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BioEducator87 BioEducator87 is offline
 
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Feeling Depressed & Inadequate
Old 07-31-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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Hello everyone! I have been feeling a little depressed and anxious since the new school year is approaching. I have felt like this every year (going into year 5). I often feel incompetent and inadequate as a teacher. It doesn't help that I am soft-spoken, an introvert, and sometimes quiet, and people always ask me, "Are you this quiet with your students?" or "How do you teach and you're so quiet?" It's made me feel that maybe this is not what I should be doing. I think I would love to be a school counselor but I don't want to deal going back to school. Is it just me that feels this way as a new school year begins? Should I look into another career?


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Old 07-31-2019, 06:22 PM
 
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I think kids need all kinds of teachers to help learn how to interact with all sorts of personalities. Quieter teachers can provide peace and comfort which some students really need. If your students learn and you enjoy teaching then don't listen to the questioners. If you feel incompetent because you're still honing your skills as a teacher, then figure out a professional goal for each year and strive to learn more.

I don't think being an extrovert automatically makes someone a better teacher.
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We need all personality types as teachers
Old 07-31-2019, 06:23 PM
 
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All of our students aren't the same, so it isn't right for people to assume only a certain personality type makes a good teacher. I know myself as a student would have appreciated a soft-spoken teacher.

If you're anything like me, I tend to come alive in front of my students. Not so much in front of colleagues because well so many of them just don't know how to have fun anymore

it's all about how you feel as a teacher not what other people are saying.
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You made it 5 years!
Old 07-31-2019, 06:31 PM
 
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It says a lot for you to stay in teaching for 5 years! Many people get out during or after the first year.

Having said that, I’m about to start year 15 and this is the first time I haven’t had those anxious feelings. I am getting the bad dreams though!

I think most of it is adjusting to going back and sitting in all those PD’s with new faces who love to brag about what works for them. Who cares, you do you. If this anxiety wears off, that’s a good sign. If you are happy in teaching, stay.
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I can relate...
Old 07-31-2019, 09:50 PM
 
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I can definitely relate to the way you feel..and I am going to year 10. The first 5 years of my teaching career I felt unprepared to tackle yet another burdensome year. I have become good at handling the BOY blues but at times I ask myself, can I still be doing this? I think, at least in my case, this happens due to the fact that many teachers, myself included, get moved to different grades each year. Therefore, I feel like I am not prepared to teach a certain grade. For example, I have always taught K-3 grades. This year I will be teaching 4 grade. I know that 3 and 4 grades are rather similar, but still I feel like I am unprepared.
The point I am trying to make is, you did last 5 whole years and technically this is proof enough that you are, indeed, qualified, and more prepared than you will ever know. BOY is always scary but then the days will go by and you will realize that you got this. As far as you being introverted...so am I. Well, at times. Funny thing is I am rather extroverted with my kids. I was told I am very entertaining with the students. I am not ashamed to do cartwheels or stand on my head to make my lessons engaging. Students love it! However, whenever I am asked (by admin) to speak in front of the staff, I am terrified. My voice shakes, I sweat and my mouth gets so dry that I begin saying nonsense. So embarrassing!

So, go ahead and start that year with the head held high. You will be fine!


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Old 07-31-2019, 11:12 PM
 
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It doesn't help that I am soft-spoken, an introvert, and sometimes quiet, and people always ask me, "Are you this quiet with your students?" or "How do you teach and you're so quiet?"
I relate to this so much. I am a reserved person by nature. Even in situations where I try extra hard to be outgoing and friendly (i.e. meeting new people), I still come off as reserved. You can't change your personality.

Don't base your feelings about teaching from comments about others, especially those not in your classroom. My room is very calm and structured and I'm able to maintain an even tone in all situations. Students respond well to this. The calm and predictable nature makes them feel safe. Kids who struggle in other settings tend to do well for me and 95% of the time I can manage behavior in my room without relying on external rewards like tickets/"money"/prizes. Quieter kids also do very well with me and I think it's important for them to see some adults in the school that are "like them."

