Author Topic: Elem School teacher job is weighing heavy.....  (Read 240 times)

RyanAmysMom

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Elem School teacher job is weighing heavy.....
« on: October 31, 2017, 11:54:12 PM »
I don't know how to say this, so I'm thinking I'll write and work it out a bit..... Any questions are probably rhetorical, unless you have some great insight to offer...

My husband died 30 days before I started teaching elementary school 2 1/2 years ago - We had known that he would not have a long life, but I wasn't ready for him to go - We were "switching places" - I was going back to work, he was about to retire and tend the kids....

So he passed, and I went to work.  The first year, I was wrapped up in myself..... The second year, I had one student whose brother had the same heart condition as my husband, and I had 2 students whose fathers had passed away within the year....  So I really played "therapist" last year....  And it wore on me.....  I think it would've worn on anyone, but it was especially hard for me because I had just helped my own children through their grief... and was still helping them.... 

So this year, I have yet another student who lost his dad.....  His grief is so intense.... he's so angry... he's so defensive and mean....  (he's 9) This poor boy discovered his dad after he'd overdosed.....   I want so desperately to help him.....  But I just don't even know where to start...  His mom "doesn't believe in counseling" so he's had nothing...no support, no therapy, no outlet....  So every day at school he fights me, hates me, glares at me, talks back to me, he's defiant, rude.......

And then I take a step back and recognize that I haven't taken time to deal with my own grief appropriately - And I'm emotionally exhausted......  And because I haven't taken care of me, I can't take care of him......  And then I question my career choice......    Because he's just one of 28.... And he's not my most emotionally broken kid.... just the one that I connect with the most....

So I went to talk to the school counselor about the boy and about me.... and she starts describing something called vicarious trauma....  And she is worried that the student's trauma is adding to my own.....

I really need to find a way to take care of myself... 

sigh

Julester3

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Re: Elem School teacher job is weighing heavy.....
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 11:49:31 AM »
It makes sense this vicarious trauma. You had to go to work and didn't have time to process but you have yourself, your own children and then your students. I agree you are totally tapped out. You are split in so many places all at once that juggling it all is becoming very difficult. I don't think teaching is the issue per se but just the timing of how you got back into it was not ideal so you are not at your optimal best so to say. Also you are going to have an affinity for those students who lose a parent because you know what that is like. You can't help it. I have no idea how you can approach this but just wanted to give a person on the outside perspective. May be you need some one to help you work through and process this. Hugs!

rememberingjason

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Re: Elem School teacher job is weighing heavy.....
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 07:20:19 PM »
I am also a teacher (middle school) and after my husband passed have had many times similar to what  you just described in your post. One thing I was able to do was speak to my admin team and let them know that when it comes to this I would be turning it over to the guidance counselor and admin and they worked with me on that.

It has been about 6 years now and I find myself able to talk and help the students a little more in those situations but there are other days when it just feels like there is no way. That is the hard part of being a teacher you are so much more than the person who teaches them academics. You are a strong person who has so much to share, but you also have to take time for yourself to heal. You can't be every child's therapist, parent, advisor, sometimes you just have to be their teacher and be the best you can.

Those students are lucky to have someone who cares so much and do not ever forget that!

Remembering the Good Times - Always