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Might be over
Old 01-08-2019, 11:32 PM
 
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I'm so stressed at my job I just want to finish out the week and not come back. My hair is literally falling out, I'm not sleeping well, and my period has stopped. I had a full blood panel done less than 6 months ago, so physically I'm fine. This is all because of the stress of my job.



I'm a sped resource teacher and the pressure is tremendous. I'm in 2-3 conferences a week and when I'm not in a conference I'm doing conference paper work. What's more is when I am in the classroom I feel like I'm constantly testing or putting out fires. Don't even get me started on the state testing either!



I have parents threatening to sue because they think their child is more capable than the student is and they think the student should be in gen more, despite mounds of data saying otherwise. A have a couple of violent kids as well. Then of course the disrespect from kids and parents is a nightmare.



In the past I have been on medication for anxiety and I'm probably going to have to start again but the thing is I don't want to! I think it's insane that I have to be medicated to do my job. The rest of my life is good. I have great friends, I go out and do things 2-3 nights a week (coffee or dinner with friends or a hobby), I exercise semi regularly, and have a good home life. I just don't know what to do. I'm not sure I can make it another 4 1/2 months.


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Old 01-09-2019, 03:09 AM
 
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I'm sorry that you're going through this. I know how bad it hurts. I'm bipolar and big problems with anxiety. Just wanted you to know that you're not alone because my situation right now is very similar to yours.

I have a post from a few days ago titled "Loved teaching for a long time but...". People left me some GREAT advice and words of encouragement. Maybe it would benefit you to read them because it was very helpful for me.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:20 AM
 
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I was an (elementary) resource teacher for a short time, so I know how it feels, but it wasn't like your situation. I never had anxiety, depression, etc., but I wouldn't like to be in your situation AT ALL and you're right! If you have to be on meds to do your job normally/adequately, then there's a HUGE/SEVERE problem here!

Have you talked to anyone at work about how things are going who can help? Otherwise, I'd probably go ahead and resign very soon, in fact, I'm surprised you hadn't planned the last day BEFORE Christmas break being your last day.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:18 AM
 
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Newbie--I am so sorry and completely understand what you are going through. I am also a sped resource teacher trying to hang on until the end of the year. Like you I had blood work done because I was convinced there was something seriously wrong with me last year, but it was stress! Also like you it made me so mad that I may have to go on meds because of the stress. I've tried yoga, mindfulness, etc. and it has helped my overall health somewhat but the stress and overwhelming workload and everything that go with it are still there. I think the only thing that kept me from going on meds last year was that I became a gramma and it took some of the focus off my misery!

I don't think it is sustainable to stay in some of these high pressure and intense positions. Are there other teaching positions that interest you? I am retiring at the end of this year--a year early because of the toll it's taken on me.

Please feel free to private message me anytime. I just can't believe how similar our stories are! Take mental health days too if you are able. It will help to break up the rest of the year.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:26 AM
 
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If you can financially afford to leave, then you should leave. No job is worth your health. I was in a similar situation this year. After a month I had stabbing pains in my heart, was exhausted all the time from the stress, and white hairs were growing out of my head. I knew I could no longer stay at the school so I resigned.

If you can't leave, I would recommend taking Nerve Tonic from Hyland's. They are all natural and can help to keep you calm. You could create a countdown calendar and plan some sort of reward for yourself at the end of each week so you have something to look forward to.


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Old 01-09-2019, 10:48 AM
 
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Fourteen years is not a lot, considering we have PT posters in the multiple decades on here, but I am just tired. Tired of all of it. YUCK!!

I was speaking to my para the last week. My school is great. My admin is great. I have no complaints there. As far as my class list and caseload, I ought to be in Heaven. This should be a dream year.

But I am tired, unmotivated, maybe even depressed. Bah Humbug! I feel bitchy, grinchy and blue. I am already on medications for my general health and mental health. I am achy and feeling old... I have been for a while now.

I am a Functional Depressive. I get up, get dressed, go to work and smile at everyone I meet. I love on the kids, reprimand as necessary and always have a compliment or good word for people I cross paths with. BUT, I dread every second some days. Most days, I cannot wait for the day to be over so I can go home and go to bed.

My advice--get out now. Do not wait. Explore your options. There has to be something better out there.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
...I am a Functional Depressive. I get up, get dressed, go to work and smile at everyone I meet. I love on the kids, reprimand as necessary and always have a compliment or good word for people I cross paths with. BUT, I dread every second some days. Most days, I cannot wait for the day to be over so I can go home and go to bed...
whatever, that's really sad. If only we were rich so we wouldn't have to work! We can be carefree and ONLY do what we really enjoy. Time wouldn't matter either.
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medical leave
Old 01-09-2019, 02:37 PM
 
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Check into medical leave. I was going through some tough times and my depression and anxiety were through the roof. I got a doctor's note that stated that I had to do a modified work schedule which turned into a full leave. My job was held for me and right now I'm exploring creating my own business.



p.s. If you do get a doctor's note and do this, make sure it says "anxiety" or something from the DSM. It can't just say "stressed".
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:07 PM
 
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Maybe disregard most of my last post--I was mid-funk when I wrote it. Today was a bad day. I am home now and though I have a ton of work still to do, I am in my pjs and snuggled up with my dog. I will be fine.

Quote:
whatever, that's really sad. If only we were rich so we wouldn't have to work! We can be carefree and ONLY do what we really enjoy. Time wouldn't matter either.
That's a great dream... Maybe I'll retire before long. I do think I need a break or a change but we count on my wages as the primary income.

