How to manage emotions when teaching
December 31, 2013 1:03 AM Subscribe
How do you keep yourself from getting too emotionally invested in your students and your teaching? My day can be made or destroyed by my students and the extent to which this happens makes me uncomfortable.
posted by sarae to Human Relations (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a first year teacher, and maybe I'm not "hardened" enough yet or something. I find I am quite attached to my students and care about them, sort of like a distant family member would. Their behaviour in class is usually quite good and I genuinely enjoy teaching them.
The problem comes when something goes wrong. We had an incident where several of my students made a silly teenage mistake and got in trouble - actually, I noticed it and reported it. It ruined my entire day. I took it personally, for some reason, then moved on to anger at the students, then disappointment. It took me several hours to stop thinking about it constantly but I was okay with everything the next day.
Today, I noticed that one of my students had previously engaged in self harm. I don't think it's current. My heart broke. I still feel legitimately sad about it and I keep thinking up things I can do or say.
This sort of thing is weird for me, because generally, I don't let things bother me this much. I find I'm quite rational about most things and can work through my emotions healthily. I feel that my responses to these things are out of proportion. Obviously, as their teacher I should care about them, but I feel like I care too much - to my detriment. I feel like I'm prone to devastation by things that I would normally be able to respond to without so much trouble.
So my questions are: why do these things affect me so strongly? how can I detach myself and keep my mood a bit steadier when things inevitably upset me? any suggestions about how to approach the self-harm (if at all)?