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Anxiety
Old 12-31-2020, 05:48 PM
 
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Hey everyone! Iím a member but itís been so long Iíve forgotten my password but I had to talk to people that understand.

I just donít know that I can make it through this year. Iím a special educator and have had a couple of very stressful years with a parent that keeps threatening to sue the district. Well the parent finally did it! The child isnít in my school anymore but Iím still involved.

On top of that Iím teaching in person and online. One of my online parents is complaining to my principal that the work is too easy, but all my past data shows itís right on target. Itís too easy because the parents are doing the work for the student. I only say this because in the entire semester this child hasnít missed a single question in my classes or in their regular Ed classes. I teach a semi self-contained class where all my students have IQs below 65 and are at least 3-4 years behind. I know this child is not performing on grade level as the parent says they are.

I also have several behavioral problems in my class and itís a constant balance between pushing them and not causing a situation that would require a room clear.

The first week of break I was fine but Iím already having anxiety about going back. Iím sleeping 2-3 hours a night, Iím irritable, Iím unmotivated, and Iím extremely anxious. Part of me wants to quit but I need the money and insurance. Plus Iím not sure I want to be out of education and quitting mid year would effectively end my career in my area. I was thinking of seeing if I could use FMLA and go on medical leave then come back the last few weeks of the year.

I just donít know. I used to love teaching. Even the annoying stuff didnít bother me. I never missed a day and now Iím always looking for an excuse to not go in. I miss the old version of me. 😞


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Old 01-01-2021, 03:47 AM
 
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Teaching has turned into an exhausting career. Doing it online adds another layer of stress.

Set some boundaries with school and home. I never brought work home with me. I got to school quite early and completed things without many teachers in the building. Your home needs to be a place to relax and refresh yourself.

Look into FMLA as you mentioned. It sounds like you are anxious and could use some time off. Talk with your doctor.

I'm sending calm thoughts.

Last edited by travelingfar; 01-01-2021 at 08:23 AM..
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Me too!
Old 01-01-2021, 08:01 AM
 
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The beginning of break I was able to relax a little. I even noticed my worsening asthma symptoms have disappeared despite dust and pets at home I had previously contributed it to. Now I'm convinced my bad asthma this year is stress induced. My husband and kids have had to deal with me starting to "freak out" about school again the last few days. I go back Monday. If I could quit I would. My doctor would give me anti-anxiety meds (which I've been on before) if I brought it to her. I keep telling myself I'm doing the best I can and the year is almost half over. I try to bring less work home and watch more TV and read for pleasure as escapes. I'm sorry you're struggling too. Do whatever you need to do. I can't imagine leaving teaching in the middle of this craziness would ruin your career, although not ideal. Take care of yourself.
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Sending a virtual hug...
Old 01-01-2021, 09:53 AM
 
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No advice, just sending a virtual hug to you. I was fortunate to be able to retire going on 3 years now, long before the pandemic hit. My district is hybrid, and I applaud the staff for doing such a great job. I know I couldn't survive it.

As the previous poster mentioned, the year is nearly half over. The finish line, however distant it seems, is in sight. I hope your administration is supportive, especially with the looming lawsuit. And your data supports your instruction, so hopefully, the administration is supportive there, too

I had 42 years in public education when I retired. The last 5 years were especially rough, and i retired two years before I originally thought I would due to the stress and the never-ending requirements. I was fortunate that I could make that decision, and while it was tight, I made it work. I don't see many teachers reaching that longevity today. It has become just so hard for so many.

You got this. Those kids are fortunate to have you, and teachers like you in their corner.
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Old 01-01-2021, 11:12 AM
 
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Recently retired special education teacher here and I could have written your post almost word for word. Itís so hard when you give everything you have to give and for some parents itís never enough. So often the school system isnít set up to best serve all children and we are stuck trying to make it work the best we can and the weight of it all seems to fall on our shoulders.

I understand the anxiety and sleepless nightsóitís no way to live and it takes a toll on your mental and physical health. I was close to taking a leave both of my last two years but was able to tuff it out knowing retirement was getting close. I would encourage you to look into all your options including a medical leave. I have a great doctor who encouraged me to go to counseling and work on lifestyle changes for stress management which helped to some degree.

Please keep us posted and be kind to yourself. I can tell from your post that you are a caring person and great teacher.


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Fmla
Old 01-01-2021, 11:31 AM
 
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Iím so sorry this year has been rough - it seems that we are all facing new challenges. Iím a special educator also and know that some parents are completing studentsí work. Can you give online tests and/or activities that require the student to use earbuds?

I wouldnít quit but would look into FMLA as this virtual learning will not last forever. Your health is invaluable and you need your health insurance. I have felt the same and have to remind myself of the positive impacts I have made in my studentsí lives as Iím sure you have too.

If I didnít take an Fmla 5 years ago for cancer - Iíd be taking one now!
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:56 PM
 
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Look into FMLA. Your health and sanity are worth more than a job; worth so very much more! My passion has dimmed the last few years, and this year has all but doused it. Take care and be kind to yourself.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:16 AM
 
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Thank you all so much for the support!!! I can't tell you how comforting it is to have a place like and people like you to vent to. Much love and virtual hugs back to everyone.

I'm already on meds for anxiety so I'll definitely be talking to my doctor when I go see him later his month. I might try an in increase before in the meds before go to FMLA. Although I'm not gonna like...2-3 months medical leave sounds like a dream right now.

Again thank you all for your support. I nearly cried reading the responses and I'm not a crier! Just knowing others are out there feeling like me and validating how I'm feeling is a great feeling.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:59 AM
 
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So glad to hear that you are feeling better! I had my anxiety meds upped and find that I can cope better - wishing you the best! 22 more Mondays!
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