But, I am on meds and I do wish I had another option that paid similarly in my area. We are very rural and a very small town so there is not much here for an overweight, middle-aged woman with a college degree. Thanks for commiserating with me for a minute though.
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The reality of teaching in today's world...
Old 01-09-2019, 04:30 PM
 
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I feel so sad for everyone who is struggling, and especially for those whose health is being compromised. I taught for 42 years, and felt much of what you're saying the last 5. The workload is never-ending, and the paperwork and data collection must be especially cumbersome in special ed. and you deal with legal stuff and deadlines on a daily basis.

There is no easy answer here. If you are duly certified, you might want a change into the regular classroom. It's stressful there as well, and time consuming too, but it is would be a change. If not, and you decide to leave, maybe you could use your degree to do private consulting and/or testing, or private tutoring where you could set your own schedule.

I agree that possibly taking time off in the way of a medical leave might give you some time to clear your head, see if you miss it, and evaluate where you want to go from here. I do not think I could do 42 years of teaching in today's world. I retired a couple of years before I originally planned, because the workload did not allow me any personal time and i felt stressed by the work load, didn't have a great relationship with my administrator, and began to resent all the hours I needed to put in and never seemed to be truly finished. And I agree with the other posters, your health should come first. Good luck to you.


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If you need meds to do a job,
Old 01-12-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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find a different job if possible. Schools have become stressful places.
Anxiety meds are so hard to quit once you start them.
It sounds like it is really bad if your hair is falling out.
I am so sorry, but I'd hope you can find a way out. Maybe a medical leave or if you can get unemployment, think about it.
Best wishes to you!
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:12 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I am also a resource teacher and some years have been more stressful than others. It is great that you have things you enjoy outside of teaching. One thing that has helped me is to really put effort into remembering that teaching is just a job. I think this idea that teaching is a "calling" is very dangerous. I know it's difficult, but I'd recommend focusing less on the job, remembering it's a way to pay the bills, and focus more on your personal life.

I work with a lot of martyrs who give everything to the job. I do my best when I'm at school, but I do hardly any work at all outside of contract hours. I think many teachers get roped into doing things that are "nice to do" but not necessary for the job. Then admin keeps expecting more and more because people are giving so willingly.

My teammate works a minimum of 80 hours per week. She gets a lot of praise, awards, and accolades that I don't get, and sometimes I do feel badly about it, but then I remember that I wouldn't trade my life with hers for anything. She's miserable. I'm never the one chosen for the special award or whatever at school, but I'm one of the happiest people in my building.

I get not wanting to take the meds, but if they helped you that's something to consider. At least try them again and see how you feel. Wouldn't feeling better be better than feeling badly "on principle?"

I also might try changing schools. I've only worked in low SES schools and haven't had many difficult parents over the years. Certainly no one with the means to sue. 90% of my parents are just grateful for the help their children are receiving. Since so many gen ed kids aren't passing state tests, there also isn't a ton of pressure on my kids. Every once in awhile it's brought up, but it falls by the wayside due to all of the other issues we have.
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Thank you all!
Old 01-13-2019, 12:29 AM
 
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Thank you all for the replies and advice! I have never felt so understood! It breaks my heart that so many others feel the way I do. I'm going to try and make it through the year, but I will be keeping medical leave in the back of my mind. My SPED director and I have a good relationship and she knows I'm not doing well, but even she doesn't know the real extent of it. Despite there not being much she can do, she is trying to help. I've had a few meetings since my original post and changed up programming on a couple of my more difficult kids so hopefully that will help.


I was hoping things would improve after this year so I talked with the resource teachers in the grade levels below me. Seems (outside of the law suit parent) things are only getting worse. The kids coming up are out of control and many other teachers are refusing to deal with it. My district is losing about 25% of it's sped teachers when the year is up due to the insane pressure and the student's behavior. Sadly, that's just based off the people that have told me they're done. Who knows how many others will resign when it's all said and done. Of course admin is oblivious and will be genuinely shocked when they have to scramble for teachers.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:40 AM
 
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I'm an art teacher and I feel exactly the same way. I know I don't have nearly as many pressures as you do. But I'm developing some very serious anxiety issues and it's starting to mess everything else in my life up. I don't even enjoy Saturday anymore because I'm so anxious about how close Monday is and eventually I go into crying fits. I've gone to counseling and everything and I'm about to the place where it's just not worth it anymore. I try to stay because I know it would put financial stress on my husband. But he's told me to quit because I'm not me anymore. If you can swing it financially, leave. No job is worth being medicated over or wishing months of your life away.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:02 PM
 
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ellenroo,
It definitely sounds like you need to get out! If I had a husband I wouldn't be teaching anymore. I'd go work at Micheal's or Barnes and Noble or wait tables!! If you have his support please quit. You have to take care of yourself. Like you said, no job is worth being medicated over or wishing months of your life away.



Unfortunately, I can't afford to leave the job. I'm single and taking care of an elderly parent (in good health, just needs a little extra support) so I need the money. I'm going to the doctor soon to see if I can get on some kind of medication temporarily.


My sped director and I had a sit down talk today and she asked me to come up with a way to revamp sped in my school to make things less stressful. Apparently I think creatively and outside the box. Who knew? I'm looking at ways to figure out how to spread the kids out better. Also planning to work it so I get to teach my preferred subject. If they're going to ask me to come up with a plan it might as well benefit me, right?



I'm trying to re-frame my thinking for this year. Instead of focusing on the few bad situations that are making me soooo stressed I'm trying to focus on the other awesome kids I have. I'm looking for small victories every day, even if it's something extremely minute.



I do plan to see if I can move to gen ed. I've tried every year to get out of sped, but the bosses think I'm good at it and want to keep me there. It's a nice compliment, but if things continue the way they are currently they'll either be replacing me because they let me into gen ed or they'll be replacing me because I've switched districts...unless of course I can get buy in for my plan for next year. If I can teach my preferred subject all day and not have to deal with lawsuit parent things would greatly improve.
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