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Is it common to feel anxious most of the time?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Maggiemarie, May 22, 2011.

  1. I didn't know whether to put this in Personal section or Special Educational Needs...anyway as you'll see I've put it in SEN. I work in an independent EBD school as the only qualified teacher. I used to be a mainstream secondary art teacher but fell into supply and then into EBD teaching. I am now in my second year doing this and feel anxious a lot of the time. I miss the prestige of being a mainstream teacher but felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of kids I was having to deal with...Im quite a 'nice' person and tend to give a lot as a teacher and now Im in EBD I feel as though Im doing a good job but I also now feel isolated. I don't get the same pay as I did in mainstream and I find I can't really 'teach' the kids as a lot depends upon their moods and so I often come home feeling as if I haven't really done anything. I've applied to go back into art mainstream but haven't been called for interview. I can't help feeling that I've scuppered my chances of getting back into mainstream now. Once people see I've been working with EBD I think they shy away. I miss working in a department with other teachers and being able to bounce ideas off others. Im very confused. I originally trained to be a primary teacher but couldn't be an expert in the 10 subjects you need to be nor differentiate sufficiently ( I take my hat off to primary teachers!) When I taught Art in mainstream I had a lot of help from the other art teachers who were extremely good at art (one had art history degree and was a painter, the other sold her own textile stuff and the other one had a first class honours in art). I felt as though I wasn't as good at art as all the other art teachers and my lack of confidence as well as circumstances at the time led me to hand in my notice. I argue with myself that I have an interest in art therapy and thats why Im working with EBD but really art therapy is ANTI teaching. I've thought of other careers such as occupational therapy... but I feel quite confused about what to do. In addition to this I live alone, have no friends (my own age) and am far away from home. I really envy people who have got a job they're passionate about and who, seemingly, find it easy to do. Some people have suggested that there are certain types of schools for certain types of teachers and that I just haven't found the right school. I find EBD interesting but tough and as Ive said in my experience you can't really 'teach' these kids sufficiently to find it rewarding. I hate it when I've planned something and they've thrown it into a ball or torn it up in front of you. I still want to be a teacher but I just dont know where I fit in anymore. The thoughts of going back on supply is filling me with dread. Sorry to ramble on. If anyone has experienced similar to me or has any ideas.......I'd be willing to listen.
     
  2. R13

    R13 New commenter

    You haven' really talked much about your anxiety - although your thread title suggests to me you should be talking to someone professionally if you really do feel like that. I just wanted to say good luck AND to remind you that there are not two types of school - state mainstream and private special. You could work in a state special where you are one of a number of teachers sharing and supporting those massive stresses the job brings
     
  3. Thanks R13 for pointing out other types of SEN schools. I would like to see what other types of schools there are for me to work in as I do feel isolated. The school Im at is on a farm and although its lovely countryside I miss the buzz of lots of other people/teachers. Im anxious because Im trying to figure out what my future holds with regards to teaching. I feel down because the kids aren't really interested in much other than facebook and texting their mates....I can't get interested in any of the subjects I have to teach because they're not interested either. Teaching to me is a two way process. At least in mainstream I could feed into an idea a student had....the kids I teach haven't had any experience of success and so don't know what they'd like to do. I find it demoralising. I need to sort my head out like you say and only I can do that. Perhaps I will go and get some counselling. The job also brings up issues sometimes which resonate with me on a personal level and that isn't always easy to deal with. I think I will try and talk to my headteacher about things as maybe there is some help I can get.
     
  4. Thanks wrldtrvlr123. Can I ask what your history is as a teacher. You said you taught cognitively and behaviourally - is your background in Psychology? I agree with you that a lot of what I feel is coming from a personal place. Sometimes the issues that the kids have resonate with me on a personal level and that can be disconcerting. Perhaps this is why Im drawn to working in this environment. I am also down in my personal life and so, yes, this is colouring my current view of life. I do miss my family and would like to live nearer to them anyway but I think I will still remain in teaching. As an Art teacher I enjoyed the research and the practising of art myself whereas now i hardly do any art at all. I don't feel important anymore and I did as an art teacher. Im angry with myself that I let others around me take my confidence and take my career as I say I dont think I'd ever get back into art teaching again. The kids also aren't interested in much and so I can't feed into any of their interests - Im not into smoking weed or texting mates on facebook!! Above all I feel trapped. Im not happy in either role really. I don't feel as though I've found my niche. I think I need to go and see a counsellor again. Perhaps I might gain some clarity. Thanks for your advice once again.
     
  5. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    My pleasure. I hope that you receive or discover some relief and useful direction for your life/career soon.
    I have my BA in Psychology and that was enough to help me get alternatively/temporarily certified in the US in a state that was desperate for SEN teachers (I also have a son with Autism). I have since gone back and received my Masters in Special Education. I've worked with Mod. to Severe students, within EBD/Behavioural Adjustment programs and have been an SEN Coordinator and administrator in small international schools in Egypt, Japan and now China. I suppose I am lucky in that my personality really does (most of the time!) allow me to find the positives in whatever position or environment I have found myself in.
    Teaching is a challenging and rewarding job and if you are not connecting with your students or at least with the content of what you are teaching then the challenges will always far outweigh the rewards. I do think you need to make some changes, but I would explore your inner thoughts and desires first, as any other changes would be merely geographical and not ultimately helpful or fulfilling.
     

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