Hey! I'm a brand new teacher in the State of Washington! I just graduated college last December and I got my first real teaching job in a really small town in the middle of no where. I am going to be an art, digital art, and yearbook teacher. I am only qualified for art, digital art is my hobby, and I don't know anything about yearbook and I am very nervous going in my first year. My internship and first teaching experience was terrible and negative. I went through a school shooting in the 2nd month of teaching and I had some of my students die. Students went through a lot of drama, ptsd, depression, were suicidal, aggression, and overall it was hell. Even before the shooting, the school had problems and I found that kids were cruel no matter how hard I worked. After that happened I lost my passion for teaching and became depressed for the first time in my life. Getting up each day was painful and I had horrible thoughts that I would rather get sick than teach.(I used any excuse I could find to stay home which wasn't good) I figured that my internship didn't count and even though I was unhappy as a teacher, I should at least give it a second shot. I didn't want my degree to go to waste and all that time and money I spent to be all for naught. I applied for the few art teaching jobs and I got one which was awesome. The problem is, I feel like because of my terrible internship I now have a lot of pressuring anxiety about going in to teaching. I feel awful just thinking about teaching and all the endless things I have to do. I have a super low salary and am going to live paycheck to paycheck... I really don't see the point in being a teacher when teaching isn't even valued in this own country. (sometimes I wonder why people want us to work so hard after school and on weekends if we aren't paid well in the first place, but when I think this I doubt my major and job like crazy and I get depressed) I know all my spare time is going to be into teaching too and I won't have time to make friends or do things I love, which makes me really sad. (I'm moving to a REALLY small town, like, there is nothing to this town at all, I feel like I will be really lonely because there is no one my age and nothing to do there) I already feel homesick just thinking about it. I come from a tight family and I had lots of friends in college, I know I can skype them but I will miss having people my age (23) to meet in the flesh... Overall I feel like crap and I have zero confidence in myself, the educational system, students, and teaching. I asked a lot of questions to the teachers at school because I know they are really wise and might be helpful. I thought they would boost my confidence and just pump me up, but it was the opposite. When I asked them about teaching their first year, they were really negative and it just made me feel worse. A teacher told me that she had no time for friends, a hobby, or even making meals for herself and she laughed at me when I said that I wanted to find time to do art for myself. Another said that teaching will be the only thing I do and it doesn't get better with time and when I told her my classes she said she felt sorry for me. The art teacher I am replacing said that I would cry every day (that was the first thing he said to me when I met him), hate my job, and that he almost had a stroke doing yearbook and had to be sent to the hospital. He was actually pretty strange and really negative, so I just assumed that he was a jerk, but it still haunts me that he told me that. I've done therapy and all that stuff btw, I'm over the shooting as an event, I just now feel like I lack confidence. I haven't even started this job yet my fears are already controlling me and making me despise this decision. (which sucks, I'm really good at teaching information, but it's just this confidence road block.) My contract is a year long so I'm not locked into anything and if I hate it I don't have to renew it. I could try to get a non teaching job but I also doubt I can do that with an Art Education Degree and make a good salary. The only saving grace I have is being a pro in Photoshop and design. I also never really heard of people changing careers away from teaching either. Is it even possible? I ask this because if I do hate teaching, it's not okay for me to stay in it for the kid's sake (they need a passionate teacher instead of a depressed person) I hope that I will be happier with this job and I will be pleasantly surprised, but I want to know ways a new teacher can balance social life and hobbies with their job! I don't want to be guilty that I'm not working at teaching if I am having lunch with friends for example. I just know that if I don't interact with real adults my age, I will be a sad sack. I also know if I don't ever find a moment to relax I will become a stressed horrible unhealthy shell of a person. (stress physically hurts my body soooo I have to find time to relax.) I hope that some of you guys have some nice things to say about teaching or some advice? I know this is a lot of info and insecurities I'm ranting about, but if I could just get some solid info that would mean the world! Thank you!