Teacher Stress and Anxiety

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Batman15, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Batman15

    Batman15 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2015

    This is a vent post so feel free to help out with advice as you wish. For some context, this is my second year at the same high school. I received good feedback last year from the administrators so they decided to give me more responsibility- grade team lead, Ap classes, and they even moved my room to the administrator floor to "showcase" it. Long story short I am completely drowning in my thoughts all of time. I am constantly thinking about and reflecting on teaching. How can I do this better? that better? I think about it so much that I lose hours and hours of sleep. I did start taking sleeping pills so that helps a little even though I feel drowsy in the am. I jjust feel a lot of weight on my shoulders. Yesterday, I felt like I was at a breaking point. I was leetting my students get to me and I had about three people tell me I looked stressed out. Well, duh. Instead of doing my preparation for the next day, I went home and started drinking alcohol and of course that is never the answer. I had to take a personal day to recover mentally. It feels good to write this post and I plan on setting an appointment to see a doctor. I love teaching but at times it can really have a negative effect on my life. I just wanted to hear other teachers' thoughts. I apologize about the grammatical errors; I typed this on my iPhone.
     
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  3. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Oct 6, 2015

    You're not alone. I'm in the same boat. It's my second year and my principal just keeps adding things to my plate. I ,too, changed grades this year. I'm also RTI coordinator for the high school and a class advisor. It's been a lot of work!

    I'm taking sleeping pills (I've never had problems sleeping before) and my doctor just put me on antidepressants for the first time in my life! I took a personal day the other day for the same reason as you.

    In my case, I had to learn to put my foot down and explain that I was feeling overwhelmed. There is a very real risk of burning out. I finally just broke down in front of my principal. I think admin need to understand just because we come out of the gate strong and have a good year, doesn't mean you can expect us to do more and more each year. I resigned the RTI position to focus more on my classes.
     
  4. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2015

    Batman, don't let this job destroy your life. I am glad that you realized that drinking is not the answer. Please follow through with your plans to see a doctor. If you have an established relationship with a doctor, then you have a built-in thing to do instead of turning to alcohol if things ever get that bad again. A doctor's involvement would also be needed if, for example, you needed to go out on a more extended stress leave.

    It sounds like both you and allaragallagher are being leaned on too heavily by your administrators. Perhaps you are working in schools that don't usually attract the highest calibre of staff? I can see how that kind of situation would entice admins to over-work their more competent personnel.

    I think you need to talk the whole thing over, such as with a doctor or some other professional, and try to pinpoint what factors are making you the most stressed out and what the most likely options for change are. For example, you talked about constantly being hounded by thoughts of how to improve your teaching. Is this connected to anxiety about admins "dropping in" to your "showcased" classroom with no warning? Or perhaps the anxiety is based on colleagues treating your crappy because they're jealous of the accolades that have been heaped on the newcomer. Whatever the cause is, once you figure that out, you will have a better idea what to change to make things better.

    By the way, you said it was your second year at this school -- are you a new teacher in general, or just new to this school?

    Hang in there -- things will get better!!
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 8, 2015

    I am also in my second year at a great school, and am feeling the pressure since it is our "tenure decision" or "make-or-break" year. I also changed grade levels for one of my classes and am now teaching seniors, who are a challenge for me, and am involved in our senior project which is a huge undertaking. I am trying to be more involved and take on a more leadership role since that was suggested as an area for growth in my observations last year, but I am also really worried about taking on too much and getting overwhelmed and then seeing my classroom teaching slip. So far, I think I'm doing fine, but I am so nervous about the evaluation process and just want to get it over with so I won't keep second-guessing everything I'm doing!
     

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