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Teaching makes me SO anxious

Discussion in 'Primary' started by studentfairy, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    In my second year of teaching now and I feel so stressed and anxious all the time. I'm currently planning and it takes so long and makes me feel so nervous. I'm always working and if I'm not, I'm thinking about what else needs to be done.

    I know I'm not really suited to teaching and this isn't sustainable. Just wondering if anyone else gets the same anxiety?
  2. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    If it makes you this anxious, stop doing it. Teaching gets harder every year, never mind dealing with catching up now.
    If your disposition/wellbeing is not suited to it, find something else. This profession demands 110% all day, every day. You can't convince yourself it'll get better I'm afraid.

    Some of us love it and thrive, some of us tolerate it and survive, some of us hate it and suffer. It's just like any other job, so walking away is not a sign of failure, it's a sign that you're not meant to teach.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    MAybe try a different school if planning takes a long time and makes you nervous.
    Many schools have a much more sensible attitude to planning these days and really value their staff and ensure a decent work - life balance.

    However if you don't enjoy the actual teaching part, then you might well be better off doing something else.
    Jeremyinspain likes this.
  4. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

  5. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    This is good advice.
  6. weesteve

    weesteve New commenter

    think carefully about what it is that makes you so anxious. What can you do to change that? If you’re spending a great deal of time planning them you’re probably over-planning, and getting into the law of diminishing returns. In fact there’s a point at which the over-planning becomes detrimental to the quality of teaching and learning because it becomes too restrictive and inflexible to what actually happens in class. If you’re anxious in class then think about how you can relax more and begin to enjoy working with your children. It’s a shame that you’re being advised to walk away from what could be a very rewarding career. What you’re experiencing is not uncommon in the first 2 or 3 years of teaching.
    As long as you actually like children and enjoy their company, then I’d advise you to work on achieving a good work life balance, make time for other things in your life beyond the job, and enjoy your time in class. If you manage to try all that and still don’t enjoy the job, then perhaps look at other careers before you feel trapped by need ing to maintain a mortgage and support a family.
  7. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    All the advice above is very sensible. Heed it. I would only add: is there anyone in your school that you can talk to? Someone who you think is 'coping' well. It doesn't have to be a 'manager' (or whatever they're called in the UK now). Just someone who you think is doing it as you would like to do it. A problem shared is often a problem halved.

    Also, can you speak to friends who you trained with who are working in different schools. How are they coping. As Caterpillar said, it could be that your school has quite a 'heavy touch' planning regime, and you might be better off somewhere else.

    Talk about this, don't suffer alone.
  8. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I'm 20 years in and love my job but planning is taking me a bit longer at the moment. There are lots of reasons for this and it's quite usual in September with a new class - clearly this is heightened this year due to not teaching full time since March. All schools should be looking at ways of reducing workload and you should not feel like you are 'reinventing the wheel' with regards to your planning. You should have access to good Medium and Long Term Plans and other resources to make your life a bit easier. I would say in the first instance I would have a quiet word with someone you trust and ask them how they manage - they might have some tips for you. Are you in a small school or do you have a year group partner? It doesn't sound like you do but you should at least have other colleagues in your KS. Ask them. I would say though - we have been in a week and have already had a meeting in our KS about the new arrangements and how we are getting on. this is just good practice. If you're not getting that then it doesn't sound like a supportive school.
  9. Toinfinity

    Toinfinity New commenter

    I've been doing it for 15 years and found that it gets much easier after the first few years, depending on the school you are in.Two form entry is helpful, so that you have a teaching partner for support, guidance and a bit if a laugh when you need it.Just a suggestion, (and feel free to completely ignore this as erroneous)...is it teaching that makes you anxious?I know it can and I have suffered from that too, but could it be something else?I began teaching later in life and had been anxious in other jobs before it, too.I went to doc's and self referred to have a course of CBT and found it really helped.Good luck, hope all goes well.
  10. Catsoup

    Catsoup New commenter

    I have been a teacher for 21 years and go through phases of anxiety. For 3 years I have had no anxiety and happily worked 5 days a week. I have a trickier individuals in my class this year, so have been sleeping less well recently. However, September is still quite early and I don't consider it as something that will affect my ability to work. However, it is something that I am aware of, and will be booking myself a reflexology and kiniesiology appointment in the coming weeks to just keep myself in balance. I will probably continue these up till Christmas.
    Bottom line is, find a balance. Without it, you can't teach...
  11. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    I've found that anxiety amongst teachers is often the result of poor leadership. Teaching is already a demanding profession and if you also have the pressure of observations, planning scrutiny, book looks etc then it can quickly become overwhelming. If you are experiencing this sort of climate in your current school then I suggest looking elsewhere. A change of school (or leadership) can make all the difference & I often wonder how many good teachers have left the profession because they were unlucky enough to end up in the wrong school.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Same here. So many people write on here that they want to leave teaching because of X, Y or Z and yet many of us don't ever have to do those things. A different school could save their career.
    slugtrial likes this.
  13. slugtrial

    slugtrial New commenter

    Agree 100% with previous two posts.

    I loved the job, moved schools - hated every minute.
    Moved again - best move ever.
    Then moved for deputy head job - loved it.

    Nearly left the profession when in school number 2.
    Very pleased I didn’t.
    Move schools ASAP.
  14. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    Change schools. If that doesn't help, change careers, its not worth it.
  15. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Agree with those who have said look around at other schools. An hour spent browsing these forums will find many threads on similar lines - staff well being has so much to do with school leadership. Talk to colleagues who work in other schools; when you see a job advertised, make an informal visit to the school first to find out as much as you can before applying. I know this is all more difficult at the moment, but at least making a plan for the future might make things seem less stressful.

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