#guiltyteacher (a rhetorical post)

I have seen @teachertoolkit use this hashtag recently and in his video for #sltcamp about #goalpostshifters. Well, a bad week or two or … I can’t remember to be honest. My depression is back and I have cried myself to sleep, hugged pillows,teddy bears and felt my mood go up near the roof and then crash right down to earth sometimes over a few days sometimes within seconds. Yes, I feel guilty, but at present this roller coaster I am living means I can not be in front of classes. Do I seek sympathy? No. So the doc agrees that I am ill. For the third time in 2013 I will try a different medication dosage and I hope that this time there are no side effects as previously.

So I am ill, so why feel guilty? Because I do not work in a job on my own. I am a member of several teams, it is to those team colleagues that I feel guilt, to the pupils who I would like to be teaching, encouraging. What next? Since Tuesday of this week (26/11) I have questioned whether I should still teach, move positions, move out of teaching. In 5 days I have despaired that maybe 25 years and one term is my limit. That the classroom is no longer where I should be. But, gradually each day I have had lucid moments where I have been able to think more logically.

I am a teacher.

I am a good teacher, I have my outstanding moments, and my lows too.

I strive to find new ways to move on with my practice and the experience for my pupils through a lot of time and energy invested outside what is already a demanding job.

I love learning and Iove to share that in: the classroom, the staffroom, the teachmeet, the Twitter timeline or #chat, the blogposts.

I am so grateful to friends and colleagues who have chatted with me by phone, e-mail, tweets(DMs) this week.

Yes,I want to continue, but am I kidding myself? To be honest I do not know and therein lies the crunch. if I could “snap out of it”, “pick myself up” I would but it is not that easy. Is my experience still of value in an education system that seems to favour youth over experience?

To be frank this post is rhetorical,a starting point I have returned to. The answer has always been to return to the classroom thus far, will it be this time ….. Time will tell.

I have removed references to my blog on Twitter. If you have a view / comment please leave it on here or contact me if you have my details. Open feedback is welcome.

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18 responses to “#guiltyteacher (a rhetorical post)

  1. It is partially cathartic and has also reinforced links with other teachers I keep in touch with who suffer from #BD, our call sign on Twitter. My family are fantastic and very supportive. The caring teacher, that is the model that I am cast from, not always in favour these days but as a parent the most important aspect for me when working with young people is that we are all individuals with many background stories that make or break us.

    • I’ve started my own. I don’t want to link it to twitter but if you could share it I’d be really grateful

  2. Such an honest reflection. You are by no means alone in this as I’m sure you are aware. Many many teachers face this, some return, some don’t. What is important is that the decision is made for you alone. Teaching demands so much of our souls it’s unlike any job I have ever known. It should not be like that and sadly is the product of a created system. However this system is playing with lives. I’ve had my dark moments too and I fully understand your dilemmas. I hope you find the right journey for you and that in time you find contentment again. If that means to leave then so be it. You are however the important factor in this and no job is worth it.

  3. We give so much of ourselves emotionally when we teach that it leaves us vulnerable when things go wrong, when we miss something or someone judges us as not making the grade, it hurts deeply, whether it ourselves or someone else. just talk to those who know you and love you, speak to those who value you and don’t give up on teaching just yet. The fact you care so much is a good indicator of why you need time and help, and why you should keep the faith.

  4. Please don’t feel guilty. Please look after yourself x

  5. When #BD strikes we doubt ourselves, we question our abilities and if we are in the right profession. If I reflect back on a career plagued by this, I know I have had many more times when I was well and able to teach, than times when I could not teach. We give so much that we sometimes fail to take time for ourselves.
    In the depths of depression is not the time to make the decision, do it when you are well, healthy and can see clearly.
    You know my current position, you are not alone and you have people who are there to support you.

  6. Hello Andy
    As H says, you have spent 25 years and one term thinking of others, it is time to think of yourself now.
    You have so many skills and strengths, as a teacher, an innovator, a thinker, a speaker and a trainer, there are many different directions you could take for a while in your life if the black dog is too much at present.
    Some years ago now I took an alternative professional path for a while, and it helped me recover myself and now I am happily back in school.
    I remember guilt I felt that I should not abandon colleagues and students, but you need to think of yourself. I am a better professional following those years away from the classroom.
    Good luck, and remember we are here in reality, not just online!
    Jude

  7. By the way, what does #BD stand for?

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