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Cetti Cetti is offline
 
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Cetti
 
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Anxiety in Schools
Old 02-23-2018, 05:26 AM
 
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Anyone else turning down jobs/not subbing bc of anxiety about recent school events? When I have worked in the last week, I am constantly worried about the kids, loud noises and making an exit plan. I need to stop reading the news so much.


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Old 02-23-2018, 05:55 AM
 
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You definitely need to work on some anti anxiety strategies. Even though it seems like we hear every day about a school shooting, the odds are very, very slim that it would happen at your school. Even the statistics that say 18 school shootings this year - sounds horrible. But several of those were shootings close to a school or suicides, which aren't really a danger to others.

I don't think we can spend much time worrying about the what ifs. Especially if it is effecting your ability to do normal day to day things. If you really get down to it, there is a possibility that something could happen to you every single day, almost anywhere you go. And if you let that stop you from doing things, then you aren't living life.

Maybe you should see a counselor for some strategies you can use or talk it through with a friend. You still are pretty darned safe in schools, no matter what. Don't let these things stop you from normal living.
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subasaurus subasaurus is offline
 
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I can tell you this...
Old 02-23-2018, 09:04 AM
 
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I refuse to sub at schools that don't provide a classroom key at this point.

No excuse for that!
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My experience
Old 02-23-2018, 06:25 PM
 
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I taught for 14 years full time, plus another 4 years part time at an open pod school. There were 3 classrooms on each side of an open pod gathering area. There were folding walls between classrooms with one opening on the folding wall. I am now subbing in a long term position there. I can't say I'm anxious about subbing there, but I am aware of what's going on in the pod at all times. The class I am in does have a designated hiding area made from bookshelves.
When you go into buildings, ask to see their emergency response plan so you know exactly what to do and where to go in the event of any emergency (fire, tornado, shooter).
I am in a large district with high poverty levels. The school is in a middle class neighborhood, but there is a large low income apartment complex about 1/8 mile from school. We've had our share of soft lockdowns for issues outside of the building. A couple of hard lockdowns have been called at the secondary schools. Those have been unfounded.
I feel relatively safe at school. All doors are locked. No one is allowed in unless they are buzzed in. No one is allowed to open any other of the doors in the building to let people in. Children are never to open outside doors. Anyone coming into the building has to show a picture ID. They get a visitor tag with their picture on it that must be on while they are in the building. We've had a couple of irate parents in the building, but the principal has managed to keep them in his office until the police arrive.
I try not to let fear and anxiety take over. It's hard enough being a sub to begin with. I want to show confidence (show them no fear) to the students. That helps with classroom management.
Good luck. Stay positive.
Kathy
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fear of the unknown
Old 02-24-2018, 05:17 AM
 
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Constantly! There are so many unknown variables and factors in our business day in 'n day out. You tried to be as prepared as possible to face those realities and endure or manage. However nothing causes me more anxiety than being out of a loop should an emergency happen. I'm glad that I do have a district e-mail and whenever I'm in a room, I keep that open just in case there's some communication. But does the main office know that they can use this with their subs? They might, only if I e-mail them 1st and if they're paying attention to their e-mails while an emergency happens. Other staff are at an advantage because they might get updates through texts and I'm not part of that tree. Actually, I don't think that any sub might be in general.


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Old 02-24-2018, 11:39 AM
 
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Lately I have been picky selecting jobs. I will only do grades one to five. Six graders in some clases become pretty rude with a sub. I don't have anxiety , but I sometimes get on edge when students become hostile towards me. I had a terrific Fourth grade class yesterday. It's so weird that in one class it can be heaven, and in another it's a nightmare at the same school. Yeah, Jerry Seinfeld doesn't perform to college audiences for many reasons I won't get into, and I am saying no to certain grade to keep my sanity.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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In a word, "no."
Old 02-25-2018, 04:38 AM
 
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While recent events do increase awareness... I have not changed my perspective. Danger is all around us--always has been, always will be. Having been held up at gunpoint in a parking lot, I'm not sure where I should feel less safe.

I think the kids need us more than ever. The odds of needing to protect them from a shooter are relatively small. (I am not in anyway diminishing the severity of what happened.) I think the bigger and perhaps more important challenge is to demonstrate/model the difference between caution and fear or hysteria.

We humans have a profound ability to harm ourselves just as much--perhaps more--than others can. I think it's important (as several commenters have noted) to figure out where our comfort levels are and stay there.

One year we started school with a seriously frightening issue in our community. Our high school principal did an excellent job during our first-day orientation with the kids. He acknowledged what was going on "out there," but emphasized that once we walk in the door, it's all about learning and we aren't going to let anything get in our way. We might say he was being a bit idealistic, but he understands focus.
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