Why Do I Feel Like A Shit Teacher Right Now?
Returning back to school during Covid has been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least!
The excitement to be back in school and see students.
The worry of remembering all the guidelines you need to follow.
The joy of teaching in front of a class again.
The stress of making sure EVERYTHING is clean after you've used it.
The list could go on!
But one feeling that keeps cropping up for me - and for a lot of other teachers at the moment - is that I'm not doing a good job.
I feel like I'm letting my students down.
I feel like I'm letting the school down.
I feel like I'm letting my self down.
Because I feel like I can't do my job properly!
Why Do I Feel This Way?
Teaching from the front of the classroom and staying there for the duration of a lesson feels so wrong.
Trying to help and support pupils with their challenges from 2 metres away is so difficult and makes me feel inadequate.
Not being able to mark books and see their progress feels discouraging as I can't see if they truly have an understanding of the skill I've taught.
Having to wash and sanitise our hands after every single thing we do is limiting our learning time and is stressing me out with the governments push for us all to "catch up".
Enforcing a one way system and telling 5 year olds that they can't play or speak to other children from different classes.
I personally haven't had to do this, but so many of my teacher friends are having to teach in class but also teach on-line and upload resources to students who are self-isolating.
The impact of Covid on schools has been so significant, but did anyone stop to think about the impact of Covid on teacher's mental health and wellbeing?
There are so many good and outstanding teachers out there who are feeling inadequate because they're struggling to do their job which they are so passionate about. It affects their confidence, their self-worth, their self-esteem and their life purpose! We need to make teacher mental health and wellbeing a priority in Education otherwise there won't be any amazing and dedicated teachers left!
What Can I Do To Help Myself When I'm Feeling This Way?
Recognise the negative, doutbing thoughts about yourself. 80% of our thoughts are repeated, so the chances are your brain will keep repeating that negative thought over and over again making you actually believe it because you think about it so often!
Change the negative into a positive. Try and look for the positive in things. I'm not saying your life has to be like fairies and rainbows and everything is perfect. #blessed 🙄 It's about training our mind to not get caught up in negative thoughts and thinking if we're trying to find one thing that's positive in that situation.
Reflect on your day. We often think about the negatives and moan to loved ones about the shit day we've had. Instead, ask yourself questions like - What went well? What made me smile? What did I enjoy doing? What made made me happy today? And tell your loved ones the positives about your day.
Do something that makes you happy. Give yourself permission to take time for you to do something that makes YOU happy. It's up to you how long for and what it is you do, but ultimately it's feeding your soul; giving you a sense of fulfillment which boosts your self-esteem, your confidence and your happiness.
Talk about how you are feeling. I know it's hard to chat with colleagues when you're all on staggered break times and lunch times and you can only have so many people in the staff room at one time. But opening up to someone you trust and talking about the way you feel will help you to release the negative thoughts in your head that have been getting to you. If you feel comfortable in doing so, speak to your Head or a member of the leadership team too. Chances are they are feeling the same way as you and together you could support one another during this time.
If you have been struggling with the stress of your job since returning back to school, please do not hesitate to get in touch! Send me a message and we can schedule a time to talk 😊