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Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Old Jul 17th 2014, 7:06 pm
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Unhappy Feeling blue... Suggestions please

I have been in NZ 15 months, I have had a hellish time, to be honest, having lost my mother just after I arrived and had to face the fact that my dad wants to to get remarried, in the same 12 month period.

My current issue is the job front. I am finding the teaching profession here in NZ just too stressful and all consuming. I have tried two different jobs and this hasn't really resolved it for me.

I am currently trying to decide what to do next.

Relocate to somewhere else in NZ
Change career
Go back to the UK.

A relocation is huge and I am not sure I have the strength (or cash). Changing career is tricky - trying to prove to employers that skills are transferable, and I love NZ it would be a shame to go.

Any advice would be welcomed.

Last edited by M_and_M; Jul 17th 2014 at 7:11 pm.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Lots of people I know say that teaching here is all-consuming as well. You have to have a passion to do it - the pay is no better than working in any other job, but the input required is massively more.

It will take a while to really settle in NZ - people are a bit harder to open up and make good friends with.

BTW, having read your blog a bit, I have to say, I was feeling a tad envious of the stuff you'd been up to - and for living somewhere that's not so obvious (like North Shore Auckland - us) ... so whilst it might feel slightly miserable to you, living it, from the outside it does look like you're doing OK - certainly no worse than most new migrants would be doing!?

All the best, I don't have any magic answers I'm afraid. If you're ever up our way, top me a note and I would be happy to chat.

Last edited by bearskin; Jul 17th 2014 at 7:50 pm.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

shame to hear this, you have had a rough time.
I know what it is like to be having a rough time and thinking of leaving, having the same feelings back in Jan/Feb this year.
In the end we removed the problem by basically moving but you have already done that once so not sure if moving again somewhere else would help much.
Have you looked at what else you could do other than teaching that might help some way to make things easier?
What does your OH think?
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

I'm sorry to hear you feeling so blue. Since you've had several things going on at the same time, take a bit of time to unpick what the problem is. You don't need to put yourself under more stress than you are already have. I'll jot down a few suggestions:

I wonder if it might be worth relieving for a while. Then you wouldn't be dragged into school issues, longer hours etc. It also gives you a chance to try out different schools to see if that really is the problem. Many teachers get permanent jobs via relieving. My mum is a school principal and she does a lot of recruiting that way.

While you are doing that you can keep an eye on the jobs market to see if anything better turns up.

You may be suffering from the old migrant 'let down' period. There is a recognised lifecycle of migrant emotions that swings from joy to sadness and settles around about contentment - you maybe only be as far along as sadness. Have a read of this:

Expat Mums Blog: The stages of cultural adaptation

If you google the subject you'll find similar stories.

One other thing that occurred to me is that you might be suffering from lack of vitamin d. People think of NZ as sunny all the time (certainly if they don't live here!!!), but what is not recognised is that you do not get vitamin D from the sun if it is low on the horizon. In fact, you should never sunbath when the sun is below 45 degrees from the horizon because you don't get the benefits of sunlight but still get the skin damage and risk of cancer.

When you look at charts for NZ, the further south you go the worse it is. You need UVB rays to hit the ground for it to help your skin create vitamin D. In NZ, no rays hit the ground over the winter months, so by the end of winter you will be vitamin D depleted if you haven't topped it up beforehand. I would recommend a month-long course at a reliable sunbed shop. You may only need one session per week over the winter months to top you up. It's a popular treatment in Scandinavia, and there is some research that sunbeds can reduce depression in the winter months. Of course you can supplement and make sure you are eating Vitamin D rich foods, but exposure to UVB is the most effective way of doing it. If you want me to post more on this let me know.

I hope that helps. Depression can be multifactorial, but making a few small changes might help a lot.

Last edited by jmh; Jul 17th 2014 at 8:14 pm.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

I don,t usually reply to these as i,m never sure what to say but it,s sounds like you have to change jobs get away from inside/office work and see some of the place ? Go drive a cab/truck no stress no hassle turn your brain off for a bit, If you miss teaching go back to it and if you don't well there's your answer

Neil
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

As a fellow teacher I agree it's an all consuming career which makes it hard to juggle family time and work time. Teaching is never ending.

Maybe you're feeling unsettled because you've just been back to the UK on holiday which I assume opens your mind to questions? I wish we had the money to go back on hols, my kids are really keen to see their old friends and family but it's too expensive for 4 of us. We're saving up to go in a couple of years.

Relocating to another part of NZ won't change the teaching side of things.

If you want to stay in NZ, how about becoming an RTLB or reading recovery teacher or even a reliever if you can afford to work part-time, but you'd get to see lots of schools and not have so much admin.
A teacher friend of mine now works for the council as an education adviser and runs courses in schools on water.
There are other linked career options: people who run courses in museums, art galleries, DOC, EOTC/outdoor pursuit centres, zoos etc. CYF (child, youth and family) may also offer options. Becoming a teacher for the Life Education Trust?

