The quotes below are from teachers I have talked to, in the course of my recent research. It is a completely unscientific look at how teaching in a modern classroom can make a person feel.
This matters because the drive for improvements to the teaching profession in recent years, have resulted in a situation where staff who genuinely care aren't able to share how they feel about doing a difficult job.
In the current climate of accountability, teachers fear being identified as someone who can't cope - and targeted for 'extra help' or 'focus'.
I hope the anonymised quotes below help you to realise that you are not alone ..
Q. How Does Teaching Make You Feel?
" I dread going to work every morning "
" You just can't switch off "
" I can't stand the constant pressure of the job "
" I was surprised by the unexpected workload "
" The job is making my heart race "
" Every lesson is a battle "
" I am frightened to say how the job makes me feel "
" I find myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat "
" I have nightmares about work "
" I am angry about what the job has become "
" I have a mega-responsibility for everything now "
" The job is SO draining "
" I feel overwhelmed all the time "
" I am sick of the endless, useless meetings "
" The thought of going in each day makes me feel physically unwell "
Q. Do you Feel Supported in Your Job?
" No. The expectation of management is that we should just 'cope' "
" There is a blame culture in my school "
" Am I going to let them (SLT) know about my health? .. definitely not! "
" A lot of things that are being done are about pleasing OFSTED, not helping children "
" I hate being belittled by teenagers - and my line manager "
" You feel like someone is looking over your shoulder all the time, every criticism hurts "
" No. The job is now more about over-testing and pressure to meet government targets "
" Teaching is an art not a formula "
"My Job? .. Abuse from teenagers, pressure from senior management and OFSTED, relentless scrutiny, personal and professional criticism, and ever-increasing workload "
Q. How Does Your Job Affect your Life Outside School?
" I feel like I barely see my own children - I rush to get them into bed so I can do my planning and marking "
" The lines between home-time and work-time are so blurred, I fear they don't exist "
" I am suffering from severe stress and anxiety "
" I am constantly knackered, and work every moment I can - but I am never on top of my job "
" I feel like I am missing out on my life "
" When my children look back, I am ashamed of what they will remember "
" How much of my child's childhood can I miss out on, before it starts to have an impact I wonder? "
" I was out with my family at the weekend, and couldn't enjoy it because I felt guilty that I wasn't at home doing my schoolwork instead "
Q. How do You Feel About Teaching Until Retirement?
" I just don't know if I can do this job until retirement "
"I just want to do something where I can leave for the day and pick up the next morning, rather than bring my workload home every night and weekend "
" My heart isn't in it any more "
" Not every teacher who wants to resign, can "
" I hate what education has become "
I don't know what your experience is - I sincerely hope you have an understanding employer and happy working conditions. When teaching is good, it is the best job that I know.
If your experience reflects otherwise, then be careful - the consequences of 'pushing through' for some, can be serious. Keep monitoring how you feel and talking to those close to you about the problems you have.
If you are worried that you are approaching burnout, you can get further advice here ..
.. and if you're thinking of leaving teaching - then this will help:
PDF: 373 Alternative Job Ideas for Teachers
- Discover just how employable you really are!
- Reveals the jobs best suited to your role, and existing experience level
- 373 ideas and inspirations for teachers seeking a fresh challenge