Was it a bad environment, or was I just not meant to be a teacher?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by LittleShakespeare, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2017

    I can't believe I'm writing this just before my first day as a contracted teacher. I think I just need some advice from fellow educators.

    I became a teacher two years ago when I got my CE in English. I got a job through alternate route at a very difficult school. The kids were really tough and I didn't have much support. I guess it doesn't help that I'm a victim of trauma; I have an anxiety disorder that prevents me from functioning sometimes. I'm taking medication, but I think I need to see a doctor.

    I can't begin to describe the panic. The second I got to school, I would anxiously watch the clock and wait for 2:30. "Is it 2:30 yet? Omg, I didn't die. Okay, 1 more hour. Is this day ever going to end? Will I make it to Saturday?" My heart would pound like crazy. I would even cry like crazy on my hour long commute because I had so much work to do and was unprepared for five classes. I didn't have any help from the department. I had to learn everything myself, and I still don't know what I'm doing.

    On Sunday nights, I used to cry myself to sleep and feel so depressed. It's happening right now too. I just didn't want to go to school. I feel like I was putting my life on hold because it was "a school night". When I was let go at my school, I was upset, but it was such an amazing feeling: it would be 10:30 AM, and I could sip my coffee in peace. No anxiety, no crying. I only truly felt liberated this summer. I had time to start dating, spend time with my family, and read books.

    I got this contracted job at a new school, and I've been crying for the last 3 hours. I keep remembering my past, and I'm scared if this means that I'm not meant to be a teacher, not that I was in the wrong environment.

    This will be my third year. I just got my standard. I keep asking myself if I want to be a teacher for the rest of my life, and it scares me. There were times when I was really happy teaching Mockingbird to my kids, but I can't stop thinking of the panic panic panic that occurs every morning before school starts, the long commute, the nights spent lesson planning and rushing to go to bed so I could be a good teacher the next day.

    What should I do? Maybe I should try this job out, and if I don't like it, then maybe I should leave teaching? I hate myself for saying this, but I think I need some advice.
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 24, 2017

    I think professional help may be worth looking into.

    That said, the school district can make all the difference. The school where I student taught at really stressed me out, and made me question if I want to do this. Rough students, rude/unsupportive admin., etc. The school I was actually hired at was like night and day. Administrator and colleague support, students who wanted to be there, less different classes to teach, etc. Fast forward five years later, and I love going to work (almost) every day.

    What do you know about this school that may be different from the old one? Is it a shorter commute? Is it a "better" area with less troubled students? Do you still have as many preps?
     
  4. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2017

    The commute is about the same, maybe 15 minutes less. It runs on a block schedule, and my prep is 80 minutes long. I also don't have a duty, like lunch duty or study hall. I'm not sure how the students are, but this school has uniforms and I've heard that it's a good place. I still don't know what to do.
     
  5. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I would go in tomorrow and give it a chance. It sounds like it couldn't possibly be any worse than what you've experienced in the past. I wouldn't let one school determine whether or not teaching is for you---see what tomorrow brings.
     
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  6. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Sep 24, 2017

    If you were a close friend of mine and I knew you well, I'd get bossy with you right now....in a loving way. So, let's pretend that is true.....It would be weird if you weren't a little scared the night before a new job. However, it's not a time to look for deep meanings or to loose grasp of your current goal - getting through the day tomorrow. Do not permit such depths tonight! You need sleep. It is your best medicine. Contemplate your career some other day when you know more about this placement. Not today, girl. Tell those thoughts NO.

    There....now.... please don't hate me.
     
  7. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2017

    Thank you so much, you guys. I'm crying as I write this. I want to love teaching forever, and I don't want to be an anxious mess anymore. I'm scheduling an appointment with my doctor now.
     
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  8. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2017

    Give the new school a chance. A supportive admin team or better cohort of students or strong parental support or a good collaborative team, good colleagues etc. can make all the difference in your perception of the job. It doesn't have to be all of the above but just one can make a difference. Take a leap of faith, at least give it a couple of weeks before you make any major life decisions.

    Its worthwhile to have a chat with a mental health professional. Obviously, the thoughts are impacting on you and this should be your cue that its time to seek help. Teaching is not easy but it shouldnt be making you cry for hours.

