My first year is over. I need your advice more than ever. Please help?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by pinkcupcake90, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Jun 20, 2016

    Hi, everybody.

    I'm really ashamed of myself. I can't seem to stop crying today. I worked as a long-term sub at my school. The teacher I was filling in for got into some legal troubles.

    It was my very first year teaching. I had no experience, and I was hired via alternate route.

    I made some terrible, terrible mistakes. I'm so ashamed to say what they are, but I need to get this off my chest.

    There were days when I lost my temper and didn't control my tongue. On several occasions, the kids got me so mad and heartbroken that I snapped back at them, I cursed, and I said some awful things. What's worse is that they heard me.

    I love teaching, more than anything in the world. But I feel like I shouldn't be in this profession because of what I've done. No teacher should ever make her students feel bad. I've made some terrible mistakes that I can't take back.

    The principal wants me to come back in September, but on a long-term sub's pay. I think I should try to find another district and start anew, but do you think I should find a different profession? I don't think I can get past my mistakes and how I've made my children feel. I feel like such a failure and I can't stop crying. I should be happy that I survived my first year, but I hate myself for what I've done.

    Please be my saving grace. Should I resign from this profession? How can I ever get past this mistake?
     
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  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jun 20, 2016

    Slow down! You're a first year teacher! Remember even an expert had to start in the beginning at some point on her life. We all make mistakes and do things we wish we hadn't. Any teacher who says they didn't struggle in year 1 or even year 30 is a liar. Teaching is a rough job, but is also the best job on earth. Keep your head up and promise to yourself to continue to grow.
     
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  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 20, 2016

    Pink,
    I think I've read all of your previous posts -- about what happened last year, and about the fact that you are suffering from depression. I think the same advice we gave you earlier still applies -- you need to get on-going professional help for your depression and other issues. Each one of your posts starts with "I've been crying all night..." or "I want to hide and not come out"... that sort of thing. We care about you, but you have to take the first step -- have you gotten the ongoing help for your depression? Until you do, I don't think you will be able make any major life decisions and have it work out, no matter what field you try.

    I'm not saying any of this to be mean or to hurt your feelings, but hon, crying all the time, having self hate, being unable to control your emotions in public, saying inappropriate things to children -- you need the help only a professional can provide. No one here can provide that. We only want the best for you. Please get some help. There is no shame in it... Depression is a disorder, and like any disorder, you must work closely with a doctor until the crisis is over.

    Please get treatment for your depression. We are all worried about you.
     
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  5. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Jun 20, 2016

    Oh no, you guys are right. I should have mentioned, I'm actually doing an outpatient treatment program. I do have some healing from my past to do. Depression, OCD, and anxiety. I'm a triple threat. May God forgive me. I'm also on new meds.

    I think I'm going to take a vacation this summer. I've always wanted to go to Costa Rica. Maybe it'll be good to disappear for a few days in a new country.

    I guess I'm just so mad at myself because I'm not a perfect teacher. :( I've made so many mistakes. That's not who I am. I'm normally a happy, kind person. I guess I took their behaviors very personally.
     
  6. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Jun 20, 2016

    I am so blessed to have you guys. I'm sorry for my morbid posts. These children were driving me crazy. Lol. But I think I'm ready for my second year. I just hope I deserve to be a teacher.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 20, 2016

    Yes, you should keep teaching. Yes, if you can, try to get a new job somewhere, new start and possibly on a teacher's salary which is you deserve.
    Yes, you should make sure that you get all the help your health needs.
    No, you don't need to be so hard on yourself. Your principal wants you to come back - take that as a sign that you are a good teacher. everyone had a rough first year, and being a long term sub is even harder. Give yourself some credit !!
     
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  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2016

    You seem to know your mistakes and you are willing to learn from them. That is exactly what a good teacher does. Most don't. I believe because of this you will be even better next year.

    I do think that this school might not be the best fit for you. This really rough population has really left a heavy toll on you. I would entertain the thought to a school that might be a better fit.

    Also, I would look into programs that might help you to be calm in the classroom and enjoy teaching more. Tools For Teaching by Fred Jones is a great book that might help.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Pink...I agree that you should continue teaching. Why does the P want to keep you on sub pay? I think you need to find a position at a different school that will pay you as you deserve...teacher pay.

    The demographics of your school just didn't seem like a good fit.
     
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  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Try to find a new school. If you can't find a full time position then sub at a DIFFERENT school. Why would you want to put yourself through that again? And not even with decent pay? I honestly don't know any teacher who would seem happy at your school. I don't think it's your fault at all that you weren't happy there.
     
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  11. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Jun 21, 2016

    I agree with the majority. You are a teacher, and should be paid and treated as such. If you can find a school with different demographics, do it. I am bad at forgiving myself for mistakes as well, so I know where you are coming from there.
     
