I am back to work tomorrow. After two weeks off this causes me some stress and anxiety. Usually when I tell people this, or even hint to it, I am told I am lucky to have so much holiday as a teacher. They are right, I am. However, it does not stop the going back to work issues I face when you have anxiety and depression, plus I am an introvert.
Nervous to see everyone and yet I want to get back into the routine a school provides. However these also raise issues and questions in my mind. Will I be good enough? What will people ask? Inevitable – How am I? What if I am not good? They do not really want to know that. How was your Christmas/New Years? How are my family? This is now the count down to exams. How are the kids going to do. Have they revised. Will they understand this is important. What am I teaching on Friday/this term?
Social interaction like this is draining and causes me some anxiety too. I do not know how to respond, how much people actually want to know and usually go with ‘Good’ or ‘Fine’. Then you ask about them and get a whole story, while I give them my ‘I was just being polite’ look. This might seem rude but these are work colleagues and not my friends. And I have a difficult relationship with my family, which I do not want to explain. I am polite and friendly but as an introvert it is exhausting keeping up appearances.
Tomorrow is also a teacher training day, which means learning something. I am not always sure what. Listening to people lecture about a chosen topic, I may of already had training on or not. Often it is on things unhelpful to actual teaching in a classroom but about new criteria from Ofsted, health and safety, data and so much more, it is not exciting.
As teachers we are also the worst students, like they say about doctors and patients. We will comment (not so quietly) under our breath and be unappreciative of the hard work or genius of the speakers. Most things labelled ‘initiative’ are dismissed as ‘will be gone by the end of term’. The speakers should expect loud groans if any interaction is expected and if you dare to utter the words ‘role play’ things will be thrown. It is harsh but true. Training teachers is not a job I would out my hand up for.
I also find the crowd an issue. In my school we have over 100 staff and when we are together in the hall for training it is a lot for me. My heart races, I fear being picked on, having to talk to people around me, asked to engage and interact on the spot.
Tomorrow morning we are going to a special auditorium as all the schools in our link of academy schools are coming together. That is three Secondary Schools, seven Primary Schools and a Special Provision School (I believe). That is a lot of people. Too many for me. I will try to sit at the back and keep telling myself to breathe. Even entering that room is hard, my first challenge is to find somewhere to sit, with people I know, but essential to help reduce my anxiety.
I probably will find it hard to sleep tonight with anxiety running a muck in my head and because I will be worried I might sleep through my alarm. Highly possible, I have seven alarms and still sleep through them all. It is so strange as anyone making any other noise wakes me up, as I am usually a light sleeper, but my alarms I can sleep through.
My brain sometimes triggers a migraine or pain as a coping strategy but hopefully not this time. I do feel my body plots against the things I try to do, or the things I have to do. It sneaks up and makes me stop when I want to carry on and plow through. Mostly this happens if I am not listening to my body’s pre-warnings.
Well, tonight I am trying to listen, I am trying to process it all before the morning comes, before I even attempt to sleep. I will meditate before bedtime and set extra alarms. I will list the people I want to see tomorrow. I will remember I can avoid people in a crowd, so maybe use it to my advantage. This is my Tortoise working hard on taming the Hare, even before the race has begun.
Goodnight from life in my mental world.
One thought on “Teacher Training Days & Back to Work Anxiety”
My brother is a history teacher in public middle school and I’ve heard about how challenging it is. He has anxiety as well; I don’t know how bad his anxiety has been the past couple years, but I remember at one point he got acupuncture and cupping for it.
I admire you both immensely for teaching. And that’s putting it lightly. I tried being a middle school English teacher and I couldn’t cut it. I was terrible at disciplining effectively!
I know it has been a while since you started teaching again on Jan. 3rd, but I hope it has been going okay.
Today was the 1st day for my girls to return to middle school, 6th & 8th grade. (It’s January 7th) I felt sorry for the teachers since I’m sure many students were out of it from not following their usual routine the past couple weeks.
Anyway, my dear, I hope that Hare was tamed last week
and that the “Taming of the Hare” (Shakespeare’s long-lost play!) is still taking place! 😜
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