Anxiety for the masses

It’s Sunday night. The dreaded “back to work tomorrow” feeling has unfortunately sunk in. But for me, it’s a bit more overwhelming. I just started “my dream job” a month ago but yet, I’m ready to quit. I became a high school teacher. Something that over the last couple of years, I had been so excited about. Something I would proudly tell people that I fell in love with – something noble. But here I am on a Sunday night blogging about the anxiety it’s given me.

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I genuinely love to teach. I always recall that one student, my first year as a tutor for a non profit education company, asking me a question because he didn’t understand. I remember explaining it to him again and seeing his eyes light up. I’ve told this story in my interviews over the Summer before landing my position. I still think it is one of the mot defining stories I’ve told.

I get it. I worked so hard to get here. I’m doing a disservice to my students by feeling this way. My parents, friends and family are so proud. I feel like I’m letting them down. But here’s the thing: I feel this is no longer for me. I need to live my life where I am truly happy. Not what others’ opinions of me and my choices are. And the fact is, I’m not happy.

I’ve become disillusioned. The education system is no longer what it was when I was growing up. I loved my teachers who took time aside to get to know who I was. It felt like a community. Now? It’s about high stakes testing and lesson plans. New techniques, new methods, new curriculum, new students. As educators we say that our students need consistency. Where is it in our educational policies?

Why do I overworked, unappreciated and guilt tripped? Why do I feel hopeless?

I shouldn’t complain; I am lucky. I teach 3 classes, 2 self contained special ed and for the most part, I haven’t had major behavioral issues. My workload is light and I’ve managed so far. The administration has been supportive and nice, but I know deep inside, that this anxiety I feel – there’s a strong chance it won’t be going anywhere soon.

It’s my gut feeling. I know I can’t last this long. My anxiety is a warning that I need to leave. I need to leave soon. But I can’t. I can’t let these students down after hearing about their history. Their home lives. Our school is on the state list to be closed, I can’t abandon my new colleagues.

What will become of me? I am in the middle of my late 20’s. I should know what the hell I want to do with my life.

At this point, I want to sleep, eat, watch tv and forget my job for a good couple of months. Instead I will pack my work bag and prepare for tomorrow.