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Will I ever feel comfortable as a teacher?

(15 Posts)
everythingisempty Thu 14-Dec-17 21:51:50

I am a primary school teacher in my third year in a school and team that I literally love.

When I myself was at school, I was always behind, bewildered and eventually just plain naughty and mainly immature.

I had a shocking home life and spent my twenties having counselling, therapy and travelled the world, nannying and 'finding' myself.

In my late twenties I went to college, got my GCSEs and A levels then took a 3 year teaching degree. I trained really hard, always did brilliantly well on placements and even managed to pass the QTS tests first time with a lot of revision.

I graduated on my thirtieth birthday and managed to land a job in one of the last existing schools that isn't full of workaholic burnt out teachers. It's 'Outstanding' and I enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.


That bewildered inner-me still exists. I constantly feel like I'm not good enough, that people will think of me as sloppy (even though the head openly admits she is 'creative' therefore bits of paper everywhere etc) That one day, my discomfort around numeracy will be exposed and I will be put on capability (I only teach Key stage 1 so this insecurity is crazy considering I passed the QTS test which was so hard)

I worry that I sometimes find the officiousness of one of the teachers basically infuriating. He loves policies, implementing convoluted new systems to tick health and safety boxes and being generally dominating.

I also find that planning takes me a REALLY long time and I honestly don't see the point in taking more time to plan that it takes to deliver the lesson so I don't, because none checks. Or I might but it doesn't have differentiation written on etc because I know that I will do that through my teaching practice so I don't see why I need to write it down. But then I worry that I'll one day be caught out for this.

I procrastinate over marking, I forget things, I just don't feel on top form.

I know I'm passionate and that when I'm with the children I have a great rapport with them and I also get very good results (SATs wise)

Will I settle into it, will maths always bore me a bit, do I need to take a different path?

Thank you.

MsJaneAusten Thu 14-Dec-17 22:06:15

A lot of what you’re describing sounds normal. Most good teachers worry about things; I think it’s part of our make up - we care about the kids so we overthink everything.

It also sounds like you might have some imposter syndrome going on. I know you mentioned therapy, but are you still having it? CBT might help you think more positively about your many skills flowers

Pumkinfailure Thu 14-Dec-17 22:07:31

This is imposter syndrome - curse of nearly all high achieving women!

Littlefish Thu 14-Dec-17 22:12:20

I've been teaching for 20 years and still feel like this! Pumkinfailure is right that it's imposter syndrome. I'm still waiting to be found out, and still feel really new in my career, even though I'm on our senior leadership team, and support a team of 14 teachers and TAs. I've only recently stopped assuming that I had done something wrong and was in massive trouble, everytime the headteacher asked me to meet with her!

I've had some counselling and it's really helped with my anxiety and started me on the road to accepting that actually, I'm really pretty good at my job most of the time! wink

Eolian Thu 14-Dec-17 22:12:21

You sound great. Pretty much every teacher probably has a bit of impostor syndrome because it's impossible not to cut corners here and there in teaching these days. There simply aren't enough hours in the day.

But your past is probably exacerbating those feelings. Your school and your pupils are lucky to have you - it is good for kids to have compassionate teachers who know how it feels to have a difficult home life. It's great that you have found a school you love - stick at it and believe in yourself!

junebirthdaygirl Fri 15-Dec-17 06:43:25

Was coming on to say exactly as Eolian said. Your home life and experience is a fantastic asset to any scjool. Your compassion for broken children is worth anything compared to fancy notes. You are doing brilliantly so keep it up. When you remember back to a good teacher in your school it is rapport and empathy as well as good teaching in the class that stays with you not big files. We had a teacher retire recently and the stories told at his retirement function would give you an idea of what good teaching is. I happen to know he wasnt too hot on exemplary planning.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 15-Dec-17 06:51:32

You sound great. Currently a good fit for your head and school by the sounds of it. That might not always be the case - sometimes the school is wrong for individual teachers and it’s a case of working that out rather than thinking it’s the teacher’s fault in some way.
Good luck, keep going. You say you love it. Keep hold of that, even on the days that it doesn’t feel like that!

neveradullmoment99 Fri 15-Dec-17 06:53:59

You sound like me. Sadly i feel i will never be good enough and then i think, it really is only a job.

neveradullmoment99 Fri 15-Dec-17 06:57:56

I never thought this was even a condition. I have imposter syndrome and have had it for years! Thanks for the link. I thought i was the only one that felt so inadequate.

BertieBotts Fri 15-Dec-17 07:04:47

Planning is inversely correlated to the amount of time you've spent teaching. You'll easily spend more time on planning than actually teaching the first time, but if you keep everything, then the next year it's just a case of going back through and amending, writing out bits which are no longer relevant or didn't work, adding new bits, changing this for the level, adjusting that. So you could add your differentiation later.

It might be nothing but have you ever gone through a checklist for adult ADD? Some things jumping out as familiar in your post, but could easily also be normal human imperfections.

everythingisempty Fri 15-Dec-17 19:57:30

I do tick many add boxes (discovered a few years ago)
But without money there's nothing I can do, my GP didn't want to know and I'm not interested in the drugs Id be given anyway so it's not worth pursuing.
Thank you all, I appreciate your comments smile

Pumkinfailure Fri 15-Dec-17 23:18:22

OP talking therapies (including cbt) are free throughout the country . Google IAPT and your local area, most are self referral- you don’t need your GP.
This is useful for teachers wellbeing too

everythingisempty Sat 16-Dec-17 16:30:34

Thanks but I've just come out of three years of therapy which was useful but very expensive and I tick over fine really.
It's just the constant inadequate feelings that I thought I'd be rid of by now.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 16-Dec-17 16:42:54

At my school (also a remaining bastion of sensible workload) we are now using our lesson slides as planning evidence- so no associated word document with lesson overviews on, just a set of notebook files for each teaching sequence. It's a super easy way to record what happened in the lesson, just never rub anything out on a slide. If they don't get it with the first example, just stick another slide in and do it again, or explain it a different way, on that. It will be obvious where you had to slow down and re-explain stuff or were able to skip on. All shared writing, spellings/ vocab given noted on pages. Save and go. There's your evidence of what YOU did. Evidence of what THEY did is in the books. No separate planning grid necessary.

BertieBotts Sat 16-Dec-17 18:25:09

Well if you ever feel like looking for more info in future, there's a great support thread on MN in the section MNers with SN.

Not long until the end of term now. I am looking forward to the break, don't know about you grin This week all my classes are going to be making Christmas cards! It's an easy win, they all love a craft activity, gets them motivated to write messages and taking the cards home to family always impresses the parents.

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