Too sensitive and boring to be a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by greenbay33, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2013

    Okay, so I have struggled this past year not having a teaching job. While I have consistently subbed for a lot of districts (no lts gigs though) I still feel like i'm just doing something wrong and will never get hired, which scares me as a 23 year old man who wants to settle down and have a nice life, not be some bum who works minimum wage.

    Anyway, I wonder if the problem is if i'm too sensitive. Not sensitive in the sense that I'm in touch with my feelings, but sensitive to criticism and people not liking me. In my student teaching I was at a tough school where most of the kids are lower income and it is about 3/5's hispanic (its a rural meat packing community). Anyway, while some classes went well, quite a few were disasters. Anyway, sometimes I just couldn't handle when kids were misbehaving and out of line. I even got so mad that once I left the room, found my CT and said I was too emotional to continue or else i'd end up breaking down.
    It wasn't just the students either. Whenever i'd get criticised by my CT's i would cry and what made it worse was that I felt like I was a terrible teacher, and a terrible man for being such a big fat crybaby and of course I'd bawl and complain at home as well and i would just feel worse and worse.

    Anyway, I think a lot of it stems from the fact not only that I hate criticism, but due to being heavily bullied and made fun of in school, I hate being criticized and feel that people who criticize me think i'm a loser and a bad person and I take it too personally. Of course what makes it worse is that when its really bad I get angry and yell or say mean things, but I feel worse.

    Anyway, am I just too sensitive to be a teacher? I wonder if I just am unable to handle criticism in a school environment from colleagues or students. I feel terrible about it because i'm such a big baby, but I feel helpless and can't do anything about it

    It sucks too because I love my subject (social studies) and I feel that is my strength, but I lack in a lot of areas, or at least am not confident in these areas. I want to get a teaching job just because I want to see how it goes and show that I can do it, but anymore I wonder if I really can. So am I just too sensitive?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Feb 17, 2013

    I think it might be a problem. You will be observed and evaluated all the time, and your principal won't sugar coat things.

    The bigger problem is that if you teach middle school or high school age kids, they won't be nice just to spare your feelings, in fact they are just so good at sniffing out everyone's weaknesses. They use that to get their way, or just to have some fun. For them, it's more fun to watch a teacher get off topic, get upset, frustrated, etc. than to pay attention and work hard.
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2013

    You have to grow a thick skin in this profession because you will get criticized from all quarters.

    Social Studies positions are notoriously hard to get. Maybe that's the reason.
     
  5. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Maybe that's why i shouldn't teach. Much like teachers, the kids in my class would do that to me when I was in school. I had thin skin and I just couldn't handle it. Of course I'd cry or i'd simply get so angry I'd fight them. Of course I wouldn't beat or fight my students, but i'm worried I'd yell at them. Its just so tough though not to at least get a little upset for me. I guess I'm the type of person who thinks people should be nice and get respect no matter who they are. I don't think I should because i'm entitled, but because its just common courtesy. Maybe i'm just too idealistic or naive to teach, or do anything for that matter (granted my grocery store job is going well, but I don't mind criticism there, its not really opinion based, which sadly teaching can be)

    And to reply to Milsey. Yes social studies is hard. I know that is why I can't get a job. its hard to get in. I'm just saying that my sensitivity makes it extra hard
     
  6. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2013

    You have REALLY got to get some thick skin othewise you won't be able to make it an ANY job, let alone teaching. What do you think is going to happen if your boss tells you that you didn't do something right and it needs to be fixed pronto. Are you going to cry then? You simply cannot do that. You're a grown man. It's alright to be sensitive, but you're an adult and you've gotta suck some things up.

    If you were not qualified or meant to be a teacher, you wouldn't have made it through your student teaching, but you did. You CAN do this.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    Feb 17, 2013

    If it makes you feel any better, I used to cry a LOT when I was starting to teach. It was mentally exhausting and not always emotionally rewarding. Some days it was like herding cats who know there's a giant bowl of cream on the other side of the door, and I was the meany making them stay with me.

    That thicker skin comes with time and trial. Journal about your days and reflect on them. You will slowly see that growth that you might not notice from day to day. Stick with AtoZ as a group of virtual mentors (I don't think I could have made it through the past several years without the counsel I get here). Most of all, when you feel like you're drowning, remember to lie back, point your feet, and go with the flow.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Oh yes--this is true. :thumb:

    Case in point: Back when I worked for a bank (I worked there for five years), we had a regional manager who would come to our branch and humiliate tellers in front of customers. He was quite a bully. There was one instance where he was standing behind me while I was waiting on a customer. He interrupted my conversation with the customer and said, "Okay, it's time for you to stop jabbering and assist the next customer." I smiled at the customer, nodded and smiled at the regional manager, and wrapped up my conversation. Was I livid? Yes! Was I demeaned? Absolutely. Did I hold it together? You bet!

    Later that day, I spoke to him in the break room and let him know that it was NOT okay for him to embarrass me in front of customers! He really seemed shocked that I stood up to him. He pretty much left me alone throughout the rest of my years with the bank!
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Phenom

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    Feb 18, 2013

    Seconding all the advice that you really do need to build up a tough outer layer.

    What I do depends on who is doing the criticizing (if it is criticism).

    If it is a senior or a boss or even a peer, I think about their motivation for the criticism. Are they really just trying to give me advice and help me out? If so, then I would be thankful for it. If not then I'll probably just think they're an arsehole.

    If it is a kid, first, I think if it is really constructive criticism (it generally isn't when it's coming from kids), and then I think about how goofy and awkward they must feel being a 13 year old and going through puberty and probably getting dumped by all of the girls they like, and feeling horrible for getting poor grades because they're trying to get their act together. If they have a tough home life, I might think about that a bit, but mostly I just think about how glad I am to not be them, and how awkward and hurt I COULD make them feel if I mentioned even one zit on their nose.

