What gets you through the toughest times in your teaching career?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by LittleShakespeare, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 12, 2018

    Hi, everybody.

    Happy Holidays. :heart: I hope this message finds you well. I kind of wanted to give you an update, and ask for some helpful pointers from fellow teachers, especially those who have survived in a toxic school environment.

    So, I went to see my doctor today. I told her about everything that's going on at school. I told her about the lack of support from my family. I told her how I've been crying myself to sleep every night and my horrific panic attacks on Sunday nights. She told me that I need to get back into therapy. To be honest, I put therapy on the back burner for the past two months, only because I've been working myself to the bone at school and on my PhD applications. She also adjusted my medication; I've been on a low dose ever since my withdrawal this past summer.

    You all have comforted me and given me some solid advice, and I know I'm doing the wrong thing right now. I really hope you won't be mad at me, but I completely understand if you are. And I can truly promise you that I won't be posting about resignation or complaining about this school anymore. You know the tea. :) So, here's my confession: I decided to stay.

    I'm going to pray again about this tonight, and perhaps I'll have a clearer answer tomorrow morning. My decision is truly not what I want to do, but something that I have to do. Here's why:

    1. I'm 28 years old and single. I have no desire whatsoever to get married, even when my culture is pushing it down my throat. I am still living with family because my graduate school loans were too high. I decided to stay at my current school because the solid, steady income will allow me to save some money and possibly buy my dream house. I just needed to eliminate some of my credit card debt first.

    2. My resume looks like this: I worked for two years as a long-term sub at a beautiful suburban school, and then I hope to add another two years working at this urban school. I feel like two years at one school will look much better than a year and some, you know? I know for many potential hiring schools, they might not care, but I'm freaking the hell out about killing my career and leaving a glitch on my resume.

    3. I feel like at this point, it's better and healthier for me to be out of the house than at home with my family. I love them beyond words, but they really don't understand what I'm going through. They have this old mentality that you should never switch jobs.


    I understand these next six months, January to June, are going to be really, really difficult. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. To be honest, I feel like I've been given a prison sentence that I have to ride out. I'm just scared, you guys. Maybe you can give me some pointers on how I can make it through the storm? And I'm taking this really hard on myself for these reasons:

    1. I'm 28 years old. My twenties are slowly coming to a close. I'll be 29 in June. Am I wasting my life by being unhappy? But what if the matter is out of my hands? I need the job, and I need the money.
    My family says they'll support me no matter what, but I firmly believe that they will be devastated if I leave mid-year.

    2. It's only six months, right? I'm saving up for a beautiful trip to South America next summer. Maybe that will be my reward for surviving hell?


    What can I do to ride out this terrible storm? What especially can I do when my anxiety is insurmountable on Sunday nights and days before winter break ends? How can I make it through the day, even when it's tough, when my Block 6 kids are jumping off the walls and I have to call security, when my VP hates me and fails me during my next observation, when my fellow ELA teachers are all laughing at me and waiting for me to fall on my face?

    Please advise me one last time on this matter on how I can cope. Thank you so much. :heart:
     
  2.  
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 13, 2018

    I know you don't want advice about leaving, but I'm old enough to be your mother, so I'll give you that advice anyways! This job is ruining your health.
    How easy will it be to find another job when you have been non-renewed due to failed observations, as opposed to leaving during the school year on your own terms?
    What is the problem with looking for another job that still allows you to use your skills, but in a different environment (like a museum, a library, a book store, a tutoring company, a school with younger children...)
    Won't you be so much happier if your anxiety is lessened and people you work with and for treat you respectfully?
     
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  4. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2018

    Of course. I'm looking into other opportunities. I just didn't want to jump ship until I had something else secured, you know? It's so scary. :(

    But I was advised to resign on April 15th. Our last day of school is June 15th, and the offers for contract renewals (for non-tenured staff) go out on May 15th. I'll resign a month before the contract offers go out. I was always told it's easier to explain resignation than non-renewal.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2018

    This poster sounds like the poster that constantly asked for advice regarding her family situation but then just did what she wanted. Why bother asking for advice for WEEKS when you're not going to take any advice. Might as well just do what you want and save us all some time.
     
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  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2018

    I do think that you are making a mistake and that your health (physical and mental) will likely suffer. Please continue to see your doctor and your therapist and take care of YOU.
     
