posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 03:16 PM
I feel like a real jerk complaining about my job when so many are unemployed, but I seriously have a problem and I need your advice.
How do you deal with burnout?
In case you don't know, I teach first grade in a poor area. My school is under a lot of scrutiny by the state department b/c three years ago our
test scores took a nose-dive. So for the past three years, we've had state officials in our school. They basically walk in to the classroom and
start taking notes about the environment, the teaching, everything. They then meet with you and discuss what they saw and ways to improve.
In addition to the added stress of having the state in my class at least once a week, our school has a new principal who taught middle/high school.
Frankly, he's a kind-hearted guy but he doesn't understand how little ones work. I'll leave it at that.
Finally, the class I have this year is an incredible challenge. Twenty kids, which is average sized class. Of that twenty, nine are diagnosed with
ADHD....and I truly believe its a real diagnosis for 8 of the students (I know that's a huge number). The behavior problems in the classroom are
unreal....I can't turn my back without crayons flying across the room, kids out of their seats, what have you. Normally classroom management isn't
a problem for me, but this group is like the perfect storm. They feed into and off of each other. I swear, its like a new form of energy or
I've asked for help from my three administrators. I get a lot of promises, but no follow through. For example, today we were using letter tiles
to spell words. I give the kids a word, then walk around and help those who need extra help. During this time, one of my students was EATING his
magnetic tiles. Yesterday, another student colored his desk a beautiful pattern of colors. This is common, unfortunantly he did it with permanent
markers. I was in a meeting so there was a sub in the room at the time of the desk decoration.
I never hear anything positive from my administrators or state people. Its always something negative. Now, I know for a fact I'm a damn good
teacher. My kids have grown in their reading and math skills; they are making progress and are learning. But this constant nit-picking is driving me
insane! My principal is OCD, I think...he has to line everything up in his office in right angles. NO joke. My room....best described as controlled
chaos. That's part of teaching first grade....we make messes.
I finally snapped today when my principal asked why my kids couldn't be quiet in the hallway. So I politely asked him to show me how he'd like
the kids to stand.
He kept saying, "Now, boys and girls. Let's be quiet. No talking!" Guess what....they ignored him just like they ignore me.
It did make me smile...he never got them quiet.
Just as an example of how bad it is in my grade level; one of our other first grade teachers just quit. The third teacher was taken by ambulance last
week to the hospital for chest pains...and she's in her twenties. Stress related anxiety.
I think I need a new job.