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Not sure what the problem is.

(13 Posts)
Wellmeetontheledge Sun 05-Mar-17 13:03:27

I'm a year 1 teacher who passed my NQT year with flying colours last year. I'm 23 and have always wanted to teach, I also have a history of mental health issues and partly because of those don't have much self confidence. I am good at teaching in front of a class however I am struggling so much with feeling cynical and demotivated at the moment. I dont have much of a life in term time as I am constantly working or thinking about school work and worrying that I will have missed something. In the holidays I struggle emotionally with lack of structure. My partner has been away for the past week and things have come to a head, I was not as patient as I should have been on Friday with my kids and last night (I stayed at my parents) I woke my parents up as I had nightmares and was screaming in my sleep, I then woke myself up having a panic attack. I love my class but I am finding the immense pressure of results difficult and constantly worry I'll be found to be doing something wrong/not doing enough. But I'd like my own kids in a few years time and know that teachers holidays would be handy. I find year 1 tricky as I have to push children to do things they aren't developmentally ready for yet. I don't have many close friends and so feel I can't talk about this to anyone. I can't work out if the reason I'm feeling so down and conflicted is because of me or because of the job. I don't want to leave teaching because I worked so hard to get here, I love the kids and it's a big part of my identity but I struggle with the sheer amount of extra work. I also don't want to make any decisions I might regret and find the thought of switching careers daunting. I'm also not qualified for anything else that would pay as well and feel very trapped. I also feel silly because all the other teachers at my school are coping and I'm not. Does anyone have any advice?

Wellmeetontheledge Sun 05-Mar-17 13:13:08

I also feel like I'm failing because I've always wanted to teach and was given a bursary for being a promising teacher and now I'm considering leaving.

Wellmeetontheledge Sun 05-Mar-17 13:14:07

I don't know if it's the job or if I'm not in the right headspace again.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Mar-17 14:31:50

I think you'll find that there are lots of teachers out there who feel exactly the same, which is why there is a huge retention crisis and teachers are quitting in droves.

Fear of being caught out because you can't achieve unrealistic expectations, fear of letting people down because the to-do list is never-ending and general exhaustion because the job is so demanding are very common.

Wellmeetontheledge Sun 05-Mar-17 15:04:09

I just don't know what to do.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Mar-17 15:07:46

It can get worse when you have small children and you resent spending all your energy on other people's kids.

Have you talked to your manager about how you are feeling? They might be able to reassure you about how you are getting on?

TBH though if you have mental health issues and it is already giving you screaming nightmares, I'd seriously consider walking away while you are still young.

Wellmeetontheledge Mon 06-Mar-17 06:38:44

My manager is lovely but very pragmatic and brusque. I tried before and just got 'you're doing fine, don't worry'. Also I know it's my problem not theirs.

Think I will try to stick it out for another year or two until I have more experience to back up transferable skills.

Wellmeetontheledge Mon 06-Mar-17 06:39:28

Plus I'm not yet sure what else I could do!

Lilaclily Mon 06-Mar-17 06:42:53

If it was me I'd go to my gp first to see if anything would help eg counselling, Meds

If you've already done that I'd seriously consider if such a stressful career is tge one for you, at 23 you could retrain in something else

OrangeSquashTallGlass Mon 06-Mar-17 06:44:08

I keep thinking the same thing: 'I'll stick it out for another year or two'.

And although overall I'm happy with the fact I've spent the last x amount of years in teaching I can't help but think I've also spent the last x amount of years overworked and incredibly stressed.

I think it's time for me to stop. But now I've built up a carer and a good salary it's possibly even harder!

I think what I'm saying is... Don't carry on just for the sake of it if it's making you unhappy.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Mon 06-Mar-17 06:56:23

Starting out in teaching is awful. It was hard 15 years ago, so it must be a circle of hell now.

But.. it can get better. There are happy teachers out there (I am one), they are just a lot less vocal than the unhappy ones. The secret is to find the right school for you. You might thrive in a rough, inner city school where there is a real trench mentality and the staff are like a family, or you might love a tiny village school with 50 children and only 3 teachers, or a leafy school where the children behave and achievement is really high. The real key is finding a Headteacher you can love and respect and like-minded staff you can form warm relationships with. Then, despite the shit, it can still be a lovely job.

If your school is not your school, start looking for another one now. Plenty of people move on after their NQT year, it won't look bad. Consider independent schools too. If you can afford it, it might be no bad thing to do a year of supply after your NQT year to really get an inside view of your local schools.

Chin up, only a month til Easter!

rollonthesummer Thu 09-Mar-17 22:27:03

I think you'll find that there are lots of teachers out there who feel exactly the same, which is why there is a huge retention crisis and teachers are quitting in droves.

Yes-don't feel like it's just you. You are not alone.

Helbelle75 Thu 09-Mar-17 22:33:39

I've been teaching 17 years and feel the same. I love working with children but hate this move towards data and results. I used to be an outstanding teacher, but fon'the fit the criteria any more.
I'm currently off on maternity leave, and not sure about my future any more.

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