Being a teacher with mental health issues

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SF_Giants66, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Feb 15, 2014

    You want to be the center of attention. How do you do that and have your students learn? Do you meltdown when you don't get your way? What do you do when a child doesn't follow your directions?

    What happens when, and you will, have a disagreeable parent? Have a violent outburst?

    Can you view a parent as an equal? If you don't are you going to lash out at them?

    As a teacher you do have to work with parents. It's part of our job, not to the extent that you work with kids but parents are a very important part of the education process. What are your plans for when you have a disagreement with admin or a co-worker or you think that you are better then them?

    You say that nothing we say will change your mind about teaching. In your program, have you had the opportunity to work in the classroom yet? If so, how have you handled the criticisms (your strengths & weaknesses in the classroom? that your cooperating teacher &/or adviser have given you?

    You need to find a way to get your concerns under control.
     
  2. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I know you said you don't want anyone telling you not to teach, but the issues you're dealing with are not compatible with teaching. At least not school age children.
    Have you thought about teaching at the college level?
    I haven't taught college, but I do remember the 7 years I've spent attending college / universities.
    You can teach there, and not deal with parents, not deal with difficult children, you don't have to deal with classroom management and you don't even have to build relationships with students, you can teach and leave, and they can still learn and be successful because they're independent and mature.

    at elementary - high school your symptoms will stand in your way. You will want to get back at the student who called you a name, or threw the books on the floor, you will deal with difficult parents who you still have to treat with respect, and although you are the teacher, so technically you're at the center of the attention, the focus should be on the students. If anything, the focus should be on what you teach, not you, as a person.
    And you're not going to have people validate you and acknowledge your superiority at the school: you will be working with other intellectuals, who went to college as you did and are just as smart , or smarter than you are.

    Consider college teaching, if you don't want to give up teaching.
     
  3. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Feb 15, 2014

    You have asked if you should disclose your personal information. No, unless it is directly relevant to a question or situation. Mental health is a tricky area and something greatly misunderstood by the misinformed. Do you want to risk being misunderstood?

    You have been in your current position for 2.5 years. You and your employer know best about your suitability for your teaching position. I'm not going to comment on it since your diagnoses may or may not be relevant or even accurate.

    Also, do you have a sense of humor, are kind, compassionate, and patient? Those are important qualities for teachers.

    Good luck and kudos to you for seeking help and support.

    A medical professional can help you determine if your employer should be privy to your circumstances.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I don't think he is working in a teaching capacity. He said he is a 3rd shift worker but didn't say where. It didn't seem to be in education. He also said he is studying to become a teacher after switching careers multiple times.

    I don't know who wrote recommendations for him, but the only "teaching" he discussed was a camp counselor and volunteered. He didn't indicate where he volunteered unless it was as the camp counselor.
     
  5. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I've been a teacher for five years as a career change. In my experience, relationships built with colleagues, administration and parents are just as important and building relationships with students. Plus, if you receive negative feedback from any of your adult professional relationships, it will highly impact your employment. You will have no choice but to work with fellow teachers in some capacity of a professional learning community- it's built into the job. Their opinion of you will certainly be shared with administration. If you respond inappropriate to administration, you can be let go in those non-tenured years. If you receive a parent complaint, especially from a parent who does not have a history of filing complaints, it will impact your employability. Parents have a strong, highly emotional stake in their child's education and progress. I read some mention of middle school, students at this age can be extremely challenging with the onset of adolescence. Learning to build appropriate relationships can be taught in therapy and it will likely be very important for you to learn these skills before entering the teaching profession. And yes, regardless of your age (I entered late), you will be a rookie in those first years and you will have to take advice from those much younger than you with graciousness.
     
  6. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I've volunteered as a camp counselor, and also as a mentor and tutor.

    My mental health issues affect family relationships and friendships more than anything else. Right now I work 3rd shift alone and have limited social interaction with anyone during my shift, except a few people that call on the phone or walk-in for middle of the night assistance. I mostly do paperwork/night management/security. It is most flexible with being a full time student as I get 90% of my homework done at my job.

    For the rest of the concerns,

    I have made some great strides and better getting along with people, but I still have some flaws that I'm working on.

    To address the comments about middle school students. There actually have been students that age that have mouthed off to me and made rude remarks, but I have taken them all pretty much with a grain of salt. As I said, I have high tolerance for children, but little tolerance for adults. This doesn't mean that just because I obsess over revenge and anger, that I carry it out every time or even most of the time. It is just the problem of having chronic depression and anxiety over it that I'm dealing with now. I do know how to control myself believe it or not.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Feb 15, 2014

    They may have affect those relationships more since you don't interact with many people at work.

    You may have your district dictating many different policies at you that you hate. You will have an occasional upset parent. Teaching can be extremely high stress. I worry for your future students if you continue this path without seeking more help.

    If you haven't been doing any observations or anything, I can't imagine you're that far into your program. I started those my sophomore year.

    I'm sorry you're going through all this.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I'm reading this as you carry out those feelings of revenge and anger sometimes, if not 'every time'. I'm worried for you and even more so for those at whom your anger is directed. Get help...and only then, with a clear head, consider what employment avenue is the right path.
     
  9. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I did observation field work last semester, and I'm doing teaching field work this semester. I have only briefly observed on a half day with my cooperating teacher and the students because school keeps getting cancelled every time I'm supposed to go to field.

    Yes, I am worried too about getting into teaching without professional help first. I honestly would have got it by now if I could have, but the open enrollment for the market closes March 31st and they have still yet to answer my documents. This whole government health care has been nothing but a joke.
     
  10. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I know that seeking mental health services can be very daunting, especially without coverage, or when services are available only when you are supposed to be working. I sympathize with you. I do hope you will seek help as soon as possible, especially as what you are describing could seriously negatively impact your progress in the program.

    I bet I'm not alone in feeling that the most frustrating behaviors I've sometimes faced come not from students, but from other adults, who are often in charge of me. I am continuously frustrated by the negative attitudes of some teachers I must work with on a daily basis and am required to collaborate with on a weekly basis. If I said something negative in return, it could cause real problems. As an incoming teacher, you will have a university supervisor, a supervising teacher, a principal and maybe a BTSA teacher over you. You will also have fellow teachers offering advice that might be golden or useless but you have to accept both with graciousness to build rapport. There are also specific techniques, like making sure you say of three positive things about a student before you bring up the negative, when you call a parent, that builds a rapport that will give you support. Some of these skills can be taught in cognitive behavioral therapy. Therapy and other interventions might also help you learn to rebuild bridges with others. Teaching is an overwhelming people-interactive profession- the only time I'm alone some days is in the restroom, and even then someone may be speaking to me from the other stall.

    I wish you the best. While you are waiting for other insurance to kick in, you might be able to get started with your local county mental health services. Perhaps work might be flexible enough to allow you to start late due to a doctor's appointment and then work through lunch, allowing you to attend school-based services?

    I'm a special education teacher and my daughter is on the autism spectrum. We've had to work together with mental health professionals to specifically teach her some interactive skills with lots of support. It has made a big difference. I'm not in any way suggesting a diagnosis, only that therapeutic intervention can be very useful and may make a big difference in your life.
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2014

    A neuropsychologist would be who you'd be looking for
     

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