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  7. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    If I'm wasting your time, then please do not respond. It's not rocket science. :)

    And it's not that I don't appreciate your advice. Believe me, I want to leave. But I honestly have no other source of income and no other job to jump to, so what else am I supposed to do?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  8. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I know. I'm just stuck at this point, trying to get a mortgage and losing my backup job. That's the only reason why I'm staying. But I know I'll be okay. I've survived much worse. Thank you so much for your kind response. :)
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 14, 2018

    ......................
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    People are responding with good intentions and giving you helpful advice but you're ignoring it. Obviously, this issue is more difficult than rocket science since you're not "getting it".
     
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  11. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    So, you're angry with me now because I want an income, to not get sent to collections, and to not possibly end up on the street? Sometimes people have bills and they don't have the choice, so they can't always take the easy way out, even if it's a much better option. I do get it and I want to leave more than anything, but I honestly can't. I have to support myself and my family.

    And honestly, I never did anything but humbly thank those people who have offered me the wonderful advice. Sadly, I cannot take their advice because my fate has changed. I don't have a backup job like I once did three months ago, nor do I have any prospects. The bank job was going to offer me $10 an hour part-time. That is not merely enough to support my rent, my thousands of dollars in students loans, and my credit card debt.

    Not once did I ever lash out against anyone, kind of like what you're doing right now. Perhaps you didn't read my post above? You're a very aggressive and unfriendly person. I'm really sorry for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 14, 2018

    What family?
     
  13. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    My parents. My mother just had surgery, and won't be working for a long time. My dad was laid off a few months back. Someone has to help pay the mortgage.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    To TeacherNY's defense, you did say you would understand if people were upset with your decision.
     
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  15. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    Of course. However, there is a big difference between respectfully disagreeing with someone and just being disrespectful for no reason.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If your problem was that you felt the person was being disrespectful, maybe that should have been the issue you complained about rather than complaining that someone was angry. But instead you complained that they were angry.
     
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  17. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    I don’t know why, but every time you comment on one of my posts, I always get this weird vibe. You seem to try to find holes in everything and cite textual evidence to try and support your claim. I think your ELA teachers would be very proud though. :)

    But I sense that you like stirring the pot for some reason. Did you not read my question? It was about seeking advice for sticking out through the hard times. If you want to post about something else, like ellipses, maybe you should look elsewhere, and not my posts? Just a suggestion.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 14, 2018

    On a positive note since I cite, at least I am not making things up and claiming you said them! :D
     
  19. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2018

    Good job, I guess? :confused:
     
  20. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2018

    Hmmm, sounds like you less want advice, and more want to think out loud and then come to your decision, which is fine, just not what I understood from your original post. I will say that I am amazed that at your age (very very young to me) you are thinking about your future and saving etc, but then you mention trip that you will have earned. So on one side is trip, on one side your stress levels. Good for you for going to dr about this and good luck with whatever decision YOU decide to make. A lot of people here seem to bring up valid things for you to keep in mind as you weigh your decisions. Good luck with whatever your decisions are!
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You shouldn’t even be thinking about getting a mortgage when you have so much outstanding debt! Watch Dave Ramsey on YouTube and follow his plan.

    And since you plan to incur even more debt to finance your PhD program, then you should wait before you start looking for a house.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how much debt do you have? I’m just concerned that you are going to not be able to afford your ever-growing student loans on top of a mortgage...
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sounds like this poster's eyes are bigger than her stomach, if you get my drift.
     
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  23. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sounds like this poster’s brain is smaller than her heart, if you catch mine. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  24. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Oh no, a PhD program is funded. I will not go into debt paying for a PhD when they pay you to research there. My grad school debt is mainly from my master’s degree.

    Also, I held off on the mortgage to minimize my debt first and boost that credit score. That’s why I kept my current job, even when I didn’t want to. I also needed the health insurance for my medicine. :( I’m also working a second job (tutoring) to minimize my debt, and it’s been going pretty well so far. I just tutor on the weekends to make some extra cash.

    I’ve actually stopped taking papers home to grade, and I’ve started noticing a difference in my health. Things have been really great knowing this situation is time-stamped.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  25. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2019

    I wanted to know what gets teachers during the tough times, but I feel like this conversation went somewhere else completely. I understand why, and I humbly apologize if my posts have upset anyone. I appreciate how you’ve listened and offered me some kind words of wisdom. I don’t think I’ll be posting for advice in regards to my school. I honestly don’t need to anymore because I have my answer.

