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missjena's avatar

Has any other teachers felt this way when they first began to teach?

Asked by missjena (910points) April 20th, 2009

I am currently student teaching a first grade class;however, when I am finished I am EXHAUSTED. I am mentally and physically exhausted. Has anyone felt this tired afterwards? Is this job always this draining or is because I am new? I also want to ask did anyone feel like some of the questions the students ask you second guess yourself if you are right? I know I am not a stupid person with a gpa almost a 4.0 but why am I having a hard time here? The students will sometimes ask me questions (simple questions) and It has been so long since I went to the core foundation of education that I am having a hard time. I have a lot of anxiety so I dont know if that has something to do with it. I have wanted to teach my entire life and I have never second guessed it. I am not second guessing that I want to teach because 100% I do. I am second guessing me being able to actually teach them! My friend who is also a student teacher thinks I am over analyzing every question they ask me. Any advice? Did you also feel this way ?

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27 Answers

missjena's avatar

I feel like I am in a foggy haze. I dont know.

eponymoushipster's avatar

yeah, i felt the same way. it’s very very draining. i didn’t teach kids of that age, but even with adults it’s very tiring. it does pass with some time, however. keep at it!

missjena's avatar

I am hoping over time I will just become a better teacher. I am a perfectionist and I truly want to be able to do wonders in the classroom. I am thrown off by simple questions though and I am not sure why. E.g. Is this a compound word? or How do you spell? Grammar issues as well. I am also an English major so I know I know the material but when I step foot in the first grade classroom it is like my mind goes blank. This is depressing me and making me feel stupid.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@missjena nah, it’s normal. part of it is the educational system – there’s so much focus on learning minute details, when really most people, even kids, need just the basics. Just take a breath and think – it’ll come back. i’m sure you’re doing a fine job.

SeventhSense's avatar

Whatever hopes you have to make a difference you may do that in spite of the teaching part but mostly it’s a thankless position. If you want to talk about your retirement package for the next 30 years while getting fat and eating cupcakes and entertaining brats just keep at it. It will become mind numbingly monotonous and empty very quickly.
It takes your sweat. blood and tears and leaves you a drained lifeless corpse. I have taught grades K-12 and would never return….NEVER!!

SeventhSense's avatar

But if you’re just struggling with the teaching part, then don’t worry. Just stare back at them with the same vapid stares that they give you and soon they won’t even recognize you. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to tune them out and just keep them from killing themselves. Whatever pablum that your administration expects you to offer the kids will just be regurgitated back to you. Leave your brain outside of the classroom, it won’t be necessary.

missjena's avatar

Um what are you talking about? I cant believe you waisted your time even to pretend to answer this question.

missjena's avatar

You believe teaching is a thankless position? Okay anyway I am open to people answering my actual question.

missjena's avatar

Thank you epony. I feel a little better.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes, it wasn’t a joke. It’s from experience. Did you expect only positive responses?

SeventhSense's avatar

Here’s something useful for you to help you with your grammar and vocabulary.

SeventhSense's avatar

OK here’s your answer to the EXHAUSTED
1 You feel that way in the beginning
2. You feel that way in the middle.
3. You feel that way at the end.
Unless you are an absolute masochist, find another vocation.

Jack79's avatar

1. Yes, being new at anything is a problem. This is true of any job. Experience will make you not only better at what you do, but help you find ways of doing it easier.
2. Young children are exhausting, didn’t you know that? They’re a nightmare! And you probably have many of them too! Poor thing!
My worst year was when I had to teach 4 groups, including some 11-year-olds. I had such a hard time with them that I’d rather teach any other group for 8 hours than them for 1. I always considered my working day over once I’d survived their session. I now insist on older students. The lesson is more challenging as far as the knowledge goes, but I don’t have to deal with discipline and screaming children.
3. Yes, anxiety at this being a new thing has a lot to do with it. Don’t worry, you’ll get the knack of it soon enough :)
4. Your friend is right. You’re over-analyzing. Take it easy, it will all work out.

From your question it doesn’t sound as if the kids are too bad. As long as they haven’t thrown you into a pond yet, you’ll probably survive the semester. The first time I taught all the little girls started hitting me with their schoolbags for fun. The second time some older boys carried my desk (and me on it) out of the classroom.