We all have our strengths that we contribute to the school. There are people at my school that put on these hilarious over the top skits and such for PBIS assemblies. I will never be one of those people, but my contributions with my students are just as important.
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Old 08-01-2019, 03:08 AM
 
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I'm so sorry that people say stuff like this to you. I don't think that simply being quiet and introvert is ANY reason not to be a teacher. I love Haley23's responses and they largely speak my mind. I remember a teacher fussing once about a kid in my homeroom, basically worrying because she was very clearly an introvert. I saw her point (she tended to overly rely on only one kid that she felt comfortable with) but I did explain that being quiet and an introvert wasn't something to "fix." Friend was very much an extrovert so I think it was hard for her to get. I'd have been very glad to have been in your class or have my DD in it.
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quiet isn't bad!
Old 08-01-2019, 04:56 AM
 
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I worked with an amazing kindergarten teacher in our school - a school known for a particularly tough population of kids. She spoke to them barely above a whisper! She did a lot with gestures, routines, visual icons, etc.... so effective. She loved her students and they listened to her. So quiet isn't a bad quality -- she made it work for her.

By the way, a teacher friend quit classroom teaching (middle school) and became a counselor. She is very happy she did. It was a great fit for her (she wasn't quiet, but the constant testing and data collection really bothered her).

Oh, I currently see a therapist (I'm trying to figure out my next career move or retire). She observed that many teachers she works with becoming unglued about this time of year. Just about August 1 it begins. It's not just you, if that makes you feel any better.
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:43 AM
 
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It's always hard to think about the upcoming school year during the summer. When I was a regular teacher, I always worried about last-minute surprises from administration in September, and unfortunately, my worries were often justified.

Please don't feel inadequate because you're soft-spoken. I wouldn't call myself an introvert, but do tend in that direction. I've been successful, as a regular teacher and as a sub, for over 40 years.

There's a 4th grade teacher I sometimes sub for, a nice person, but also very quiet. She's excellent, and the kids like her and respect her.

Ms H was one of my English teachers in high school. I had been warned about her--she's not very good, she's boring, etc. She was somewhat soft-spoken and not very dynamic, but she was also a great teacher. She never tried to be someone she wasn't. I still remember some of the writing tips she taught us. Looking back, there's one thing that really stands out in my mind about her: she was sincere, extremely sincere. Not every student appreciated that, but many of us did.

There's an old saying, "Be yourself." This saying also applies to teachers. Be a fair and sincere BioEducator87, and others will come to accept it and respect you for it.

Last edited by c6g; 08-01-2019 at 06:02 AM..
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:13 AM
 
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You don't have to be loud or outgoing to be a great teacher. It's the connection with the kids that counts.

Don't you dare leave something you love because of other people's comments.


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As others have said...
Old 08-01-2019, 07:40 AM
 
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Not all kids like/can work well in super loud classrooms. You may be the one they really perform well for because of your quiet nature. I'm that way as well. While I have a semi-loud voice, I tend to be more reserved and I try very hard to not be loud at school. I remember when I was in school I didn't like being in the rooms with teachers who seemed to "talk in all caps" all the time haha
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Sorry you feel that way...
Old 08-01-2019, 09:39 AM
 
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I am very much like you. I was not quiet and introverted with my students, but do tend to be reserved with people I don't know or situations I am not comfortable with.

I had a wonderful principal who I felt valued by. Unfortunately, she got sick and passed away. I did not feel valued by the interim principal or the woman who was eventually hired to replace her. It did not help that we had an outspoken woman on my team who while an excellent teacher, always felt free to speak her mind and the administration took her words as gospel. I felt when I did offer my ideas, the principal did not choose to listen. I felt she just saw me as average.

I had a lot more experience than you, but the last three or four years, I too felt inadequate and depressed as the start of school neared. To add to it, the requirements of the job changed with everything from new curriculum, coaches, a new evaluation system, and much more. When I took a day trip to a neighboring state the day before school started and really did not want to come back, I knew it was time to get out. I worked that year and announced my retirement the next.

For you, being quiet and introverted does not make you less than a wonderful teacher. If you love your work and your students, you are in the right field for you. With all the craziness in the world, I think a calm, quiet teacher is just the ticket for many. Do not let the words of others determine your future. And if you feel school counseling is a job you would like, go for it. Life it too short not be happy. The beginning of the school year used to fill me with excitement and joy. I hope you get your mojo back. Have a terrific year!
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Your Post
Old 08-01-2019, 11:38 AM
 
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Reminds me about an observation the year before I retired, when the principal told me that I spoke to softly!

The remarks also remind me of the kindergarten teacher who approached me and asked how many children did I have, and when I told her none, she replied , “Well, You will never be a good teacher.” That was said to me at the beginning of my fourth year.

