Sitting in the comfy chair with tissues,
A whole box balanced on the table, ready for the tears
That are so certain to arrive, when we talk through
Which sore buttons they have pressed, revealing
All my little niggles, those fears that cling
To hearts and brains, with claws all causing pain
You never knew was there.
I have battled with my Year 10 class this last week and the outcome is that I feel like I am having to look inwards in a way that I haven’t done for some time. It has started to feel a bit like therapy.
Today I was observed by a senior teacher and it was with these Year 10s so I knew that it was going to be a bit of a car crash. I got through it but I was shaking with fear and in my feedback it appeared that the fear was noticeable.
I then cried on the senior teacher and spent half an hour asking her if I was getting the sack. I have been assured that this is not the case, but that has not decreased my stress level.
I have the same lingering fear that I did when I worked in hospitality and I became convinced that everyone was after me. That feeling of paranoia is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I have it under control but I am teetering on the edge of something scary.
7 thoughts on “this job is like bloody therapy”
I taught kids that age at one point, and it is really emotionally draining. It’s not you; kids that age can really push every button there is – and they will. I found that it helped to remember that it’s not personal. It’s not about you. It’s about their insecurities and their unhappiness. It doesn’t make it much easier, I admit, but it helps keep things in perspective.
That does help, and I really like hearing it from other people because it makes you feel a bit less lonely. I am far from being the first person to experience the wrath of a fifteen year old mean girl!
I thought you were going to write about how the class goes like therapy for the students because if you’re at all coming across as an encourager and listener, then I think it might seem like therapy for them. Therapy they might reject because they’re too tough (not really) to want such a thing. But how trying the experience can be on you only makes sense. I’m afraid I taught high school for only a year and then went back to teaching college (university). I continued to work with youth in the community. It is a hard age for everyone–for the students and you and the school. And it’s a difficult, almost absurd world we all find ourselves in. The thing is, of course, that in the class there is no therapy happening for them or you. It’s an academic experience and a social one. You are there as the subject master (however you might feel about that), and they are there to learn for life. I hope the school reinforces these roles and expectations. You’ve trained hard for this, and certainly you have trepidations. I taught for many years and went into the classroom every time feeling nervous. Not quite the same thing as what you’re going through, I know. I wouldn’t sack you, because you are skillful and you’re needed. It should be work for you as long as you want it.
Good luck, Rachel.–Christopher
Thank you, that response really touched a nerve because I’ve welled up with tears again. I am turning into something that looks a bit like a wreck!
Smelly Socks and Garden Peas
Imposter syndrome is a right bastard. I find that when I can recognise I’m falling foul of my own insecurities, it helps me to take a step back and disconnect from those negative thoughts. Did your senior colleague offer anything positive? Try and focus on that. You didn’t actually crumple. You did hold it together. You’ve been honest about your feelings and fears and it’s surely the school’s responsibility to support you and help you to be more confident. They have a duty of care to you as well as students. You got this! Sending rotten tomatoes to throw at y10.
I have got this! And I have to say that my colleagues have been amazing. Every time I’m having a wobble they are so reassuring and full of advice. I’m so glad I have those people around me.
Hold on, you’re doing so well. And you’re probably much more self aware and self searching than most teachers