Personally, I love teaching. I have done it on and off for almost 20 years (yes, I started very young). Some of the children I taught are now parents, most of them have become useful members of the society and it’s always great to bump into an old student, because they all adored me. It’s weird when somebody who is now almost my age says “hello sir, remember me?”. I love kids, and I feel I have done my bit to many of their lives, not just teaching them stuff, but also helping them form personalities, learn manners, be nice to each other, love themselves and the people around them. I get great satisfaction knowing I have contributed in that way.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

ha, try parenting
hey, it’s okay…you’re in a wonderful vocation

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

The exhaustion comes from always having to be “on” and always being responsible. All those little eyes are on you…That’s both fun and tiring. You’re being impactful.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock you hit it right on the head. There’s no downtime, and you’re on point the whole time.

missjena's avatar

No i expected answers that had to do with the question asked.

missjena's avatar

I am not really worried about the exhaustion. I can deal with it. I am more concerned about my other anxietys.

missjena's avatar

Thank you everyone. I guess I am just over-reacting and trying to be absolutly perfect when it comes to this job. I have to take a crash course and just review some of the basics.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

You can manage a lot of it by making sure you’re prepped to the lesson plan the night before. For stumper questions, “Good question, what do you think?” or “Good question, let’s look the answer up” can also work.

DrBill's avatar

Hang in there, it will get better.

I found the best way to handle a question you’re not sure of is to respond, “that’s a good question, let’s find the answer.”

It will also give you the opportunity to teach your students how to research the answers they need.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

And if all else fails, read Miss Nelson is Missing to them. You can catch your breath with that one!

jca's avatar

any job that you start out doing is hard because you’re trying to consciously use all the skills you have learned. when you have done it for a while, you will use the same skills unconsciously.

i have a good friend who left where we worked together and she got a Master’s in Education. For the first year she had a hard time, and she was being mentored by someone from her college, so she was dealing with the administration, the mentor, and learning to use the skills she was taught. now she’s like an old pro, after 4 years. you’ll get the hang of it and it won’t be so exhausting.

Supergirl's avatar

I have been teaching a few years and none of it has been as emotionally and physically draining as student teaching. I remember falling asleep at the wheel on my way home from student teaching. It was like 3:30 in the afternoon. It definitely got easier for me, and I think that came from confidence in my vocation. Good luck.

missjena's avatar

Wow! Thank you for the advice I feel so much better! @supergirl -Really? Teaching isnt as difficult as student teaching? Oh my god I am relieved! I am so overwhelmed with classes and student teaching. At the end of the day I am EXHAUSTED! And I am not even the teacher! When it comes to student teaching its difficult because since it isnt my classroom, its like I know what I would do if it was my own classroom but sincce its not I have to ask the cooperating teacher and all. Ugh its a lot of work! Especially with the other classes I am taking. Im beat!

sakura's avatar

I was exausted when I first started teaching and totally over analysed everything, especially my own abilities!! I find that if I get asked a question that I can’t answer straight away I put it back on the child, what do you think? why? etc… (obviously NOT in a sarcastic manner!) I know why don’t you look that up at home and whisper the answer to me tommorrow if you get the answer right you can have a sticker etc..
I don’t think the tiring aspect gets any better I have only been back a day and I am exausted! However the planning, marking organisation aspect starts to get a little easier as time passes, as you know what works and what doesn’t. The best advice I can give on this score is KEEP ASKING for advice from you tutor teachers and ask to watch other teachers, this gives you an insight into how good(or bad?) ways they handle situations.
Hope this helps, keep going and there would be no shame in choosing a different career path, although I hope you don’t cause it can be a worthwhile job, especially when a child in your class has what I call a lightbulb moment and something YOU taught them sinks in!!

lifeflame's avatar

Yes, teaching can be very exhausting, but it does get better.
I would say that the first month to three months is the hardest, because you are trying to set up a new relationship and structure for them. However, once things are on the rails, it does gets much easier. You learn new tricks and know what to expect and anticipate. And once you earn the trust of your students, everythign is so much easier.

Yeah, I think the most exhausting period of my life was when I first started teaching professionally; and even now, the beginning of each school term (when I need to start up again with a new bunch of students) is more demanding than the rest of the year.

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