I retired after teaching almost 35 years. If you enjoy what you are doing, and being successful, then I say just stay the course.
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Thanks Everyone :)
Old 08-01-2019, 12:59 PM
 
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Hello everyone, I've read all of your comments and I just want to say thank you soooo much!! The encouragement has made me feel better. I admit I'm still a little anxious, but your encouraging words have really helped me. I hope everyone has a wonderful school year!
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:30 PM
 
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Hello everyone! I have been feeling a little depressed and anxious since the new school year is approaching. I have felt like this every year (going into year 5). I often feel incompetent and inadequate as a teacher. It doesn't help that I am soft-spoken, an introvert, and sometimes quiet, and people always ask me, "Are you this quiet with your students?" or "How do you teach and you're so quiet?" It's made me feel that maybe this is not what I should be doing. I think I would love to be a school counselor but I don't want to deal going back to school. Is it just me that feels this way as a new school year begins? Should I look into another career?
I worked with a lady about 6 yrs ago. She taught our fifth grade and she was just low key and talked quietly. I would go into her room often and help before I began my PE schedule........ I found her refreshing. She was a good teacher and I really wanted my son in her class but she moved the year he hit 5th grade.
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Introverted teachers
Old 08-01-2019, 07:43 PM
 
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I find my students respond really well to a calm, quiet voice. I am naturally softly spoken, so I did have to work a bit on projecting, but I am not loud & I don't want to be.

Kids need to be exposed to all sorts of teaching styles and all sorts of teachers.

I can also relate to start of the year anxiety. For me, that eases off after the first couple of weeks. I don't think you need to be thinking about a new career unless you're truly unhappy. If you love the kids and your heart is still in it, then keep going!
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I had an inservice
Old 08-01-2019, 09:03 PM
 
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with a bouncy, energetic, loud teacher. She shared that at the beginning of her career she felt sorry for her students who went to a quiet, reserved teacher. Until, that is, she saw how some of the kids absolutely bloomed in her room.

The students who were quieter were sometimes intimidated by the bouncy teacher and found their new teacher very restful, relaxing, and just as (or for some, more) able to meet their needs.

The presenter said she continued to be herself, did try to calm down some for students who needed less energy in the room, but was grateful knowing that some of the kids she didn't quite reach would have someone who would mesh with them the following year.

P.S. I taught about 40 years and still had lots of trouble sleeping the night before school started. To say nothing of the stress of setting up the room, writing name tags, setting up the grade book, asking previous teachers about the students, having PD when I needed to be doing six other things, etc. I think most teachers are anxious and a bit down (and very sleepy) as school starts.

I'll share the send off to school my DH gave me especially on first days:
Enjoy.
There will be some good things happening even on the first day of class.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:38 PM
 
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The remarks also remind me of the kindergarten teacher who approached me and asked how many children did I have, and when I told her none, she replied , “Well, You will never be a good teacher.” That was said to me at the beginning of my fourth year.
Um, that is unbelievable. Just as ridiculous as saying 'Oh, you don't work with kids? You'll never be a good parent then!'.
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Inadequate and depressed
Old 08-03-2019, 08:28 AM
 
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I think so long as your kids are learning and you enjoy teaching, ignore the comments. Sometimes people don't mean anything, just saying things that likely should just remain thoughts or at least, worded differently.

I have a disability (won't say what it is because I'll out myself). People are shocked that I am able to teach or pretty much do any work at all. I don't let their comments bother me. (Not always easy though)

I'm often given the "behavior" kids because of my ability to keep them out of trouble. I'm very soft spoken. My classroom culture is calm. It's hard to explain, but the students like it that way. They complain when someone tries to disrupt their learning. It's not always calm or quiet. We let loose at times. But it's almost always organized. I'm still in control and know when to reel in it when things start to stray.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:34 AM
 
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The remarks also remind me of the kindergarten teacher who approached me and asked how many children did I have, and when I told her none, she replied , “Well, You will never be a good teacher.” That was said to me at the beginning of my fourth year.

Jaw dropping. I bet she said it with a snotty look on her face. Why would someone say something like that???? Wow just wow. You should have responded with, thanks for your support!
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Quiet Teachers
Old 08-09-2019, 04:27 AM
 
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Oh my, your post really brought up some feelings within me. NOOOOOOOOO you should not be looking at another career. I, too, am a quiet introverted person, I, too, have been told that people can't imagine me teaching a room full of kids. Guess what....I have been teaching for over 25 years now and observers always remark how calm and peaceful my classroom is. Many students respond well to a teacher who is calm and positive. So keep being YOU and focus on bringing out the best in your students. Don't let other people's rude comments bring you down. Good luck with your school year and know that there are many quiet, introverted teachers out there who do an amazing job at what they do!
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