How do you deal with the stress of teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by amethyst, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Dec 19, 2013

    I am currently between student teaching semesters, and have been substituting in a different schools every day. I'm not even a teacher, with full responsibilities, but it SO stressful. I am the calmest person imaginable in the classroom all day, and then when I come home, I just fall apart. Crying, exhausted, crabby. Some days are obviously worse than others, but some days my head is just spinning and I can't imagine how in the world teachers do this every single day, AND write lessons, and everything else, AFTER teaching all day, and do not literally have a heart attack or something from the stress of it all. I seriously do not know if I can actually deal with this. Do you get used to it? Can you recommend some really great coping skills or something? Should I just get out now??
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2013

    Cut yourself some slack... there's a HUGE learning curve.

    At my point, there are only a very few days per year that are stressful at all-- days when a kid faints in class or something along those lines. The vast majority of the time, the hours I spend in school are the most peaceful of my day. It's when I go home and turn on the "mom" that the multitasking gets into high gear.

    So deep breaths. You'll catch on to all this. It's a LOT to take in in the beginning. That's why there's student teaching: to acclimate you a little before you hit the deep end of the pool.
     
  4. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    I don't know, I think maybe it's just being around so many people that stresses me out... like the thought of a child fainting does not stress me out... like I said, I'm pretty calm all day, but then at the end of the school day, I am TOTALLY wiped out!! And I do enjoy the day, too! I think I'm kind of like that in general, after being around a lot of people all day. I am more of an introverted person by nature. So, maybe that's more of what it is. The noise, the commotion, etc. I think it really overwhelms me, physically, and that stresses me out. I'm not sure what I can do to get past that, though. Resting or chilling out a little when I get home doesn't do it.

    I should also say, that I student teach in Kindergarten, and primarily sub in Preschool-1st grade, and Special Ed classes, so they generally do require a very high level of patience, and there is probably a lot more movement, noise, etc. in the younger grades. These are the classes I prefer and work better with, though.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 19, 2013

    You will learn things as you go.

    I'm very much an introvert. After school I have to have down time at home. Most days I come home and sit in a silent house. It's great! I allow myself to leave school at school.

    I'm crabby and stressed this week because
    • grades are due.
    • it's almost time for break.
    • I have "that class".
    • I've not been feeling well. (anemic & diabetic)
    • I'm trying to get ready for a sub in January when I have surgery.
    • I need to get my house cleaned before surgery.
    • there are lots of social engagements.

    I did start medication this year. I started it for hot flashes, but it really had taken the edge off my Type A personality. :thumb:
     
  6. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Dec 19, 2013

    It's my 2nd year teaching and I still feel that stress and anxiety. I teach special education preschool and although I think I have it together most days, it's non-stop all day long....sometimes after the students leave at 2, I stop and remember that I haven't sat down since 9am. I have 2 sessions of 19 preschoolers with disabilities, so 38 total, most with physical needs and a lot that require g-tube feedings, nursing care, positioning, etc...and some that just have extreme behaviors. Sometimes at the end of the day I wonder how I have even made it through....like last week when I had my principal observing, a sign language interpreter starting for the 1st day, a new student with cerebral palsy, and one of my paras out...and then a kid vomits in the middle of the classroom :)

    Usually when I get home I go straight to PJs and lay on the couch for an hour just to unwind. Some teacher friends of mine swear that going to the gym to work out right after school relieves a lot of tension. You'll find what works for you. I think even though every grade level has different types of difficulties, I've had multiple subs who have told me that they never knew how physically exhausting preschool/special ed could be.

    Don't give up just yet. Once you get into a routine and have your classroom and lessons established, it does get easier.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2013

    Depends on what the stress is from. If the stress is from all the paperwork, planning, grading, etc. (the tasks of teaching) then once you get your own classroom/teaching routine going, the stress should subside some. This may take more than a year of full-time teaching, but eventually you will find ways to get all/most of your grading and planning done in a reasonable amount of time (either at work or maybe on Sundays only). You will eventually develop systems that work for you, makes this process easier and it will no longer seem like you are reinventing the wheel.

    If you're like me and the stress comes from dealing with the students, their behaviors and the fact that nothing is ever predictable; then you have to find ways to let that stress go and move past these stressful situations right then, right there. If you're teaching in a challenging environment and the only time you get a chance to breath/release is at the end of the day - the events of the day will build up and it will drive you crazy by the end of the day. I try to remain as calm as possible, regardless of the situation, and I choose my battles wisely. I'm a big believer in knowing when to walk away and when to "just let it go."
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 19, 2013

    It does get easier. The planning an grading gets easier, of course you have to actively try to be efficient, but you can definitely make it where it doesn't stress you out.

    Dealing with the kids... it gets easier, but over a longer period of time. I reflect aaaalll the time and try to learn from my mistakes.

    When it all fails: rent Bad Teacher, and watch it while having a couple of drinks. Just kidding, but you do need to make sure that you have a life, and teaching is not the only thing you focus on.
     
  9. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Thanks!!

    I think it is mostly the physical non-stop on-the go, never sit down, never a moment to think, always watching, always talking, etc. The behaviors can be stressful, but it doesn't get to me.

    Going to the gym right away before I get home is one strategy I haven't tried yet. I'm usually too exhausted to think about something involving more movement, but maybe it will help to take the edge off. Nothing else has worked.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    One thing to remember is that there is stress from being a good sub that flat-out does not exist with regular teachers. I have all the grading, paperwork, etc... but when I go to work tomorrow, I know exactly the 28 kids I have, I know exactly what I'm walking into, and each of those 28 kids knows what to expect from me.
     
  11. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2013

    What you are feeling is normal and will go away, don't worry. The more you teach, the more you learn.

    It's a lot like driving; it will become second nature before you know it. When you are first getting used to something you naturally feel overwhelmed. Just comes with the territory. You will find your balance at your own pace.

    Just breathe, have fun, and try to leave work at work.
     
  12. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Dec 19, 2013

    Sometimes by exercising. But more frequently by eating....
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Dec 19, 2013

    I completely agree with this. I subbed a very little bit, and I found it incredibly stressful. I hated it! Teaching is stressful, but it's a different kind of stress. At least I know my kids, the staff, etc. I'm an introvert, too, and interacting with people I don't know every day is very stressful to me, which is what happens in subbing.
     
  14. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 20, 2013

    Like Ima, I'm an introvert. As much as i like my job, it gets stressful to have people constantly around me snd talking to me whether it's the 27 children i share my class with, parents or admins popping in or my own team during lunch.

    What helps me cope is i arrive about 10 to 20 minutes early in the morning so i can have a little quiet time to myself, sip my coffee, look over lesson plans, use the bathroom and breathe. Then when my team arrives i feel refreshed.

    I also vent on this forum, to my husband and mom. I take a lot of deep breaths throughout the day, especially when a kid is annoying me.

    When i first started teaching i tried to be on Top of EVERYTHING and i made a lot of extra work for myself (for instance i used to meticulously grade homework and write long, well though out comments and correct things that were wrong.

    now i reserve that for classwork ad tests unless there's a glaring error) then i began to prioritize what had on be done right then and what could go on the back burner.

    I remind myself often that i am a good teacher and that i am still human.

    I try not to bring papers home with me to grade when i can. I hate a bag full of papers and normally they sit in my closet untouched all weekend.
     
  15. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Dec 20, 2013

    I agree with others that there is a learning curve. Also, I teach at a private school, so I have less students and I believe the stress is much lower than it would be in many public schools.
     
  16. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Dec 20, 2013

    Wow, thank you! This helped SO much!!
     

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