Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Youreapeach, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2009

    I'm really hoping to get some feedback, help and support here. I'm simply overwhelmed and feel like my head is spinning! I'm not a new teacher, but feel like it right now. Actually, I feel worse than when I was brand new! At least when I was brand new, the district gave me a mentor teacher to help me, which was so amazing and wonderful! I didn't feel so alone, and everyone realized I was new, so I didn't feel a ton of pressure.
    Anyway, I've taught Resource grades K-6 for the past 4 years. I've always enjoyed my job, and done really well. I've always had confidence in what I did, and other than a few nerves because of a stressful group or difficult IEP at times, I have been a happy camper!
    This year is totally different. Because of budget cuts in my district, I was "bumped" from my resource position by someone with more years in the district. (Last year was my first in this district-I was with another district for several years.) I ended up moving to a middle school and taking a 6-8th grade self-contained, mild/moderate disabilities teaching position. At first I was so thankful to still have a job and be in the same district, that I didn't think too much about the details and worries that might come later. Well, now that school is starting in less than a week, and teachers report back in a few days for inservice training, I'm freaking out. I haven't slept well in days, I've been crying and just totally overwhelmed. I'm nervous to be at a new school. It's huge! I'm used to my little elementary site, and this is just an overwhelming place! Besides the principal, there are several AP's, counselors, many secretaries, and lots of other people I don't even remember now! The thought of learning all the procedures and meeting this huge staff and understanding how things work makes my head spin. Also, my room is a dirty, old mess and I don't have all the things I need. I don't know how to plan or what to do with these kids all day! In resource they come in for a little bit, and then they go back to their gen. ed. teachers. I think the idea of having them all day and not knowing what to do or how to run my class without running out of work for them is scaring me the most. I've gotten a few great ideas on here in answer to some questions, but I still feel lost! I can't help but feel that I will be totally unprepared on the first day of school, and the kids are going to know. I'm worried about behavior issues that may come up, who my aide will be, and a million other things! I don't even have a class list yet or know how many kiddos I will have in my room yet!
    Anyway, I guess I just want to know if anyone else has ever felt this way, or if there is something wrong with me! I am so upset with myself for letting myself be such a downer, but I can't shake this nervousness and uneasiness I feel about everything! A new school and new level may just be too much. Anyone have any thoughts or words of wisdom, or who can relate to how I'm feeling??
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. JP2009

    JP2009 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2009

    I'm feeling this way right now. I taught in VA for the last 2 years and just recently moved back to PA. I worked as a 5th and 6th grade resource teacher in VA. I was hired to be an elementary emotional support teacher, which was going to be very similar to what I did in Virginia, but have been shifted to the high school as of last week.

    I'm freaking out. I can't sleep. I'm scared to freaking death. The worst part is I didn't even get my input on this. I think I will have a real tough time, and if I want to leave this district in a year, I may have a tough time getting a letter of reference.

    I'm going to talk to the special ed. coordinator and share my concerns. I just think it's awful to change someone from what they have success doing to something that really may cause them to hate their job. Good luck.
     
  4. ebc

    ebc Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2009

    My advice to both of you is to take it ONE DAY at a time. I think that's how I've gotten through the most overwhelming times of my life.

    If you think about the whole picture, it might make you nauseous with all the worry, but just remember you can't be expected to know everything perfectly when you are in a new setting. It's okay to feel nervous, and don't expect to feel totally confident.

    I freak out if I think about a months worth of things I need to do, or sometimes just a weeks worth of things. I honestly would just start with thinking about what you will teach on day one. Don't worry about all the paper work and co-workers, and everything else, just worry about being prepared for the first day- and then take it one day at a time from there.

    Good luck! really, I hope you end up enjoying it :)
     
  5. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2009

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Yes, I'm freaking out a lot. I can't eat or sleep and have been feeling horribly anxious for days. The worst part is because I'm not a "new" teacher, I can't get a mentor in the district. Even though I'm new to this school and class. I feel like I need support from another teacher who works in a class similar to mine. I have so many fears about this class, the school site, the teachers, everything! I too have already thought about leaving after this year and possibly not getting a good letter of rec because I might do such a cruddy job. It's crazy because I've always had wonderful references and evaluations! I don't know what's gotten into me, but it's a horrible feeling. I'm glad I'm not the only one with these worries.
     
  6. JP2009

    JP2009 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2009

    The thing is, I don't know what to do on the first day. I have never been put in a self-contained classroom all day with kids nor have I ever taught anyone above 6th grade.

    It makes me mad that I spent a majority of my summer gathering materials for elementary and developed positive reinforcement programs, and now they are all good for nothing.

    I know I'm new to the district, but I think this is a shitty thing to do. They have to have a teacher for the elementary. I'm going to try like hell to see if I can remain there.

    Couple this wtih the birth of my first son last week (I'm a male so I won't need the time off) and I seriously think I'm going crazy.
     
  7. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2009

    ebc-Thanks for responding. I'm trying to look at little things and not everything at once, but it's hard. There is so much looming over me. My room is a wreck and nothing is close to being done or ready. I have no lesson plans and very little materials. I'm going there today to work on stuff and hope to have a better outlook after today. Honestly, I don't think I can deal with this not sleeping and anxious stomach all day. I also can't help but feel very alone and like I'm the only one feeling this way. Thanks again for your kind words. It's appreciated.
     
  8. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Peach,

    I posted some ideas under your other post. I hope you find them helpful. I have been teaching special education for 10 years now and I understand your level of anxiety. Just make sure that you put your foot down and document when there are variations (behavior problems) so that you can prove that you are doing what is necessary. Some students in a SDC need extra behavior support to function. Make sure that you read the entire IEP, including any behavior modifications if necessary. I'm good with students with autism. I taught them for about 7 1/2 years and I'm also an adult with Asperger's Syndrome which is a mild form of autism. We are here to help and it doesn't hurt to ask when you feel overwhelmed. I get scared when they have to move me from another classroom and start all over again.
     

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