Letter to the editor
I need help. I am a first year teacher in my fifth week, and I am really close to quitting. My placements didn’t prepare me for this school, and I am teaching classes I have no experience in.
I don’t have a mentor teacher and, whenever I try to talk to the other staff about the issues I am having, they all just tell me “It’ll get better – Just hang in there.” I feel like I am annoying them – I get that they are overworked and stressed, too. I just don’t know how much longer I can “hang in there”, to be honest.
My biggest problem is with behaviour management – I just wasn’t taught any of these skills in Uni and I am really struggling to keep the class under control. I am physically short, too, and I feel quite intimidated, especially by some of the larger boys, who just tower over me and don’t listen to a word I say. I find myself crying in the toilet at lunchtime. It’s especially bad in classes after lunch. They come in so rowdy and worked up, and just laugh when I try to even start the class.
I’m just exhausted. There are so many meetings after work, and I spend most evenings and weekends planning for classes that I rarely get through because of all the stoppages because of behaviour. Friday nights are the only time during the week I feel even remotely happy, because I know I have a few days of freedom from the classroom. By Sunday afternoon, though, this feeling of intense dread comes over me and it just intensifies as Monday gets closer.
I just think that maybe I am not cut out for this career. Even as a little girl, all I ever wanted to do was teach, and I really thought I had a calling, but I am really just questioning everything right now.
Would I be a failure if I just walked away? Does anyone have any advice for me? I’m desperate.