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Constantly feeling angry/irritable

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter


    I'm not sure if this is a rant or if I'm looking for advice, maybe both!

    The last two weeks I've been feeling so irritable and constantly p****ed off. I know I particularly hate my Monday lessons due to the groups I have. I just feel like I'm constantly having a battle against a group, or having an issue with certain students. There's something everywhere I look and I hate feeling this negative; it's really unlike me.

    I feel like I'm constantly on the edge of losing my temper. I keep raising my voice, on the brink of shouting at someone, I feel like I'm a bull in a china shop and I'm just generally horrible to be around. Thankfully I live on my own!

    There are a few things I know that are triggering my anger at the moment:
    One of my year 11 groups; half of them are so lazy it's beyond belief. I'm doing everything to try and get them through their coursework and I feel like I'm wasting my time. I feel like I should just tell them to sod off and that if they want to do it then they need to show me and take responsbility for themselves (although I doubt they would do this and my results would massively suffer). I actually stopped the lesson yesterday because their behaviour was so atrocious; sent one to isolation and gave about another six detention. It's so hard to see because so many of them in there are such amazing students but they get over ruled by a good seven students. This is constant and it's exhausting.

    The second is that I help out during lunch time at a homework group; this is an open invitation to all students where they can get help, access computers, etc however if behaviour isn't good then we ask them to leave. When asking some of them to leave the responses are just awful. However when it's reported nothing happens; ever.

    The third is my colleagues. I honestly believe that misery is contagious; anytime I manage to walk into the staff room or a common area in a good mood I'm pretty much promised to leave it in a bad mood because of someone using me as an agony aunt. However I also feel if I don't go all day without talking to an adult I'll lose my mind.

    I'm sick of being in a bad mood. How do I stop this?!
  2. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    I felt like that (as well as quite a few other emotions) when I had moderate depression. Would a trip to the gp be worth it for a chat? They might be able to refer you to counselling?
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    1. The YR11s. Well, that's a very large proportion of disruptive students. How big a hit would your results really take? If you backed off? I'd be very tempted. I might try honesty though. Offer them the option to do f.all as along as they keep it quiet at the back or the guarantee that you'll get them through the qualification if they sit at the front and engage. Does isolation provide a genuine deterrent? Can you do more of that?
    2. Again. Honesty. "Technically we're called homework club but I'm not stupid. I know some of you just don't want to go out on the yard. Fair enough. Neither did I at your age. So this is a great alternative. But the deal is that you behave. You don't have to work your scrawny little butts off but you do have to behave or you're out. Moan as much as you like but you WILL be out."
    3. Staff? Teachers simply are the biggest moaners ever. Fact. I'd be putting my fingers in my ears and going la la la la la. I don't want to hear this. Not listening. Today I am pretending life in Aardvark Academy is all rainbows and unicorns. It's the only way I can cope. Wilfully delusional.
    My sympathies to you.
  4. Sanz1981

    Sanz1981 Occasional commenter

    Don’t stress. It’s not worth it. There will be plenty of year 11s that will continue to behave like this; schools encourage it with weak behaviour (if present) policy. Ineffective pastoral leads, students know nothing gets done ( I had to beg for year 9 students to be given a detention)

    Remember. It’s just a job. They’re not your grades. They are the students grades tell them this. If they don’t care nor should you— watch how your stress anger levels come down.

    Think about it. If you were to hurt yourself st work. Would they sit and Moan his great you were? Or would they replace you v quickly?
  5. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    I think that teaching is a stressful job, but if this level of feeling is different for you, then I would want to investigate if there are other contributing health issues. I'd go to the GP and get some blood tests related to tiredness, irritability can be a symptom of numerous things. I've recently started treatment for sleep apnoea after years of going to the GP with exhaustion, difficulties at work etc and I now feel like a new person.
  6. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Thank you! I never even thought that it might be medical. I will definitely investigate this side of things.
  7. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    Depending on your age and gender it could also be the menopause (Pre, post or peri)
    I've had a few years of being depressed/anxious and mode moody than usual - Its just starting to lighten and isn't predictable.
    I'm 52 and attributing it to hormones anyway. My husband has to have some light at the end of the tunnel!
    Seeing a doctor might be the way forward.
  8. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    OP - I felt much like you and eventually nearly had a breakdown. Mine was caused by a combination of stress and mild SLT/management bullying/lack of support that ended up with me developing (or rather, helped with the development of) a chronic condition. I'm out of teaching now but my chronic condition is here to stay (easily manageable thankfully!).

    Your symptoms are signs of stress/depression but as others have pointed out they could have a physical/medical cause. As such you definitely need to get your bloods done at the doctor to rule any of that out.

    However, don't just chalk it down to aging/hormones as you may well be feeling this due to your mental health, so all avenues need to be explored. I say this as my rather uncaring boss said to me, when I went to her with my concerns with how overwhelmed I was, that it was probably my hormones/age and that I should just suck it up as everyone was stressed. She was wrong, and it was pretty good to go into work and let her know that my blood tests revealed that her 'you're having an early menopause' comment was very incorrect!

    Your issues may well have a hormonal root but even if so there are things you can do to help that, it's not a matter of just putting up with it because 'that's life'. Medical advice is the best advice, even my own anecdotal evidence should be taken with a pinch of salt as no-one will be able to tell you what is wrong better than a doctor who you have spoken to and who has your blood test results in front of them!

    I got better with medication and leaving teaching; you need to find out the root cause and work your way up from there. Good luck!