    I can tell that you love literature and sharing your love of literature with others. This does not mean you have to be in teaching role. You could share your love of literature via other means.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 24, 2017

    I don’t think teaching is for you because you don’t seem to be able to handle it enotionally. You might want to consider counseling because you are an emotional wreck. I’m just giving my honest opinion. Students can be roudy certain days and difficult when they want to. You need to remain calm and professional from the moment you step on campus until the moment you leave, and I can’t picture you doing either of those things based on what I’m hearing...
     
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  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 24, 2017

    Same advice you have been given before - get some serious professional help, be that therapy, meds, or both, and stay the course. Who wouldn't be anxious the night before the first day of school? A LOT of us are anxious, but we're not crying incessantly. That's your key symptom that you need more help that anyone here can provide. Honestly, only you and your healthcare professionals can determine whether or not you are capable of holding it together and be a teacher. Sad thing is, most jobs come with some kind of triggers, so I wouldn't attempt to say what you are capable of. I think this is something you need to speak to your therapist about. Face it, you don't need advice, you need medical counsel. Wish I could give you the answers you want, but what you need is way above my pay grade. I wish you luck.
     
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  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Try this job out, but yes, get therapy too in the meantime to help you cope. If most or all of the past actions still happen to you on this current job, maybe teaching isn't meant for you. I wish you the best!
     
  12. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Hi, everyone.

    Thanks so much for your valuable feedback. I did have a good day today. I easily adjusted to the block schedule, and everyone has been really friendly. I do love the school.

    May God forgive me, but once I got home, I started feeling anxious: I'm worried that I'm going to screw this up, like I did at my old school. I think you guys are totally right: I need to get a grip on my anxiety. I don't want my anxiety to control me or my life; I do love teaching literature. I love my books and I adore the kids.

    I'm going to see my psychiatrist next Monday. I also will get health insurance fairly soon, so I think I will try to see a therapist once a week to manage my anxiety. Do you think this will be good? What do you think?
     
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  13. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2017

    This advice is gross and irresponsible. Don't listen to this. Meds may or may not be the right choice for you, but you shouldn't automatically dismiss the possibility because of someone on an internet forum. When it comes to the treatment of mental illness, meds can ameliorate many problems for many people. They don't work for everyone, of course, but they may and it's at least worth asking a doctor about.
     
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Please ignore any and all advice. You need to look yourself in the mirror and figure out what makes you happy. If it's teaching, great. If not, that can be great too.

    I have faith in you. As long as the good days keep adding up, have fun. When it is not fun, ask yourself if you can handle waiting for the good times to return.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Please, if you are going to be working with a doctor, do as the doctor suggests, and take any medication that the doctor prescribes. Know that sometimes it is a trial and error to find the right treatment and medication or medication combo that will work for you. If you are going to trust someone/listen to someone, let it be the medical professional most qualified to work with mental and psychiatric problems. You owe that to yourself and the doctor. If not honest, if not complying with prescribed meds, you are throwing away your money and doing the doctor a disservice. You can get a myriad of "suggestions" from lay people who are not qualified to dispense therapy or meds. I think you have reached the point where you need to find and commit to a professional. This is, of course, my opinion, but one based on your multiple posts over the years.
     
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  17. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Thank you so much, everybody. I definitely will check in with the doctor. For years, I have tried to be medication-free, but sometimes the monsters in my head are strong. :( I truly believe this has to do with some trauma I faced as a kid, but I know I can overcome it. To be honest, I quit therapy cold turkey in the August of 2016 to take on a second year of Alternate Route, so it was really hard. I think now I will make it every effort to have therapy once a week. I'm also going to join a gym.

    I'll keep you all posted. Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. :)
     
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  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I don't know how long you have followed the OP known as multiple screen names over the years. Your admonition to avoid drugs and maybe move to a small Christian school is not responsible. If she is going to be under a doctor's care, follow the doctor's orders. People most in need of help need to have faith in their caregiver. Whether or not you would take medication is your choice, but not something to push onto OP. Very irresponsible. My "advice" is to find a great doctor and do what is prescribed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  19. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 26, 2017

    Part of being happy is being healthy. That means physically and emotionally. We all have a responsibility in keep ourselves healthy and part of that is following the advice of medical professionals.

