Anxiety about failing(4 Posts)
I had a horrible experience in a school, think bullying, being treated like a child, micro managed, constant negative feedback about everything from lesson observations down to being out 2 mins late for duty etc etc. I had a breakdown was off due to stress for several months . Fast forward several months I am now in a (seemingly) lovely school but I am so anxious about everything. I'm terrified of failing, of making mistakes of getting it wrong. I have had stomach pains every day since we've been back. There is no pressure from anyone at school, but its all self imposed or learned anxiety. I have to get over it because I'm worried I'll have a breakdown again or just walk out (which I simply can't afford to do!!)
I'm worried that my teaching career is over if I can't get a handle on the anxiety because it's never going to be a stress free environment!
Any advice please?
I had similar in my school last year. I was having constant dizzy spells in the 2nd term because I felt as if I was doing a terrible job.
Went to Doctor, who told me I needed to stop bringing work home (ha!) and learn to compartmentalise my work. He sympathised as his mum had also been a teacher.
I don't know quite what helped the change. There was some realisation that I could only do so much and the rest was up to the students. I think I also had very high expectations of the students and I had to be more realistic about their capabilities. I started to relax, and the dizzy spells went away.
I think, like you, the pressure was self-imposed (although there was also pressure from SLT). If the children couldn't do something I saw it as a personal failing, and I lost sight of the number who actually could do the work!
I have been through exactly this - it is awful. I was bullied in a school, just like you were, then last year moved to a new school - doing a temporary maternity cover. It was the most laid-back easy going school I've ever taught in, but I was a bag of nerves for the whole of the first term - I felt sick with fear every day, lost almost a stone in weight (the only good thing about it!). I kept googling stuff on line and came across one website (blog?) where a bloke talked about how the only way to overcome a particular fear is to face it head on. He talked about just feeling the fear - which is what I started to do. I can remember standing in lessons and would actually focus on the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I kept telling myself that this would one day pass - and eventually it did! It took most of the first term, and occasionally for the rest of the year I would have sudden nervous feelings.
I got a permanent job in yet another school this September and the nerves came back again with a vengeance BUT they've already pretty much disappeared. I think this time I've decided to trust everyone straight away - the people seem nice, so I'm going to assume that they ARE nice, whereas last year my brain just couldn't seem to accept that the people I worked with weren't bullies, even though all their behaviour suggested they obviously weren't!
Thank you for your responses. It's good to know I'm not alone. I am hopeful that it will get easier and easier as I realise that the other teachers and management aren't out to get me!
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