    PS: GDW is right about teachers being a right bunch of moaners - I didn't realise how much so until I left teaching and started working elsewhere. The sort of negativity you encounter at schools is insidious and leeches into you if you don't realise it!
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    RE: Your (no they're not really yours) year 11s.

    I keep a vague grip on moral values, in the bottom-end secondaries I do long-term supply in, by distinguishing between grafters and shirkers. So grafters get the 'proper' teaching approach but all a shirker has to do is follow the commandment "Though shalt not disrupt a grafter" which clearly means that no homework, dodgy uniform, quietly talking to another shirker, no classwork..... all gets a free pass. I never state this out loud but the kids soon realise what is acceptable and I often say, "They're are people in here trying to work, I hope you will let them?" which also gets that message across. I also expect shirkers to look busy should someone who would rightfully object to this wander in.

    Successful application of the above means I get about half of the class doing well (and hopefully the other half is the one that would do badly whatever). And it is still a carp school that has chewed up and spat out many supply before me.

    Are you in a position to do something similar, perhaps with @grumpydogwoman 's suggestions thrown in? The only alternative I see is a vast ramping up of the behaviour system to constantly remove the shirkers and I'm not sure your SLT and shouters with radios are up to it.

    EDIT: I also agree with the above posters about medical advice especially as I was treated successfully for mild depression several years ago. However the medication supressed the symptoms so I could focus on addressing the factors causing it. No pill you take can improve a useless Year 11.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  10. bobtes

    bobtes Occasional commenter

    Yep, definitely agree with you on that one! I will have a rant with the best of them, but I make sure I don't do it in the staffroom; I choose 1 trusted colleague to rant to; and I actually will go and speak to the HT or whoever about things rather than just ranting about the issues!
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It's called the time of year.
    Everyone is pee'd off at the end of the autumn term.
    Happens every year in every school.

    All the things you thought would be better this academic year, have turned out to be just as before.
    All the problems you thought would go, are still there.
    The days are short, and will get shorter still before we see daylight again.
    The weather is horrid and will get worse.
    We're knackered because it is a long term.
    Kids are knackered.

    Hang on in there, February isn't so very far away.
    Bonnie23 likes this.
  12. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    OP - I can totally relate to that feeling! (although for me the causes are subtly different and the exact causes may identify me.)

    You say you live alone 'thankfully.' Actually, I think that makes a massive massive difference at work, as a fellow singleton. You have no partner to share your best interactions with and by default the workplace can end up being the primary source of our interactions, even if we have friends and a social life, beyond University no friends 'hang out most nights' and you can go weeks without seeing even your 'best' friends.
    The workplace can of course be a source of good interactions but they have to be professional in context and many people at work are acting or playing a wider game, workplace interactions alone will never ever fulfil you and could even drive you crazy if you try and be fulfilled by them. So as sad as it is, being cheerful in the staffroom, your colleagues may be Snapchatting their OHs about whats for tea (I think mobile phones should be banned from staffrooms but thats a whole other debate.)

    Doing a homework club every lunch will wear you out. Why not once/twice a week only?

    Plus beware of 'time of year itis.' Its long into the Autumn term, its dark enough to put half the population on seasonal affective and far enough still from Christmas to be winding down. You might feel better in July when 47% of your timetable is gained time and the six weeks are nigh!
    Bonnie23 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  13. mrsdixon_primary

    mrsdixon_primary New commenter

  14. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    When I started to feel like this regularly, even when at a lovely school, I knew it was time to get out.
    My primary focus is my baby at the moment, however I really hope I don't have to go back to the classroom ever.
  15. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    I turned to the dark side some years ago. I find being grumpy, tetchy and irritable much easier than being a sunny, positive sort of bubbly persona that uses rising inflections and multiple exclamation marks (We all know several. Ms Chunky-Beads!!! Mr Wackytie!!! <insert smile emojii>) I tried the 'happy+bubbly' thing, but it left me exhausted and fit for nothing. So, now I'm tired, grumpy, irritable and tetchy at work. I have more energy for home.

    I'm blessed, as my screen-saver face is one of misery and grumpiness, so smiling is hard for me. (To quote the late, great Frank N Furter- 'It's not easy having a god time- even smiling makes my face ache') Being grumpy is ace- I say something sarcastic to a child or colleague they laugh and think it's part of an 'act'. People think I'm permanently angry, so don't act up in front of me. I warn classes that I'm having a bad day and might well be snarky/ rude. They behave. (Mostly..)

    Worrying about being tired, grumpy and stressed is going to make your more tired, grumpy and stressed. Put it down to a variety of factors (end of school year, emotional exhaustion, your immune system being battered, Yr11 who are panicking about exams and deadlines, but can't articulate it properly) and embrace it. At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm not surprised your feeling this way. It's normal. You are normal. It's nearly over, there's a few more weeks to go. At this moment in time, stuff that normally you'd shrug off becomes massive and significant. When you look back in a few weeks (as we are all reflective practitioners, are we not?), some of the stuff bothering you now will be as nothing.

    TLDR relax, be grumpy and look forward to summer.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Funnily enough, since I left St Custard's 5 years ago, I have become a lot less tired, grumpy and stressed.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Many years ago I was inspired by Lucy of "The Peanuts" who said "I'm proud of being crabby. The crabby little girls of today are the crabby old women of tomorrow."
    I aspire to crabbiness of this level, even though I am definitely no longer a little girl...
    Dragonlady30 and agathamorse like this.
  18. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Have you had your thyroid checked recently? Might be worth asking GP for a blood test.

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