Supporting my SO, who's a teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pajamapants, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. pajamapants

    pajamapants New Member

    Sep 7, 2021
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    Sep 7, 2021

    Hi everyone. I'm looking for some relationship advice, but teaching is heavily involved.

    My SO and I are both teachers in our late 20s. We graduated from school at the same time and have both been teaching high school for 8 years. We've been in a relationship for 11 years, and have been living together for the past 2 years.

    My SO is having a really rough time at work. All day he teaches remedial classes with 40 kids per class, and the students are misbehaving and not completing their work. For half of the semester he will not get any prep time (this is allowed according to our union). Next semester he will also be coaching a sport, and he has never coached before and doesn't know a lot about the sport in question. (Our union says you can also be assigned to coach).

    In the morning before work, he talks to me and worries out loud about work. Then on his lunch break, he texts me (about half the time, it's about how his first class went badly). Then after school, for a lot of the evening he talks/worries about work.

    I am not sure what to do. I find it really difficult because after teaching all day myself, it's hard to come home and hear about negative teaching stuff all evening. I want to talk about other things and take a mental break from teaching when I get home. Also it stresses me out seeing him distressed.

    I have tried just being supportive and not giving advice (saying things like 'I know you can do it', etc.) I find this tiring to do morning, noon, and night. Am I jerk for that?

    I have also tried giving advice but that didn't work as he tells me having 40 kids in the class is an impossible situation and nothing he does will make it better. Unfortunately a few times I have gotten frustrated and have gotten mad at him which makes things worse.

    He has not had much stability at work because each year he's either teaching a new course or being asked to coach a new sport. And every time he has to do something new (be it teaching or not) he gets really anxious about it. Every time a new semester comes around, so every September and February, we go through this problem where he gets really anxious and I get mad because I can't seem to support adequately.

    I've been encouraging him to look in to a different teaching setting (like maybe adult education) but I'm not even sure if that would help.

    Does anyone have any advice for me? How can I support better and not get mad at him? Is it reasonable for me to set boundaries and ask him to only talk about work at certain times? Should I seek counseling for myself? I feel like I can't talk to my family or friends about this because that would be unfair to my SO.
  3. TripleTeach

    TripleTeach Rookie

    Jan 10, 2011
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    Sep 9, 2021

    Would he be open to some couples counseling? This might help you both improve your communication, set boundaries, etc. He might also learn some strategies for dealing with anxiety or how to move forward and make a career change if needed.
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Aug 5, 2004
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    Sep 10, 2021

    Are you sure the no prep and being forced to coach are ok? Check your contract and look for language on these topics. If the union rep is not helpful, go to the union President. If they are in the contract, I would try to get those to be topics to be changed at the next negotiations.
    Tired Teacher likes this.

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