Poll: Is depression and anxiety common for first year?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Dave81, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Dave81

    Dave81 Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2007

    I posted something similar about this earlier, but I was wondering how common it is to feel depression and anxiety your first year. Anyone else experience this?
     
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  3. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    I don't think I felt those unless you mean when the principal came to observe my class. When he comes in I forget my name. I really wanted to quit until Spring Break. Now everything is a lot better! I got my job again for next year and things are going smoothly.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Absolutely. It can be overwhelming at times. I tend to worry alot anyway, so that doesn't help either.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 3, 2007

    Anxiety is one thing- being a new teacher is like a juggling act- you've got a lot on your plate and you are trying to get it all done well.

    Depression though? That I would take seriously. Here's a questionnaire on signs of depression but if you feel you may be truly depressed, please see your doctor as s/he is the only one who can diagnose this disease for sure.

    http://www.depression.com/depression_questionnaire.html
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Dave,

    More often than not anxiety and depression coexist. It makes sense. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to feelings of sadness. I hope you feel better and seek help. Sometimes talking things out with someone really helps.
     
  7. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    Apr 4, 2007

    I was both anxious and depressed at the beginning of this year (my first year). Actually, I was taking prescription medications for both depression and anxiety. There were a couple of days I had to call off becaused I'd worked myself up to the point where I was physically ill before going into work. I think it's very normal. People kept telling me it would get better and it did. The meds helped alot though. I would have stuck it out without my doctors help. Maybe you should see yours.
     
  8. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Apr 5, 2007

    I had mild anxiety attacks the first few months of school. I was just down right terrified of something bad happening. Now that I am in month 8, I only have the attacks a couple times a month when I am having a rotten day. I think being VERY prepared and helps a lot. Though I must say that I now have a drink a few times a week (which I am trying to do without so it doesn't become a habit).
     
  9. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2007

    I was really depressed last year during the last part of my student teaching because I was too hard on myself--working too much. I had to see my doctor to ask for help. I decided just to focus on finishing the year. It helped me get through the year.

    This year I was very stressed (at the beginning of the school year), but my hubby put things in perspective for me--what's important, family or work? I chose family. Sometimes you need someone to talk things through on a somewhat objective level. I also decided to throw myself back into my hobby--gardening. I'm glad I did because my garden looks wonderful this spring! You should've seen it in the fall; it was pretty bad. :)

    It also helps to focus on your students that you can help. They are the shining stars in my day. I have plenty of kids that are behavior problems, but there's those few that make it worth my while. My friend and I started a book club at school and being with those kids will help us get through the school year. We were so amazed that these kids showed up; we were only expecting a few kids!

    Anyway, don't get me wrong, I still have a few days here and there when I'm anxious about something, but it's not as bad as the beginning of the school year.

    It'll be the end of the school year soon! Please make sure you take care of yourself first. Hang in there! :)
     
  10. abby1966

    abby1966 Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2007

    I can relate to that feeling of sadness and anxiety. I'm a first year teacher and I'm totally exhausted. Plus I have been in the process of finishing my masters and they have had me in AIG certification as well. I just feel like at times that I am drowning and that I just get enough done to keep my nose above the water - does anyone else ever feel like that?

    I stay exhausted and I am always working wherther it be preparing lessons plans, studying the curriclum, working on classes for my masters or working on classes for AIG certification. At times, I just feel like that something has to give.

    I've also been told that after we get back from Spring Break that it will be pretty intense trying to get the kids ready for EOG testing which will take place approximately 5-6 weeks after Spring Break.

    I just feel so stresses - at times I have even felt like that I'm not a very good teacher - anybody else ever felt this way?
     
  11. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2007

    I feel that way at times, too. I suffer from depression, but I can't take any medication because of side effects. It helps that I exercise when I can. The exercising keeps me sane; I used to run quite a bit to help alleviate the depression.

    We're under pressure all the time, and I just got an email from our principal that I need to input more test scores before we get back from Spring vacation. I was talking to my friend who is also a first year teacher, and she was crying because she's so stressed out. We teach at the same school.

