GOB) diary – loads of positives on most days
– I can do and am indeed more than “teacher”
– I can cope with things not working, mainly
– peace and quiet are actually pleasurable and I do not always have to be doing
Many thanks to those who continue to be supports and / or reach out. Some people. I have met in 2017 have found it odd to hear that I have mental health issues, but I can assure them that side will become apparent at times.