The class sizes keep getting bigger. Only a year or two ago, the class sizes were up to 40, which is insane. How am I supposed to nurture relationships with all of those students, create differentiated instruction for the kids who need extra help, and still try to figure out who is cutting, who is hungry, and who might come back to school someday with a gun and shoot us all up.
My anxiety is rising. When I started teaching, class sizes were already big at 30-32, and I even remember participating in the union demonstration outside of school holding a sign that said “No higher than 34,” but even those days are long gone!
State standardized testing has gotten completely out of control! We test them FAR too much and so much of the time in class is spent preparing them for the test. We can’t even spend the time to get in tune with MY interest and the enthusiasm I have about my subject matter so that I can pass that on to them and we CERTAINLY don’t have time to access THEIR passions and interests in a way that may make them more engaged and passionate and maybe even want to STAY in school!
So what can I do?
But I need a job to pay my bills and support my family. Plus, I don’t think I really have any other marketable skills!
And I can’t risk losing years by transferring to another school district.
And what about my pension! I certainly don’t want to risk losing it and I get SO MUCH more money if I stay until I am fully vested. . .
. . .But what kind of a teacher will I be? How can I connect with the kids if I’m stressed out, moments from burn out, and at the end of my rope?
As it is, I don’t even have enough energy for my own kids.
I do love teaching. . .
But I’ve already been diagnosed with clinical depression, and I’m on Wellbutrin, and I’ve tried Zoloft, and Lexapro.
But nothing has worked.
I feel tired and exhausted all the time, I can’t seem to keep up, and there never seems to be any time for me. Just to do the things I WANT to do, not just the things I HAVE to do (like laundry, pay bills, etc.).
Damn it. There’s the bell again.
Here comes sixth period.
Okay, deep breath. Head down. Move forward.
You can do this.
Just focus on what you love about it.
That’s all you can do right now.
You got this.
Not really. But keep moving.
But I’ll keep telling myself that.
Only ten more years.
If I can make it.