Feeling burnt out

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Geologygirl, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 10, 2015

    I am feeling very burnt out right now. I am a new teacher which is stressful enough, but I am also 6 months pregnant, and have been having ongoing problems with parents when I give a kid a consequence. The parents are honestly starting to drive me a little crazy. Their kids are always innocent no matter what they did or I saw, and I am always wrong or lying about their kid. I even had one parent try to get me fired over giving her son a detention. They said I was lying, their kid was innocent, even though they admit in the letter they wrote to try to get me fired their kid did the thing I gave him the detention for.

    It is getting to the point where I am afraid to give any kid a consequence because the parent will complain and half the admin will bow down to the parent. The other half are great, but unfortunately you never know which admin you will get.

    I am hoping this will get better next year.....as I gain experience but..... right now I kind of feel horrible.

    Does anyone know of any uplifting books or websites where they helped you get over burnout?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 11, 2015

    I would read books on classroom management because it always made me feel like I was going to improve my craft and not deal with certain issues anymore.

    In your case, the only real cure is a good admin. Even if the admin bows to the parent eventually, as long as he or she takes your side seriously, and then takes control from there, that's all that's really needed. How many parents are giving these issues?
     
  4. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Apr 11, 2015

    You may get used to it. My first years teaching I would go home And sleep or cry or plan or all three. I slept all the time, lost weight, etc. Now I am able to come home and make dinner, get the car's oil changed, exercise and have time for myself and others. It does take awhile to get there and I bet it is harder while pregnant.
     
  5. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2015

    It feels sometimes like all of them, but really only 6 this year, of the 6, only three who still blamed me after meeting with the parent, student, and with an admin present. I think that the reason I got the complaint was because the admin backed the decision to give their kid a detention so they tried to take it to the district. My school is a high performing one, and I think many parents are afraid their kids won't get into Yale or Harvard if they have so much as a detention on their official record. The sad thing is if these kids tried the kinds of behavior (cheating, plagiarism, lying, ect...) in college or the professional world they would just get kicked out, or fired.

    It seems like parents do not see the worth in having their kids learn that there are consequences for poor choices or actions now..... I teach freshman, and I think that many kids are testing boundaries for the first time now, and this sometimes shocks parents which is why they believe anything their kid tells them is truth.

    I know I am not the only teaching having issues with freshman parents this year. Some people have had it much worse so I guess I should count my blessings, and just hope with time, and practice I will get better at dealing with them. I am thinking of giving it one more year, and if I am still this stressed out by this issue I may just look for another school to work at. I hope it wont come to that because I love the school, kids, and most of my coworkers at this site.
     
  6. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2015

    I am lucky in some ways because I have 90 min planning periods so I get most of my planning and grading done then or after school. I also go home to sleep, or cry, but I thought the tiredness and the crying were pregnancy symptoms not first year teacher ones. It is nice to know that there are teachers out there who have had similar experiences and got through it.:)
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 11, 2015

    If you teach in a high performing school (read: wealthy neighborhood) helicopter parents are real issues. I'm sure many of these kids have been testing prior to freshman year (as I get them as 8th graders). What happens though is that some teachers just pass them forward without teaching them the lessons they need to learn to succeed by not holding them accountable for their behavior. OR, the student DOES have documented issues in prior grades but the parent chooses to pretend they never happened and that it's a completely new issue that only happens in your class. (This is usually proven for me by looking in to the discipline log on their little angel for past years or schools.)

    I work in a very middle of the road school. I do get parents like this occasionally (whose kids transferred from high performing schools because they were doing poorly, usually, but again they pretend like they're doing poorly because of our school), but not as many as you have.

    In a school like yours admin back-up is CRUCIAL. In some cases even when the admin won't back you up, you have the option to just push it to admin and refuse to deal with the complaints. If I get a really bad parent, sometimes I will simply say, "If you have further complaints, please take it up with the P." and then forward the email correspondence and my side of the story to the admin.

    They rarely push it back to me. Admin does sometimes have to bow to the parent, but then it's them doing the bowing, and not you. You may not be tenured, but at some point in your career, you will have a lot more freedom in how you run your classroom, and will feel a lot more secure in your position even if a parent threatens to take your job. (There's nothing they can really do, especially if you have the documentation to back it up.) Build a good relationship with your admin, and you're really golden. The admin can usually tell when a parent is simply being ridiculous and won't fault you if you get a crazy one. It's a fact of teaching, especially in a school like yours. Don't let it get to you. Stick to your guns when necessary (you are the professional and that does give your decisions a lot of weight), laugh it off afterwards, but always act professionally. We are in a sort of service industry, and we sometimes have to work with unreasonable customers.

    You are exactly correct by the way about what you said about parents not realizing the worth of consequences and learning from mistakes. All they care about is that their student makes a perfect record. Sometimes you have to be a better parent (in this aspect) than they are.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2015

    The first year is the toughest...just wondering, how much time are you taking for maternity leave?
     
  9. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2015

    Thank you for your advice. I think I just need to sound more assertive when talking with parents. I try to be nice and sympathetic but I think it makes them think they can walk over me easier.
     
  10. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2015

    The Baby comes in mid-July, so I will only be taking off between 3-7 weeks depending on when/how it comes. School starts the beginning of Aug here. I pretty much need to take the minimum amount of time due to finances. At least by then I will not be a begining year teacher anymore. Hopefully it will be a little easier.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2015

    I suspect your state of mind currently is at least partly the pregnancy and the fact that most women this far along do better with naps. The hormones take their toll. I would squeeze out as much maternity time as possible, because until baby is sleeping a good part of the night, you will be sleep deprived trying to do a full time job. Is there any chance of doing half a day for a few weeks? I know the answer is probably no, but it is always worth looking into. It would be a way to have some money coming in without running yourself into the ground. Good luck.
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2015

    I'm a first year teacher, and I'm also pregnant! I definitely feel the struggle. I am counting down until summer vacation...
     
  13. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2015

    Me to. A month and a half left to go.;)
     
  14. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Apr 13, 2015

    Join the club lol. Not too much longer though. At least we have the summer to look forward to.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 13, 2015

    Congratulation all you expecting teachers. Hope the remainder of your school year and pregnancies are smooth sailing!
     
  16. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Apr 13, 2015

    This can be a tough time of the year if you have a tough group (kids or parents!). The end is close enough to be in sight, but not yet right around the corner.

    I am in my 8th year teaching and am also 6 months pregnant with my first. I am much more exhausted than usual, and can be quite moody as well.

    I'm sure it's a combination of the two--I can't imagine having been pregnant my first year while dealing with a rough group of parents!

    My book recommendation is 32 Third Graders and 1 Class Bunny--it's written by an elementary teacher, but it's absolutely hilarious!
     

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