Feeling broken

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On Wednesday I arrived home at 5:30 and crashed on the couch in tears. I honestly felt like my students had broken me.

Over the last four years of teaching, I have prided myself on having fairly ‘good’ behaviour management. I’ve had behaviour management ‘systems’, visual strategies and classroom expectations. All have worked well.

This year is different.

I have lots of external classroom support, but it means so many of my students are in and out of the room at different times, in different rooms, with different teachers and aides…that it means I have to be planned and organised to the utmost degree…and God forbid that one of them is away, because I’m turning into that pedantic teacher that cannot handle any change to the timetable because it means that a) the students cannot handle it and b) their teacher is about to explode.

I spend my days given instructions at least 8 times over. I also use visual cues and hand signals to give directions to save my voice – however they only work when the student actually cares to look. By the time all of them have worked out the directions, we’ve lost 20 minutes of learning time. Use a timer you say? Yes, there’s a massive countdown timer on my interactive TV…but there are some students who are oblivious to any sort of timeframe.

I skipped my yoga class on Thursday afternoon and went home in tears again. My job overwhelmed me. The insane combination of behaviours and learning disabilities had made my head spin.

I feel like I am failing the children who are actually wanting to learn.

7 responses »

  1. You are a great teacher… You are not failing your students, but you do need to rest your mind & body. Don’t miss that yoga class! I know it is difficult, but strive to find the balance; what is achievable & what you need to survive! Good luck…I understand πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

  2. Hi Fee

    I can truely say I feel your pain. I have just got through the most stressful month of my time in classroom. I cried in front of my students on Friday when the straw that broke the camel’s back came.

    Now I will make the most of my two weeks to recharge, regroup and research. And begin again in week one.

    I hope you are able to do the same.

    Caroline 😊

  3. Hi darling girl, we have a class that I support like this at our school. Its not you, its not the teacher of this class – it is the children with their problems and the combination of children. It is very difficult to teach them the way we would like to. It is exhausting. You will find a way through. Its just so hard to deal with when you are so tired. Rest well these holidays.

  4. Fee,
    You sound like me and I teach secondary! This term has definitely been a massive and arduous one.
    Your honest reflections allow you to get it off your chest and then become human again.
    All kids are hard work, especially those that have learning and physical disabilities (I teach 15 across 4 classes). You aren’t failing those that want to learn, you are also teaching them patience, understanding and empathy.
    Keep working hard when you have to and relax and enjoy your holidays.

    Casey 😊

  5. Oh Fee,
    You make my heart break because I can’t hug you from down here!
    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to open up honestly about your feelings. I hope that’s made you feel a little better to vent.
    I completely understand your frustrations. Although I have never taught a year level below Grade 3, so I can only imagine the dependence the students still have.
    I usually have an annual break down – usually in Term 3 – where I feel like nothing I do is right and surely there are students who I am failing. It always results in me breaking down in tears and can be quite embarrassing in front of work colleagues!
    Enjoy your two weeks off and make sure you have a break from school things. Here’s hoping next term is better for you!
    Katelyn πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Katelyn.
      The holidays were about 2 weeks late I think…it’s been exhausting!
      Fingers crossed that the break will help, although my mind is constantly running through school work/ILP’s, learning support ideas…etc etc. It’s definitely the hardest year I’ve had so far.

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