T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 96171
posted 09-26-2012 10:49 PM
I'm a senior in college, and I've always been a good student. This semester has knocked me back and mopped me across the floor, and it's only been three weeks? I'm an education major, and my university has decided that my phase should take 18 hours of classes, and have 2 days in field at elementary schools. We have to make two lesson plans a week, and a reflection, on top of all our homework. We're in class thirty-two hours a week alone, no homework, no studying, just IN class.
It's apparent that I will likely have to move out of state and get a different state's certification, because I can't do this. I can't deal with anyone over second grade. It's not the kids necessarily, but that I don't know how to interact with them. I can't apply my teaching skills to these kids efficiently. Of course, Texas doesn't have an early childhood certification, only EC-6. I could get hired for Kindergarten, but the next year they have the option of moving me to fifth or sixth if they want. I can't do it. I've had fourth graders for three weeks, and I can't do it. My mentor teacher knows I hate it, and that it's not where I want to be, so she's trying to make it easy for me. It's not any better. My supervisor (the university rep who follows us on our lessons and has to evaluate them) is stressing me out. She can't send me coherent feedback, and honestly it doesn't seem like she reads my lesson plans all the way through. Nobody else in my school has had problems with her. Last semester I often got "P's" (proficient) which is higher than we were supposed to be graded. This semester, the first week of teaching everybody had to be evaluated. Both my mentor and my supervisor evaluated me, and I got at least 70% "U's", which is basically failing. I try to tell her that this isn't what I know, or who I can teach to, and she even tells me it's my application that isn't working on top of my lesson plans, but always backs up my thoughts with the fact that my district can move me wherever they like. I cannot do this. This three weeks is literally been hell on Earth for me. I dread every Tuesday and Thursday, and my supervisor only makes it worse on me. She always sends me emails that I don't understand about whatever problem she has with my lesson plan, and it stresses me out. She knows I hate this, but it's like she doesn't understand when I tell her that this extra bit she does stresses me out more. To the point where I feel like I'm going to throw up. I haven't had to deal with my depression for three years, and it's back with avengence. I don't want to get up, get out, and the stress is making me want to punch a wall and pull out my hair. It seems that every weekend I end up getting trashed just because my week is that bad, and that's not how I want to be. I have too bad of an addictive personality for it. And I've started stress eating. I know I'm too sensitive, but I just can't help it. I don't know what to do about this. My parents don't think I'm doing too bad, and they've seen improvements, but that doesn't mean anything. I just keep thinking how bad tomorrow is going to be and start crying again. If I don't make an 80 in my field, then I don't pass the entire semester, regardless of what I make in class. It doesn't look like that's going to happen at this point either. I think I'm going to tell her tomorrow that I'm planning on moving out of state once this is over. This is ridiculous, I can't handle it, and I can't deal with the constant anxiety.
Member # 95998
posted 09-27-2012 10:38 AM
Hi jayjay! I'm so sorry about all of the stress you're undergoing right now. *hug*
I'm a freshman in college, and I've recently been getting stressed out about things, too (yup, already); so I can feel where you're coming from. At my college they have a so-called "learning center", that I plan on making an appointment with soon, which basically helps with: time management, balancing your academic life with other parts of your life, study skills (like efficient reading) and other useful things. There are also faculty advisors for everyone's majors (or potential majors) and peer advisors for everyone in our class. Another good resource is the psychological sevices center, which provides group/individual counseling, group/individual therapy and other things along that line. Are there resources at your university like any of those listed above that you could take advantage of? [ 09-27-2012, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]
Member # 79774
posted 09-27-2012 11:26 AM
Hi, jayjay. This all sounds pretty tough.
The first thing that strikes me is that it's probably helpful and important to treat/manage your depression. If we have untreated/unmanaged depression, that tends to be a big, big block to us being able to cope with any other things going on in our life, and if we're dealing with other things that are difficult or upsetting, untreated/unmanaged depression just tends to get worse, making everything else harder, which makes the depression worse, and so on. Have you found successful or helpful ways of dealing with your depression before? Do you know how you would go about doing those things now? Teacher training courses seem to be notoriously very tough and very, very heavy in time demands, so I'd say that it's not just you who finds this so tough. It sounds like it's beyond time for some trouble-shooting around the difficulties you're experiencing with teaching. Do you have anyone who you've been able to discuss with the differences regarding age of pupils that you experience, and if so, did they give you any constructive guidance? You say you don't know how to interact with slightly older kids. Have you been able to identify what things are different for you about these kids than about the younger ones? Are there teaching styles and techniques that you use with the younger ones that don't work with the older ones, or is it that the way you feel or your different confidence about the different kids makes you act differently? I'm wondering if you were able to identify some specific things that are happening, you might then be able to identify some specific skills for you to learn or work on, and your college staff might be able to work on those with you. Sometimes people are able to respond better to more specific requests for help than a general "I don't know how to do this". If you can manage to be calm enough to do it, one thing you might try is to print out the feedback your supervisor gives you and go through it with a highlighter, marking all the bits that you don't understand or that you don't know how to do, and see if you can identify exactly what it is that you don't understand or don't know. It's ok if you can't always identify it, because sometimes we really don't know what it is we don't know, but it might be worth a try. You could then take it to your supervisor (or your mentor teacher, if that's something within their remit or something they're happy to do) and ask specifically about the things you've identified, and maybe the two of you might make more progress that way. Other than the age of the kids and the longer hours, is there anything else different about this year to other years? Are significantly different things expected from you in terms of your lesson plans or teaching ability, or is the kind of school and/or its social background significantly different, or anything else?