  12. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Oh, sweetie! Want to hear about MY first year teaching? LOL! It would probably make you feel much better about yours.
    I'm not diagnosed, but I know I suffer from social anxiety, perhaps a touch of OCD, and have definitely gone through bouts of depression. So, I know that this profession with those issues is difficult! Heck, the first few years I taught I was so full of anxiety I cried nearly every morning before going to work. For someone like me, an introvert with social anxiety, a job where you are forced to interact with hundreds of teenagers, many of whom are hell bent on being defiant and/or getting you riled up for fun, was a living nightmare.
    But I stuck it out. I'm going on 15 years in the profession, have been Teacher of the Year twice at my school, lead the county in state test scores, and my students love me. Yes, they drive me INSANE sometimes (thank you for summer vacation, God!), but it's not nearly like it once was for me.
    And you know what? Lots of other teachers suffer the same issues. LOTS of other teachers have lost their tempers and said things they shouldn't. LOTS of other teachers have spent time crying over the stress of the job. I think that shows how much you care about the students and your role as a mentor and teacher. You WANT them to be good, and when they aren't, even despite your best efforts, it IS frustrating and infuriating and enough to make you say ugly things and cry. You care about them and your job.
    You'll learn to deal with it all better as time goes on. Teaching is a skill that has to be developed and nothing but time in the classroom will do that. You'll have good days and bad for the entire length of your profession. But that's true in ANY profession or job. But the one very cool thing about teaching is that every year we get a fresh start. I always, ALWAYS look back on the previous year and see my mistakes and where I need to improve. I'm never satisfied.
    Go on that vacation! Absolutely! You deserve it!
    And just to make you feel better, I've cursed at my students before. I've also let them watch movies that weren't approved (and looking back, What the HECK was I thinking??). I've had fights in my classroom. I had the assistant principal call me into her office and scold me on more than one occasion (after which I went straight to the staff bathroom and cried). I once let some boys back their pick-up trucks up to the classroom windows (on the grass, at the front right next to the entrance of the school) so we could sit outside and "read" our novel for the day. They wound up throwing a ball up against the front of the school, climbing in and out of the window, hooting and hollering...and then the principal came walking up. OOPS! He said to me, very calmly, "How would I explain this to the superintendent if he came driving up to our school?" Yeah. I felt like an absolute fool. Of course, the year before that, some student had set rubber cement on fire in my classroom while I was out in the hallway tending to some other students working on projects. I walked in to find flames over a foot high in the middle of my floor. A few weeks later, the principal and the superintendent came in unannounced so the P could show the Super the areas where the floor had caught on fire (it had made the local newspaper, I kid you not!). Well, we happened to be watching a movie that was connected to the curriculum, but I hadn't gotten approved. And they walked in right when some choice profanity was being spewed. My principal stopped right then and said, "WHAT are you watching?" And never mind all the food wrappers rattling and soda bottles sitting on desk tops. We had a strict policy about no food or drink in the classrooms except bottled water.
    Despite ALL of that, I stayed with it. I'm still not perfect, no one is perfect, but I sure learned some tough lessons.
    So, don't feel bad. I've probably done as bad or worse than you. And I'm still at it! And I see teachers doing as bad or MUCH WORSE every single day.
    *Hugs* to you, and chin up. You'll be okay. Your P wants you to come back, so that's a good thing!
     
  13. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Your post made my side split. Oh my goodness, lol! I'm so blessed for your kind words. Thank you so much.

    And thank you so much, everybody. I'm going to keep at it because it's what I love. <3
     
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  14. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Glad I could bring a smile to your face! You take care and enjoy your summer!
     
  15. Realty chic

    Realty chic New Member

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    Jun 21, 2016

    Pink, All of those things that you did to your students, I will confess that I've done to my own children who I love more than anything in the world. Like parenting, teaching is tough. And I beat myself up a lot over my failings as a parent. However, the more time I spend telling myself what a horrible person I am for losing my temper, the less time I have to relax, spend time with my kids, and make happy memories. Like you, I'm working to become better, but I have to give myself room to do that. Think of what you are saying to yourself inside your own head. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, then don't say it to yourself. Hugs!
     
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  16. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 3, 2016

    If it helps...Every teacher is fighting some sort of a battle.
    You are never alone in your faults.
    Teachers do things all.the.time that they regret.
    Best wishes
     
  17. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I don't think you should be in teaching. You take things too personally.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Most of the time that means the person cares and / or doesn't have all the experience or self confidence teaching requires, but of course that gets better in time.
    It's hard to not take things personal sometimes. My P always said :" even though the students make things personal, you can't take it personally" This took a while to sink in, but I got it. They might say something or do something that's a personal attack on you, but you can't allow a 16 year old ruining your day, your mood, your year or in some instances your desire to teach.
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That school may not be a good fit for you, but the fact that the principal DID invite you back at all shows that you were able to work with the crummy situation you had. That is the sign of someone who absolutely should be in a classroom. Keep looking around you. Am I correct that you are at least bilingual? That could be a huge factor in your favor. I know I have worked to learn a few key phrases in Spanish and Arabic (the two main languages my ESL students speak).

    I'm so glad you're working through things and figuring out how to take care of yourself.
     
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  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 4, 2016

    Based on your previous posts about this school, I think it's probably a better idea to get out of this school and district so you can perhaps experience success in a different setting. All of the stress that this position has caused you, you don't want a repeat of it.

    As to whether or not you should continue teaching, that's a personal question only you can answer. I will say that I don't think the mistakes you described should be the reason you leave teaching. People curse, and say things they don't mean. As long as you learn from that and improve yourself, you don't need to completely stop teaching. But if you truly feel that you don't enjoy teaching, and you couldn't find any point of happiness or a part of teaching that you could continue to develop and grow, then you might think of a different profession.
     

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