    That puts things into perspective, and it just makes me laugh that this 13 year old prepubescent teenager even thought that they could force me to feel insecure about myself.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2013

    Thick skin is a must for teachers, but just because you might not have it now doesn't mean that you can't grow it. I find that most of our experiences in life are shaped by how we respond to them. If we choose to not let something get to us, then it won't. It really is as simple as that.

    I consider myself fairly sensitive in my day-to-day life. At school, though, I try to be like a duck and let everything roll off my back. I'm successful most of the time. Every now and then something really gets to me. As I type this, I'm thinking of one comment that a student made to me once. I know that she didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but it really got to me, mostly because it was said at a time when I was experiencing something traumatic in my personal life. It felt like her comment was like a knife piercing the exact spot where I was hurting. I cried after school that day, and that's not something that I do very often. That doesn't make me unfit to be a teacher; it just makes me human.
     
  11. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    Feb 18, 2013

    :lol: I love this. This will certainly keep me from snapping when I know I should not!
     
  12. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    I don't know if I can though. I mean yes academically i'm able, but emotionally I can be a wreck. I mentioned kids but to be honest I can handle them a little more because I know that they don't really know anything and can't judge how good I am. To be honest, now it wouldn't affect me.

    Criticism from other teachers though is something I can't handle. When someone over me criticizes me, I feel like i'm just a terrible person and that I shouldn't even be a teacher. I almost quit student teaching just because it was too tough, and I wonder sometimes if my CT's passed me just because they wanted to get rid of me.

    It also doesn't help I don't have much confidence, especially in my teaching. In spite of having passion and knowledge for my subject, I feel like I can't be a teacher because I can't manage a class, and have a hard time relating to kids. Anymore i'm just lost. I thought I wanted to teach, now I don't know if I can do anything except grunt work for minimum wage.
     
  13. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Feb 18, 2013

    But what if i'm unable to have thick skin? I was always told growing up that everyone deserves respect no matter who they are. I guess its just common courtesy. I feel like when people criticize me, they are just like the people who bullied me and trying to make me upset. I know it isn't true, but I was so affected by it.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Can you explain how having thick skin equates to being disrespectful? That seems to be what you're implying here. I don't agree with that assessment, so I want to see where you're coming from before I respond.

    Do you think you could benefit from a few sessions with a therapist? It sounds like you might have some pretty serious self-esteem issues. I'm right there with you on those, but I'm pretty good about faking it most of the time. If your self-esteem issues are affecting you to the extent that you are unable or unwilling to secure employment, then that's something you should consider working on.
     
  15. Ms.SLS

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    I agree. Perhaps you need to gain some coping strategies, because 1. Kids can be mean (and I've heard more than one student bragging about making a teacher cry). They use teachers as punching bags often. 2. Criticism is part of ANY job, not just teaching.
     
  16. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Feb 18, 2013

    I am with Caesar and Ms.S...you might be in need of some therapy. Many people have self esteem issues, but it doesn't keep them from living and doing their job. If you live your life based upon a bunch of 'what ifs' you're not living much of a life at all.

    What do you think is going to happen your first few years? It's going to be challenging even if you were top notch at everything you do. You can't cry, feel sorry for yourself and throw a pity party.

    And hey, lets say you don't teach and do something else--you're going to get criticized there too. Retail, food, anywhere and everywhere there will be some person every day who is correcting you or just being an ass.

    No teacher is criticizing you to be mean. They are doing it so YOU can improve and be the very best for your students.

    I was bullied too, but I'm a grown woman now and you're a grown man. No offense but GET OVER IT. Really if you're letting bullying from K-12 get to you so many years after the fact, you might as well call up all those bullies and congratulate them for having such control over your life.
     
  17. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Its not like I'm just sitting at home though. I substitute teach and work at a grocery store, and I do just fine. And its not just other people who criticize me. I'm hard on myself. When I get criticized I take it out on myself saying "I'm not good enough" or I'm a loser. I'll admit i'm a harsh critic of myself too.

    But how am i supposed to rebound. My CT said that "I gave you my good class and you lost them". That makes me feel so great. My CT sure was helping there
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    I think all you need is some self esteem and coping skills.
     
  19. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    It isn't so much that thick skinned means being disrespectful. I mean that people should be nicer so that thin skinned people aren't hurt. Some people are just more sensitive and people need to realize that. I just hate it how some people are just jerks.

    Also, i'm not unwilling to look for work. I try. Its just I can't even get a **** interview and it makes me so angry to the point I wish I could just yell at them. But I can't and its not healthy. Even when I get an interview and try to do my best, I feel like i'm getting screwed. Not because i'm entitled to a job, but because it feels like people don't care about what I can do. Anymore I feel like i'm just a loser when I can't get a job and I try my hardest. I guess I feel like if you put the effort in you should see results. Anymore it feels like the only way to get a job is to either be related to someone or just have really good luck. It feels like my work is a big pile of crap.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The sad truth is that people are allowed to choose their own behaviors. Sometimes that means that they choose to be mean or hurtful or even just indifferent. You can't change their behaviors. You can only change the way you react to those behaviors. You're not going to prevent others from being hurtful or uncaring, so you have to work on finding ways to not care so much when they are that way.

    It's hard for lots of teachers to find jobs these days. It's not just you.

    I'm going to reiterate my comments that you should maybe consider some sort of therapy to address your self-esteem issues. I wish you luck.
     
  21. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Feb 19, 2013

    You do realize that thousands of teachers can't get a job right? It's not like the world is singling you out. Also, nowhere in life does it say that people need to be 'nice' and 'respectful' so thin skinned people don't get their feelings hurt. It's a tough world out there.
     

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