Is it common for teachers to be a bundle of emotions? Do things eventually get better as the years go on? You know, to the point where I’ll be able to actually have time to have conversations with my boyfriend and eating won’t consist of me nibbling out of a ziplock bag?
There are times when I go…
First, yes it is common to feel this way. I think almost all of us have.
Then - it does get better. You learn to prioritize, to realize that you don’t have to be perfect at everything, right away, and all the time. So you focus on what you want to work on first, and then second, etc.
You need to eat and sleep. I won’t talk about work/life balance, because my life isn’t balanced. But I’ve put supports in place that work for me. I go into work early, and stay late, and often go into the school on Sundays, and work into the evenings. My house is messy. But my line in the sand is sleep. I know I can’t go for more than a day or two without getting good sleep. If I’m overtired, I can feel myself getting cranky, and it takes a lot of work to hide that from the kids.
If you’re not already getting help or support for the anxiety, take care of that if you can. Meditation, yoga, sleep, exercise, whatever it takes.
And know that you will always have really low lows and really high highs as a teacher. That is what makes this job incredible. I can be swinging on a star because of a small improvement a student makes, or a simple comment. And I can feel devastated by something equally minor.
The best thing I can tell you is to keep going. It gets better. It always gets better. And it is definitely worth it.