    I can't even imagine getting my master's right now. I also have the beginning teacher stuff so we couldn't do it even if wanted to; there is no time! In addition to that, they want our department to tutor students after school to help with the state test. I tutor students after school if they need help, but they usually don't show up. Out of all my classes (100+ students), I only had 8 kids show up.:(

    You're right that something's has to give. My marriage was in quite a state so that was the part that was giving way. I had to make a choice on what was more important.

    Most of the time, I feel like the teacher that I want to be, but I'm trying the best I can. At times I feel like maybe I'm not challenging them enough academically, but I've been reprimanded by my friends that I'm an overachiever--maybe we are all too hard on ourselves!:eek:

    Please don't feel like you're all alone. Do you have anyone that can mentor you at school, or someone that you feel comfortable with that you can have him/her observe you (constructive criticism)? He or she doesn't have to be in the same subject matter, too.

    I think it's a great idea to post your feelings on this forum. I know it helps me--kind of validates how I feel, too. :thanks:
     
  12. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2007

    I remember my first year measuring the paper work to grade from the floor to my ankles, then calf... I just couldnt manage, or keep up, there was so much to do planning and organizing, really felt like there was NO one who made me feel like they could relate because they were veteran teachers!
    I have OCD so the vision of the pile of papers would haunt/taunt me all day and it was My dad who said STOP, throw the stack out. So tomorrow you can start with a fresh start and NOT begin the day buried!
     
  13. CanadianTeacher

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    I think it is common. It's a lot of ups and downs. I am in my second year, but technically I consider it my first because it's my first year with my own class, managing all the subjects and there are issues that a rotary teacher just doesn't have. Sometimes you feel like you are on top of the world, things are going great, then thing seem to pile up out of nowhere and all at the same time and you are left wondering what happened, feeling completely incompetent and useless. Take the good with the bad, try to cut yourself some slack and find someone who understands to talk to. It will go a long way towards preserving your sanity.
     
  14. teach2heart

    teach2heart Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2007

    I know how you feel, this is my first year of teaching and I have had such a challenging year~ the situation, the behaviors, not much of a curriculum or support, etc. I have felt really anxious about teaching. I am now at the point that I really don't want to be teaching right now. I don't think I can make it through the rest of this school year (3 months!) I just don't know what to do because I am worried about it affecting my future employment.
     
  15. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Apr 10, 2007


    I've been there. Do your best to finish out the year, you've come so far already. Have you begun looking at other places to teach? Very often it's the environment that is wrong. When you find your niche, you will feel so renewed.
     
  16. abby1966

    abby1966 Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2007

    Teach2Heart,
    I know exactly how you feel. I am just worn out. We are on Spring Break right now and I dread going back next week. It's been a rough year. Plus, I changed careers so I'm making alot less teaching than I was in my previous job which has definitely put a strain on me as well. I don't know about you but I find myself spending my own money on school supplies, resources, etc.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Abby,

    I hear ya! I ended up spending so much money my first year. I think that's an important thing for new teachers to know. You won't walk into a fully stocked classroom, so be prepared.
     
  18. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Apr 14, 2007

    I just wrote a long albeit great response here and I totally lost it-well that about sums it up for the year. Anxiety and depression have been my constant companions-stressfull, yes, it is so hard when you come face to face with the same kids day after day that threaten to undo you completely. I ask myself, how do teachers do it? How to remain calm is constantly my challenge. I have 2 or 3 boys that seem to be together a lot-5th graders, who just come in and think they can play in my room, with whatever it is, and the sad but awful thing is, I let them-I know I should blow up and completely go nuts over this, but I don't. I don't agree with the curriculum, it is so hard for my kids. They are doomed to fail in the first place-they have LD, so they can't process this. They come in the Resource room and just want to play and let loose. I need them to focus on their work, and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I am so tired and worn out over beating myself up-how can I get them to the next level. It is frustrating, and I have had no training in this area-I can only blame myself, I chose this job. But I am so beginning to hate these kids, and that is wrong. They have no discipline at home, no help do I get whatsoever, and teachers have already so much on their plate. I can't get the behavior plans going and off the ground because there is so much else to do, and principal coming in just sends my heart beat off the charts. It scares me. so yeah, I can relate to anxiety and depression. How to make it all even out is what I can't seem to do. LL
     
  19. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    Apr 14, 2007

    37 Days til Summer!!
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 14, 2007

    Not here.. we still have a good 2 months.

