Beware: This is a venting entry, so if you don’t want to read the vents of a teacher go ahead and skip reading this one. It is not in your best interest. Okay, let’s get started. We all know that I am an elementary special education teacher. I teach for grades K-6. Not exactly the easiest job out there. I love working with my students and they always know how to bring a smile to my face. I count myself as lucky to be able to work with these wonderful students who have touched my life just as much as I have touched theirs. First, let’s get this straight, I am a good teacher. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am. I am very devoted to this job. I show up at 7:30 in the morning and work until 5:00. Then go home to do grad school work to learn more about helping each and every one of my students. I have no prep hour and eat lunch with one of my kiddos every single day. I have almost no adult contact time throughout the day and am always in my room with a student. Bathroom breaks? Forget about it. I can hold it for quite some time. Copying breaks? Forget about that too. I have taught my kids how to do it so I can send them to do it while I work with them. It’s a life skill. Learning to use a copy machine is a life skill. That’s what I say and I am sticking to it. Plus, the kids love operating it. For some reason the green start button is really cool. And the paper spitting out in the tray? Mind boggling.
Recently, I got a new student. Very challenging behaviors. He is the most challenging student I have yet to work with. He is still a puzzle to me. I have gotten him to work for me and am starting to learn tricks that work with him. It takes every day to learn how to avoid power struggles, shut downs, and meltdowns with this kid. His behaviors have been getting worse and, quite frankly, I am burnt out. There is no more steam in me. This kid has been taking all of my time in the past few weeks. I have missed seeing other kids because of behaviors I have been intercomed to help with. My past few weeks have been insane.
So, this week, I actually have some prep because we have an artist here to do lessons with classes. So, I get some time. (Yay!) I was making some copies during some free time I had today and a teacher corners me. She tells me about testing that needs to be done with a student. I say, “I am well aware of that and it is on my lessons plans for this week.” While I think, “Bug off, I am trying to scan and email this form to a hospital for some records on this new kid.” She then goes on about how this student is ruining the education of other students and that I need to move this one student’s time to a different time. My response, “I am booked up. I don’t even have a prep hour. He can’t move times.” I then walk away. This lady has NO idea what I am going through right now. She can’t sit and tell me this kid is taking up everyone’s time. Sure, he may be, but he is my most extreme. Everyone has pushed him to the side and there is only me left trying to rescue him. I teach him for the first 2 hours of the freaking day! I can’t just get rid of him! I need to help him! My job is to help him! He doesn’t cause these behaviors! He has a disability! I then went and complained to the principal because frankly, I have had ENOUGH of this bashing. I am sick of teachers telling me that I am not doing my job because I am with this kid all day and that this kid has “an issue?” You don’t think I see that? You don’t think I deal with this every day? This kid has been through more than any of them have been through in their life. Of course he has issues and we need to help that. Not push him out. I told my principal that I was on this teacher’s bad side. She told me, “Don’t worry about it. I am on your side. That’s all you need right now.” She then told me the classroom teacher talked to her about a worksheet her student did in my room that came back done horribly. The principal vouched for me. I was dealing with behaviors when the kid had that worksheet. You want it to be done right? How about you spend some time with the kid and help him with it? It’s not just me that can help him! On top of this, I am getting backstabbed and the impression that I am a horrible teacher because this student is having some behavior issues. No one is understanding what I am going through. I am already stressed to the max and on medication for anxiety. I don’t need you telling me that I am not doing my job right. Maybe it is you that isn’t doing your job right! I am trying people. I am trying to do my best. I don’t have some miracle cure for this kid. Needless to say, I am at the point where I hate my career. Where I am ready to walk out and never come back. Where I think that I am wasting my time doing this and that retail sounds nice. The speech teacher pulled me aside and told me what she has seen and heard. She feels really bad for me and voiced this to me. She wishes she could help me in some way. I told her that it was fine because I can’t even control it. She then asked me if I was leaving next year and begged me not to leave because the kids here need me. She’s right they do need me. I really just need to focus on what successes my kids are having and ignore the adults that are trying to bring me down. This sort of stuff happens everywhere. I just have to move on and keep standing up for my kids. I guess that is all I can say right now. So, if you have any advice on how to overcome stress, feel free to give it to me! I already take medications, read the bible nightly, pray almost every second of the day for help and guidance to overcome this, try to squeeze in at least 2 miles every night, and read a novel for fun every night. Any other stress relievers would be very appreciated because I have a feeling I may need it for the next few months.