Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Beaten Down and Exhausted

This post comes after yesterday, where after my second period class, I went to a dear friend and colleague's classroom and broke down in tears. I told her that I hated my job. That I hated teaching. A profession that I had dreamed of joining since I was a young girl.

Do I really hate my job? Do I really hate teaching?

No, I don't.

Yesterday's words were those of a teacher who right now feels beaten down and exhausted. A teacher who feels powerless and undervalued. A teacher who feels like she is working so hard, but is never good enough. A teacher who thought that she would never by disillusioned by education, at least not so early on in her career. A teacher who is crying right now as she writes this because she is ashamed and scared of her feelings. A teacher who last week started a jar called "My Jar of Happiness". A jar where she places little notes about the good things that happen to her at school. A jar that operates (hopefully) as way to remind her that she doesn't actually hate teaching. A jar of stories to remind her that what she does is meaningful and useful for her students.

I sincerely hope that I am in the minority, and that these feelings are just a blip in my career. But right now, these feelings have been bogging me down for almost four months, and I feel alone, despite not actually being alone. These feelings make me think there is something wrong with me. That they're further proof of my failings as a teacher. I wonder where I went wrong. I wonder when these feelings will subside.

I am working on reframing my feelings. Reminding myself that as long as I am doing my best, as long as I am trying, as long as I am learning, that I can't ask any more of myself.

And while I hope that I am in the minority, I hope I am not alone. I hope that other teachers have felt this way, but that it passes. I hope that teachers with years of experience can tell me that there have been lows such as this in their careers, but it does indeed pass, and things get better. I sincerely hope so.

I don't hate my job. I don't hate teaching. I am doing my best. I am trying, and I am learning. I can't ask myself for more.


  1. Truer words have never been spoken! We care so much about teaching that we put so much of ourselves and our self-worth in the classroom. I think that is what makes us good teachers...because we care about what happens and what our students think. Our successes and failures are based on a bunch of teenagers. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have days/weeks/months/classes that have put my teaching practice to test...but we still get up and head to that first period class with optimism that today will be different..and some days they are! YEAH A WIN...hold on to the little wins..sometime that's all we have.

  2. I think many teachers go through what you are going through. I agree with Tara, caring is what makes good teachers. Caring makes one vulnerable and opens the possibility of getting hurt. But you don't want to move to the alternative - to protect yourself from the hurt by not caring.
    It is exhausting, but you are strong, courageous and honest. Your best is spectacular. You will overcome this.