    Although I considered your advice and heard multiple perspectives, at the end of the day, I have to do what’s right for me. I have bills. I have a resume to boost. I have students who are counting on me, even if it’s just a small population. I have my family who needs me right now. It’s just six months, and then I’m off to something better. I already handed in my resignation (effective June 15th). Things have gotten a lot easier knowing this isn’t forever. It’s just till June 15th.

    In the meantime, I’m working hard to eliminate my credit card debt, singing in choir again, taking care of my health, going to the gym, and refusing to take work home. I’ll be all right. Just keep me in your prayers. ;)

    Thanks so much, everybody! I hope everyone is adjusting well after winter break. I’m trying so hard not to go to bed at 6:30 PM most days. :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  26. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Prayer. I look at my daughter's baby book, and seeing how much progress she has made. Seeing my debt load reach 3 digits!
     
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  27. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    That’s so awesome. :)
     
  28. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2019

    Wrong
    Post:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  29. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Honestly, my team members get me through the tough times (and, of course, my family). Having a team that is on the same page and can understand when I need to vent is so helpful. Chances are that one of them is experiencing the same things that I am with respect to our classes.
     
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  30. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I’m so sorry, I thought she meant that her debt has gone down to three digits, like $500 for example. :(
     
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  31. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I read it that way too. I saw it as a positive.
     
  32. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

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    I think your correct. I misread:(
     
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  33. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    What gets me through the toughest times teaching is to find something to be really passionate about in the classroom. All of us probably entered the classroom because we believed we have something special to offer to education and children. What is it? Passion for STEM, literature, challenging students, getting students to believe in themselves, history, or something else? When I get excited it helps me to get through the dark and challenging times of life.

    Also a positive colleague and a positive book lift me up. As they say, people basically stay the same except for the books they read and the people they meet.
     
  34. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Thanks so much, everybody. I’m hoping to stay positive. Four and a half months left. My vice principal failed my observation again. :( What’s killing me is that I’m doing the same exact lessons the other teachers are doing, and she’s still finding holes in everything. I’m always kind to her, and I think that was my epic fail. She is taking my kindness for weakness, and that’s why she sees me as an easy target. I would care more if I were actually staying, but my goodness, I can’t wait to leave this place. Our bathrooms haven’t been cleaned since September, and when I called in a work order, the custodian yelled at me and said he has a bad back. :-/

    I even had a student try to assault me a few weeks ago, and instead of suspending him, the VP sent him back to my class as usual. However, three days ago, when he raised his voice at her, she sent him to ISS. What the actual fudge? :p Luckily, I have security in my classroom at all times now.

    I’m planning a vacation for summer break. That’s what’s keeping me going. I also do have some wonderful kids, so whenever I’m having a bad day, I think of them. I think of God, and singing, and my beloved books. I can do this. :)
     
  35. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wow! My last day is May 31st. I feel bad for you...
     
  36. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I’m all right, honey. I’ve actually stopped taking work home on weeknights and weekends. I also don’t check my work email when I’m home. I’m noticing a huge difference in my wellbeing. Also, things are somewhat easier knowing that this hell hole is timestamped.

    It just scares me sometimes. Maybe I’m sheltered or naive, but I never really thought a school could be this terrible. It’s really, REALLY bad. If only I could write a book about the horrors, the nepotism, the disorganization, the teachers who don’t have a classroom, so they’re teaching in the hallways, the hilarious miscommunications, the wrong people in power, and the lack of professionalism. May God forgive me. :( I really wanted it to work. I put my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into this school. I bought books for each child when our book room wouldn’t suffice. I spent nights, weekends, and free time just writing lesson plans and analyzing every little detail so I could be better. It makes me so sad that my boss hates me so much when I’ve done everything I could to advocate for these kids. It’s just a toxic environment, and I don’t belong there.

    I’m so excited for my last day. I actually have a countdown on my phone. Lol! :p
     
  37. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I’m glad that you finally put you first! It’s about bloody time!
     
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  38. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's what everyone should do.
    You also have to create your own happiness. You can't depend on other people or situations to make you happy unless you are happy with yourself first.
     
  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    The things that help me get through tough times teaching are the things that make me happy in my LIFE. My life and my job are seperate. I don't lump them together and let problems at school invade my personal life.
     
  40. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Oh, yes. I definitely learned to separate the two, and I’ve been so much happier. :heart:
     
  41. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Knowing that the next school break is on the horizon.
     

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