Help lost my teaching mojo!

(19 Posts)
PhyllisDietrichson Fri 15-Jan-16 09:34:13

Going nuts here.

I taught for 3 years full-time and 8 years part time whilst raising a family. I've been back in mainstream secondary for 2.5 years overseeing a dept and I've had good results so far. But yesterday, after an especially draining incident with two students, I almost picked up my bag and walked out. Quite simply, my ability to deal with lazy, rude students has evaporated this year. I seem to lack the will, even though I've reduced my hours, something's just not clicking; I have lost my teaching mojo and it's really upsetting. I have so much to give but I'm pretty sure it's not being a teacher in a secondary comp. I feel guilty because I've been given every opportunity, but I am beginning to fail students - in my mind at least, and they are beginning to play-up sensing a weaker energy. I have somehow got to see things through to summer though.

I'm feeling lost. Ive got no ideas what so ever about what next. Does anyone else have any experience of this sudden draining of commitment? Possibly age might be a factor here, I was initially so enthusiastic. I suspect younger and spunkier teacher have more energy and resilience long term. Suggestions experiences please.

Euphemia Fri 15-Jan-16 11:34:15

Is there a sideways move you could make, or upwards? I'm a Primary teacher in Scotland so I'm just thinking about the roles in the high school DD goes to: Guidance teacher, Support for Learning teacher?

SuffolkNWhat Fri 15-Jan-16 16:44:47

I felt like this after returning from maternity leave, it didn't lift for another 5 years (and second maternity leave) and that was only by moving schools.

I now love my job again.

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 15-Jan-16 16:59:52

Wow Suffolk you put up with it for 5 years!!! That's dedication. I'm not sure I can do that. Also my school is outstanding in a good area so behaviour prob won't be any easier elsewhere and mgt are supportive, but the days are very long indeed and that's part of the reason I feel sort of able to rise to the occasion I'm quite drained. But I'm pleased you're enjoying it again - that's great.

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 15-Jan-16 17:00:50

should read 'UNable to rise to the occasion' - blooming pooter!

SisterViktorine Fri 15-Jan-16 17:05:32

Agree it might be time to specialise. Is there an area you are particularly interested in?

TrulyTrumptious Fri 15-Jan-16 17:32:43

Some of the most worn down teachers I know are in outstanding schools. The pressure of trying to maintain it can be huge. Maybe try a change?

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 15-Jan-16 17:48:09

I'm creative SisterV. I have enjoyed working as an artist educator in galleries teaching all ages from 5yrs to adults: painting, ceramics, sculpture etc. Lovely but unreliable work, hence moving back into mainstream teaching. If I could achieve enough days doing that I could bolster the salary with painting or PA work as I've got office skills too - I love a busy environment. Like a lot of creative types, I've got a CV like a toilet roll. Poss' stumbling block is at (almost) 50, it's not as easy to land jobs - things are quite ageist out there.

SisterViktorine Sat 16-Jan-16 07:20:59

Could you re-train as an art therapist?

Or- and it pains me to say it- but how about a big name independent/ public school? The art departments have been amazing and incredibly well resourced in all the ones we have lived in and you would get far less of the 'attitude'. It might just give you a rest for a while.

Trifle66 Thu 21-Jan-16 23:02:12

I've been teaching for 23 years. I think you are having a ten year burn out. I had one and get them every now and again. You need to find something that will inspire you again. It could be something as simple as your timetable - unfortunately you'll have to wait until next year to see a change. Teaching has highs and lows. It's exashting and relentless and takes its toll. In the end it's a job and there are worse jobs out there - maybe you care too much.
A friend of mine was told by an ofsted inspector that they only expect to get ten good years out of a teacher before they are burnt out!!

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 22-Jan-16 07:14:32

Thanks Trifle, food for thought (not the trifle part). I had the same class again yesterday and it went as badly. Grr. I actually think i've just lost my ability to teach, part of me just wants out, the other part wants to beat this. Failing energy levels might mean I just can't get back on the pony. I feel like I need a fresher: 'how to deal with challenging students' course - do they exist? A course that deals with specific cases and scenarios, (accompanied by 3 weeks off in the sun and a lot of massage...mmmmmm).

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 22-Jan-16 07:32:49

Change of scene and new challenges work for me (frequently!). I'm rubbish at staying in one place so am a bit of a serial new girl. Works for me though - 18 years of it now with breaks for DC. Back full time again in a very niche area.

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 22-Jan-16 07:46:58

What niche Parrot - intrigued?

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 22-Jan-16 07:50:16

SEN sort of niche.

Xantheticus Fri 22-Jan-16 07:56:09

Another thought, is it possible you have low iron levels or vitamin D deficiency? I've had both at various times and found I was struggling with motivation and energy for work. At the time, it didn't feel physical more that I was burnt out.

Keeptrudging Fri 22-Jan-16 08:04:22

I got like this, burned out (years of working at the more extreme end of SEN) and resigned. I took a break, recharged, sorted out years of paperwork and am now ready to go back. I'm going back into a different role, a combination of mainstream and SfL, sometimes a change is needed. Have you ever thought about converting to primary teaching, or SEN?

PhyllisDietrichson Fri 22-Jan-16 08:04:57

Possibly. Sunny holiday with Irn Bru hit is then.

Keeptrudging Fri 22-Jan-16 08:22:54

Irn bru has restorative powers, that should do the trick wink!

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 09-Feb-16 14:38:56

Ok so an update is due - I resigned. I did it full of trepidation and uncertainty and not a little guilt.

It's very early to be resigning as it's only February and I'm staying the rest of the year, but once i'd done it, if felt right. The school was grateful to have so much time to plan, though sorry I was going. I almost caved in when a lovely year 8 started asking about my course and got really excited about it all, it was so hard promoting it knowing it would no be me teaching this lovely pupil. But it was the right choice.

What now? I have no idea at all; but already I feel like a the spring flowers poking their heads above the ground; feeling the sun again after a long cold winter - full of potential.

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