So I asked this
question over a month ago. Things have obviously not gotten much better. I swear I will not offer monthly updates on AskMe, but I am looking for more general advice. How do I handle this situation?
I am not very good at any aspects of teaching. Where to begin?
- I have a severe problem with procrastination, and if I put off work, the work builds up very quickly and becomes overwhelming. For example, I have 4 lessons unplanned for tomorrow, and will likely have to make it up as I go along. This has been a recurring theme since September. I am just not hard working at all, and I've always been a bit lazy in my life (high school, university, masters degree). I had a similar situation in my masters degree, where the stress and pressure I put on myself (and that was put on me) became so overwhelming I had to take time off. I numb myself with internet, which is probably the root of the procrastination
It is almost 8 weeks into the year, and I have not marked a single book in the majority of my classes. Granted, in some of my classes, the students don't even have 2 pages of work to their name, but even in my higher ability classes, I have not done any marking. Again, it seems overwhelming to me, and the fact that I was in a new system made me feel overwhelmed and just throw my hands up.
The behaviour has not gotten better at all. Today, I held a class after the bell had gone until they were all seated and quiet. I was standing by the door and a student tried to pass. I told him to sit down, he paced back and forth while muttering profanities, then walked by me and out the door anyway. I wasn't going to physically stop him, since I can realistically see the possibility that he would assault me. From a 12 year old. This is not an uncommon occurence, for me or other teachers at the school. I still have similar problems I had in my last post.
- maybe I am not the problem, maybe it's the school? The school has a very poor reputation for behaviour, and I've seen 4 people in my department alone cry after bad lessons. I am learning school policies on the go, in many cases, and it seems it's just assumed that I know things. The other staff is extremely helpful when I have questions or need moral support, but I think many of them are caught up in their own problems, or just forget what it's like to be a new teacher.
I often see the work that others do and get extremely envious. I think to myself "Why couldn't I do that or produce that?" and get down on myself, which gives me a reason not to start, because I won't produce something that good anyway so whats the point? I know this perfectionist attitude is not healthy, but I come back to it a lot. My girlfriend is also a teacher, in a private school with good behaviour, and she works extremely hard, working very long hours to get the work done. I look at how hard she works, and it makes me feel inadequate and then I get angry at her for making me feel this way. I said some not very nice things to her tonight and I feel terrible for it and I suppose that's why I'm asking for advice, because if this stupid stressful job starts to ruin one of the few good things I have...
I have been reading many support threads online, and am going through "Feeling Good" by David Burns, but I always come back to these negative thoughts that I'm useless...and there is external confirmation for these thoughts (see above).
I know this is rambly, but how can I start to improve this? I am actually applying for a new job this month which would start next September, but I don't want to quit this job (even though I wouldn't be alone: 2 or 3 are leaving the department at Christmas), as I feel I should tough it out and do the best I can. Can this be salvaged? Can I regain my sanity?