Asthma UK community forum

Calling all teachers out there!

I am finding it really difficult to keep my teaching job right now. I keep coming down sick (usually with no warning) and having to take a week off. In fact I am back at school now but still not right and it has been 3 weeks! Am finding it really difficult to teach as am constantly tired, out of breath and coughing. Being a teacher it is really difficult to keep taking time off and I feel so bad for my poor children who don't cope well with change. Also doesn't help that if I wanted to change jobs I would find it difficult because of my sickness record! I also feel bad because the school cannot afford getting supply teachers in. Is there anybody out there who has the same problem? Or can you give me any advice?

7 Replies


I work in a school but not a teacher,

Have you had an asthma review to see about better meds for asthma?

Asthma is coverd by the DDA so can not loose your job for it and if OH and

HR need to be involved ,they will try to help you as much as they can

Been down that road and came out ok.

Hope you find away to make it a little better for you.

If your in a union they are also there to help and realy helped me and they also

gave me a credit card thing to ring up for free legal advice on anything.

Good luck in your job and hope you find some help and asthma Glynis xxxx

hope a teacher comes along with help for you also.

Im lucky in a way my HEAD as asthma and understands and as a lunchtime superviser the Head kept me in dinner hall for few days out of the cold following an attack the night before xx


What is dda?


Just to say, yes it is difficult being a teacher with Asthma. I am on this site at 3 a.m. due to Asthma symptoms. Have nebulised but every time I lie down I just keep on struggling to breath. Tomorrow I am working, not sure if it will happen yet, but that is just how it is at the moment. It helps if you have a great boss like me. She knows I will only be off if it is really necessary, as I am sure yours does. I find it helps to take it steady when you do get back to work, as doing to much to soon can make symptoms worse again. I also offer to do things at home to help colleagues, such as marking. Good luck and hope your symptoms improve soon.


I used ot work in aschool but again not as a teacher and again you should loss your job as Asthma is covered by DDA. My hubbie is a TTA (Training Teaching Assistant) and he has just had to have 3 weeks off for sickness a horrid bug hit in really hard and wouldn't go no matter what he did he is know on his 6th day back and he also wishers he didn't retrun when he did but he also felt bad for the children that don't cope with change so went back earlier than he really should off. I would also say have an asthma review as it does sound like maybe you need a change in meds and maybe a course of preds to help you get better and they mgoiht also give you a course of anti-bios to help get rid of the remainding of the birus as it could be that they will do the job better than leavingit and working through it


hi there, I am a music teacher with brittle asthma. Yes, it is incredibly difficult, particularly with the amount of bugs that the pupils like to share with you! In my first years of teaching I had chest infections repeatedly. It is also a very tiring and draining job being with children all day and tiredness makes my asthma much worse. I ended up cutting my days down to 3 days which means I am far less tired. Also having fewer admissions now after cutting my days down. It is a difficult job though and I know what you mean. I feel so guilty when I end up in hospital, especially if they have exams coming up and I hate letting the pupils down like this.


Hi there,

I do sympathise. I'm a peripatetic music teacher, and last year had nearly weeks off in total with asthma related problems. I'm fortunate in that my boss is asthmatic, so was extremely understanding. I was fortunate enough to be able to consider part time work (financially) and now work 4 days (with 3.5 being contact time). It's made a huge difference, and the nature of my work has meant I've been able to be flexible.

Maybe part time is the answer if you can afford it? If you could implement a job-share, you could maybe have that flexibility if you had an understanding share partner?

Take care


Thank you

Thank you for all your support. Unfortunately cannot afford going part-time but have spoken to Occupational Health today and am going to get referred by my school. Went back to the doctors yesterday as had a bad Sunday. I thought I would go for a walk, which clearly wasn't a good idea! Doctors have now given me the dreaded pred which I hate. So no sleep last night and I feel sick and have a cracking headache. I hate the stuff, however my breathing is better already. Went to school this morning then because I felt so tired, sick and out of it had to come back home. I know it is going to break my childrens hearts as they hate me being off. But quite frankly right now the sofa is where I need to be. Thanks to everyone again for their support.


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