    In NY, we go from roughly Labor Day till mid June.
     
  21. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Apr 14, 2007

    If you have had no training in this area, then my best advice would be to read all you can on classroom management. I have read 3 very great books last year that helped me become so well prepared for first year teaching that no one (even my students) can tell I'm a first year, Infact, I work with 2 experienced teachers who are dealing with severe behavior issues from kids that I have well under control. Of course I do have my bad days and on those days I use my squeeze ball and take deep breaths. I also bought a bubble gun just to use when I need something to calm down. I will probably get in trouble for having the bubble "gun" in school.
    I work in a poor school where the kids are performing so low and most parents don't care. It's very stressful, but I am determined not to let these kids give me a hear attack.
    WE are the teachers and WE have control. You have to expect and demand them to meet your expectations. When the kids know that you have low expectations for them, then they will not raise their expectations for themselves. I have seen this first hand. It doesn't matter if they can run the show at home. You run your classroom they way you want to.
     
  22. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Apr 14, 2007

    Katarina,
    I would love to know what books you have read. I know when this year is all over and done with I will be very sorry and I will miss it very much, but I am not coming back next year. I need a break from this stuff. It is hard work-and I am a whimp in the area of classroom management. I do what works for the moment but I struggle so much with consistency-how can I do that? I don't know what that looks like, how or why to constantly do it, and yes the expectations must be raised, but how do you do that? I need to focus more on them. I have so much to learn. There is so much to know and apply and you can't really know how until you just do it. thanks so much LL
     
  23. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Apr 15, 2007

    This first book is the one I found in my new classrom when I was moving into it. Lee and Marlene Canter's "assertive discipline". This book will take you step by step on how to design a management system and how to be CONSISTENT! Which is hard at first, but listen! Once you are consistent the first month, the kids KNOW your system and they will fall in line. TRust me on this because I have had many "Bad" kids who tried pushing their bounderies by horseplay, swearing, calling out, getting out of seat, sleeping, goofing off, throwing paper, YOU NAME IT! After being consistent and having to hear these kids tell me off and storm out and act like I am NOTHING, they are as well behaved as the best behaved. HONEST.
    The next book is Harry Wong's "THe First Days of SChool". This book tells you HOW TO BE A GREAT TEACHER!! I have rad this book several times and still thumb through it occassionally.
    The third book is a very short book called "The Relunctant Disciplinarian: Reluctant Disciplinarian: Advice on Classroom Management From a Softy who Became (Eventually) a Successful Teacher" by Gary Rubenstein . This book is funny and gives great tips!

    I am sorry that you have decided not to return. I think if you read a lot, watch some teacher oriented movies and visit this site regularly, you will have a better year next year. I know it's rough, but if you think teaching is your calling, then don't give up yet.

    By the way, are you special Ed teacher?
     
  24. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Katarina,
    That is so funny as you listed your books and I was reading your post, I chuckled to myself, those first two, I actually pored over and really wanted to apply, but how, I just about know them by heart. And as I read them I got really excited, "yes, I cried" I can do this, and love it, but it is just to the point-"whats the point"? I think it all started when my principal gave me my formal evaluation, and on almost every area he marked 'Improved" or something that showed he felt that I could do it" and then he said, "I don't think I am going to rehire you" The bottom just fell out-and since then I have not cared what has happened in my classroom. That was the end of Feb. It hurts, I am sensitive and this has been a very hard year. I came into this job after 16 years of being home raising my kids. It was hard to get back into the swing, but that is just too much for me to recover from.