Only you know if moving back to the UK is what you want.

I would ask yourself the questions again in a few weeks when you're back into term 3 and memories from your recent UK holiday have faded.

Good luck whatever you choose and remember it's what is right for you is what's important and nothing else.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Originally Posted by bearskin View Post
Lots of people I know say that teaching here is all-consuming as well. You have to have a passion to do it - the pay is no better than working in any other job, but the input required is massively more.

It will take a while to really settle in NZ - people are a bit harder to open up and make good friends with.

BTW, having read your blog a bit, I have to say, I was feeling a tad envious of the stuff you'd been up to - and for living somewhere that's not so obvious (like North Shore Auckland - us) ... so whilst it might feel slightly miserable to you, living it, from the outside it does look like you're doing OK - certainly no worse than most new migrants would be doing!?

All the best, I don't have any magic answers I'm afraid. If you're ever up our way, top me a note and I would be happy to chat.
Thanks - that means a lot. Don't get me wrong, I love it down here, I just need to remove the stress of work and I will be fine, but that is easier said than done in such an unpopulated area.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Thanks Guys.

I am looking outside teaching at the moment, I am now able to get interviews (after much changing of CV!) but need that elusive job offer still.

I have decided to quit education for a while, I was considering it before I arrived. The issue is how to convince employers that I can do other things.

I have considered relieving but am concerned about the unpredictable income. We need both our wages (at least to some level) to pay the bills.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Originally Posted by MOSO View Post

If you want to stay in NZ, how about becoming an RTLB or reading recovery teacher or even a reliever if you can afford to work part-time, but you'd get to see lots of schools and not have so much admin.
A teacher friend of mine now works for the council as an education adviser and runs courses in schools on water.
There are other linked career options: people who run courses in museums, art galleries, DOC, EOTC/outdoor pursuit centres, zoos etc. CYF (child, youth and family) may also offer options. Becoming a teacher for the Life Education Trust?

Some of these suggestions are interesting. Where would I find out more about those, do you know?

Originally Posted by MOSO View Post
Relocating to another part of NZ won't change the teaching side of things.
I kinda figured that wouldn't change things. Therefore I am looking at other things now, if i can only crack the job offer thing.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Let me know which appeal and I may be able to help, some links:

Te Papa: Education - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ
Wellington Zoo - Learning Programmes

Water education units for schools | Kapiti Coast District Council

Life Education Trust - Situations Vacant

https://jobs.minedu.govt.nz/jobtools...nter=222504722

Home | Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu

All of these are not in Invercargill obviously, but will give you ideas and contacts. Good luck.
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Old Jul 17th 2014, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Thanks, i'll take a look.
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Old Jul 18th 2014, 4:16 am
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

I have had a look at the Life Education trust and registered for updates. I have been onto the Ministry for a while now, and have even been to the local office. There hasn't been a vacancy for them in this area for at least the last 18 months.
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Old Jul 18th 2014, 4:44 am
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

What about after school tuition? You wouldn't earn enough to do it privately I wouldn't have thought, but is there a Numberworks or KipMcGrath Centre in Invercargill? At my son's school there is a mobile tuition service that travels round various primary schools in the area offering extra help in maths and English.
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Old Jul 18th 2014, 4:57 am
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Thanks moso. I have never heard of either of those places. I have contacted them both.
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Old Jul 18th 2014, 9:07 am
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Default Re: Feeling blue... Suggestions please

Hi M_and_M,

Sorry to hear you are feeling so down. I agree it is not a nice place to be or feel. Great suggestions so far and it seems that maybe it is the teaching aspect that is getting you down the most - even before you emigrated?

I think we sometimes don't appreciate fully the reasons why we choose to emigrate until we are far, far into the process....then you are smack bang in the middle of the adjustments.

I too read your blog and wondered if you could look at retraining in the sports field. Seems like you would have some skills to offer there. I know that Southland Polytech offers free training in lots of areas to attract students to study there. Is there anything you could retrain in (for free) and work on the side to keep the coffers topped up. Or even take a year out and just work a less stressful job to recharge yourself. Could you possibly job share or work part time? Have you ever thought of owning your own business?

You have been through so much, you are still grieving for your mum, I still am 23 years later! Don't make any rash decisions in an emotional state (I did and got it completely wrong!).

If you enjoy living in NZ it may be worth holding out for it all to fit together, if you are a believer in it all working out for a reason, hold on and you'll get there. Reading on here over the years, lots of people end up in totally different jobs to what they did in the UK.

Lastly, I think the reality of living in the deep South is the real lack of jobs. Not as in unemployment is high, just that the economy is smaller and there will only ever be so many opportunities. Which is why the big OE is so important to us kiwis. I found it can be a bit of a struggle if you work in a specialised field, and people tend to spend years in the same job! One of the drawbacks of a small population I'm afraid, moving to a bigger city might give you better opportunities for jobs but also brings with it associated living and housing costs which usually reflect a more buoyant market.

Good luck with it all!
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