I'm a first year 3rd grade teacher. I LOVE teaching and I LOVE my kids immensely. I have a wonderful group of kids. I have amazing co-workers who are always there for me. I couldn't ask to work with a better team of 3rd grade teachers! Problem is, I hate everything else. The stress is unbelievable. In the beginning of the year I was staying at work until 7:30pm just to get my paperwork done, thus giving up family time to spend with my husband. I've realized that sacrifice wasn't working well for me so I don't do that anymore. Now, of course I'm very behind on my grading but it seems everyone is so I just let it stack up and do it when I have time. County is coming down on my school because we didn't make AYP last year and that means our principal is coming down on us. I had a meeting last week with a parent and the principal showed up half way through (it wasn't a regular conference-she's been showing up to all the meetings.) She started getting really angry with me because I filled out some of the paperwork incorrectly. Then she started grilling me on my intervention strategies. In the middle of the meeting I began having problems with my asthma--I started coughing uncontrollably and then I lost my voice completely-boom, just like that. I was a nervous wreck and stumbled my way through the meeting and looked like a complete fool in front of the parent. I somehow made my way through the meeting without breaking down, and walked out crying. I picked up my kids from Specials and had an asthma attack when I returned to my room. I'm not one to cry at the drop of a hat but I have been a basket case this year. My asthma has been worse than ever, brought mostly on by stress. I've cried multiple times AT WORK...always trying to hide it from my kids. One day I had to leave early because I just couldn't control it anymore. Since the meeting last week with the principal I freak out each time I see her in the hallway. My legs get shaky, my throat tightens up, my stomach begins to ache and it hurts to breathe. She is the most intimdating person I have ever met. I've never been like this with a person before. EVER. (The good news is that I'm not the only one who feels this way. The whole school is practically afraid of her in some fashion. I find comfort in the fact that I'm not the only one, however, it doesn't change the way I get around her.) She is doing my observation on Monday. My first observation went wonderfully, but it was with our AP and she is unable to do it. Even at home, I'm on the verge of tears on a constant basis. All around I'm just feeling depressed. Several people have told me that this is sometimes what it's like the 1st year of teaching. I can't fathom how it's going to get better next year, with the pressure increasing from county all the time and with all the paperwork (specifically RtI) increasing. I appreciate the consolation of things getting easier each year, but honestly it doesn't serve as any consolation. I don't know how to make it better. I'm not really sure the purpose of me writing. Just curious of what people here have to say. Advice. Suggestions. Words of wisdom. Other teachers feeling the same.