    I have kids whose parents are afraid of them, or who just say I don't care, but you know they do, they just want to act tough in front of their peers. I want to help them, but how, there is only 29 days left. I know that I can do this job, I know I can. I am feeding myself too many negative thoughts, and I get caught up in what they are saying, meaning I listen too much to what they say.

    Anyhow, thanks for the posts. I will not crawl away, tail tucked between my legs, I will be back, only stronger.......This is what it takes for me,

    thanks. Lori:D
     
  25. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Hey, I have several kids in my class that I am scared of! Just never let them see you sweat. Always look like you know what you're doing even when you're scared to death! I was scared to death my first few months, but now I am just burnt out and ready for summer.

    I have a 19 year old son, so being a mom is great experience for being a teacher. You have to REALLY WANT it. I'm sure that being told you won't be rehired can ruin your drive and motivation. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe you are meant to teach somewhere else. Anyway, I know things will work out.;)
     
  26. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Yeah!!!
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. They really do help. I go back and forth between, I can do this, no, wait, I can't-so I am caught in the crossfire. The year is pretty much over anyway, just testing and field trips, so I will try to savor it.

    Now what do you teach and how long have you taught it? Just curious? Good luck. The anxiety has subsided somewhat. I was scared to death of my principal for awhile, now I am not-he is human too, so I just will do the best I can.

    Summer is on its way. Did you ever have such fears? I just don't know what to do with them, they become a habit I think, and I can't get out of it. I think too, the more you learn, the more comfortable you become, and as you do it, you see how it is done. I am a special ed teacher. I am so very proud of my profession and I want to be better at it. It is hard to be in a classroom of kids that nobody wants in their classes all day long. It is stressful and I am convinced you have to have to be a very secure person to do it. You have to push them ever so gently, and expect the best and know how to get it.


    thanks. L.:D
     
  27. hope037

    hope037 Rookie

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    Omigosh. You sound exactly like me. I'm depressed because I invested a lot of time and money into this career!

    waaa. It's only three more months but I have to pray my way through each day.
     
  28. ohteach

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    Apr 15, 2007

    I am a 2nd year teacher and I still feel that way. Right now I am going through a situation that has got me depressed and anxious to the point I am not sure I want to teach anymore. I hear this teaching thing gets easier the more years you put in. I am lucky that I have some great friends at school and we can all sit around and discuss this stuff. Hang in there, eventually there will be a light at the end of the tunnel
     
  29. msb

    msb Rookie

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    We go back to school tomorrow from our spring break. I'm kind of depressed now because the time went too fast, and I'm sort of dreading the week. It was really a tough beginning; it still is. I try to take it one day at a time and try not to look too far ahead.
    Still, I really can't wait until school is over. I think there's 9 weeks left! Woohoo!
     
  30. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    I have been so scared that I felt cramps in my heart! It's just dealing with middle school attitudes. But it DOES get easier with experience.
     
  31. abby1966

    abby1966 Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2007

    I am really just very tired. Today was my first day back from spring break - I think we have 37 days left - thank goodness!! I'm stiill undecided as to what I want to do next year - I'm just really stressed out and a little down on myself right now.

    Anybody else feel this way or is it just me?
     
  32. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    I do!!! I had a really great Monday though-twas a sunny day and a change in routine really lifted me up-plus I had time to read a positive discipline book so it gave me some great ideas:p
     
  33. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Monday the 16th was my first day back after a week off! I too am tired and can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning!
     
  34. thechangingtabl

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    May 19, 2007

    With 4 days left of school, I finally asked my doctor for a script for an anti-depressant. For the past couple of weeks, I have not wanted to do any lesson planning or grading. I go straight into my bed after-school and weekends! I am in a sorry state and cannot wait for school to be over! I am so tired and worried about next year!
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Have you had a physical recently? Could it be mono or something?
     

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