     
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  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Sep 26, 2017

    So, someone with diabetes shouldn't take insulin, they should just "pray" that their feet don't get gangrene and need to be amputated?

    Someone with cancer shouldn't undergo radiation and chemo, but should just try "loving" others more?

    Someone with asthma shouldn't take an inhaler, they should just "focus" on breathing more?

    I have asthma, so I take my inhaler, or else I would most likely have died as a child.

    I have allergies, so I take my allergy pill, or else I feel like my face is exploding all day.

    I also have anxiety and depression, so I have taken an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant for most of the past decade. If it weren't for that medication, along with therapy, yoga, proper diet, and other supports, I most likely wouldn't be here, in my tenth year in education, successful in a career that I chose despite its challenges and the heartaches that sometimes go along with it.

    So, DAH, if you think depression is something you can just will away, I sincerely hope you never face it, because it is one of the most terrifying experiences anyone can have. Unless you have a PhD in psychiatry, please stop talking about something that you clearly know nothing about -- you are potentially endangering someone who is in a vulnerable place in their life. It's not just "silly," it is ignorant and dangerous to give "advice" like that.

    To the OP -- don't listen to anyone other than your doctor regarding what you should or shouldn't do to manage your anxiety. Come to this forum for support for your teaching practice, but I would look for a good anxiety forum for questions regarding your anxiety specifically so you don't get whack answers like that. You can also PM me any time since I have been there, done that and lived to tell the tale!
    :hugs:
     
  21. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    She didn't say she had cancer, diabetes, or asthma. She said ANXIETY when going in to work. That in itself is not necessarily a call to start taking narcotics! I would advise anyone to let drugs and medication be your last resort. Try other proven methods first.

    She asked for our opinion, and I gave mine. But I didn't ask for yours, or anyone else's on this forum. Until I post a thread asking for your input, I suggest you and the others back off of me. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    FYI, most antidepressants and anxiety meds are prescriptions, but not narcotics. Huge difference. That's why I advised to do as her health care provider recommended.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm glad that you've scheduled an appointment with your doctor. Please keep the appointment even if you have a few "good days" and feel like you can cancel. Be brutally honest with the doctor; don't hold back in your description of your feelings of anxiety and depression. Be sure to talk about how these feelings are impacting your ability to do your job as well as other areas of your life. Anxiety and depression are not signs of weakness and can't be wished away.

    I have watched too many friends and students struggle with anxiety because they felt as though they should be able to just work through it. Please take care of your mental health as seriously as your would your physical health.
     
  24. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Thank you so much, everybody. Please don't argue over this. :( I don't want anyone to fight. I appreciate everybody's perspective. I know you're all looking out for me, and I greatly appreciate it.

    I was going to see my doctor tomorrow, but it's back to school night, so I'll be seeing her next Monday. To be honest, I did have an easier time today at work, but I truly think I need to address the panic attacks when I see the doctor, just in case it comes back. Good god, I hope it stays away from me... :O
     
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  25. Zinaida

    Zinaida Guest

    Sep 28, 2017

    Hello, I also a teacher. You can look my video. After u will understand that u aren't alone in this feelings
     
  26. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I"m sorry you are dealing with this. I would talk to someone professional. I have dealt with anxiety/depression as well at times. Your doctor would probably have the best advice. However, just from my thoughts, if a job is making you this anxious, it may not be the best path over the long run. No one should have to suffer this much over a teaching job. This is a choice that you have to make, yes, there will be meds that will help I'm sure, but do you want to be on these? You may want to do some trials and try out with different types of help the doctor gives. I've heard many prescribed medicines to be miracles for some and not so helpful for others. Anyway the hard part is the choice comes to you, but the doctor hopefully will be a huge help.
     
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  27. alp123

    alp123 Companion

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    I'm so sorry to hear about all this, but I totally understand and had the same issues. I definitely know that my anxiety was mainly due to school climate and lack of support. Please take care of yourself and seek help from a medical professional. Your health and well being are so important. I hope you feel better and just know that you are not alone. :) Big hugs to you!!
     
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  28. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2017

    Thank you so much, everybody. I've been doing okay. I'm slowly adjusting to this new school. My anxiety has been under control, but I think I'm going to still see the doctor next week. Please keep me in your prayers. :)
     

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