Over the edge

31st October 2003 at 00:00
I was teaching the other day when I suddenly thought that I can't do this any more. For a moment I could hear nothing but my thoughts. It was a complete detachment. When I came back to reality everyone was staring at me as if I had just brought them all to attention; I was vaguely aware that I had done something but had no idea what it was. I could not remember how the lesson began or what topic I was teaching. Later in a toilet cubicle I burst into tears. I have been a teacher for years and worked under much greater pressure. This failure has come out of the blue; I cannot cope with not being able to cope. For so long, I have been the person people come to with their problems.

Is there any job where there is so much continuous stress and endless paper work, on top of the psychological battle of dealing with a huge array of different personalities with different problems, to each of whom we are expected to delivera bespoke education? Maybe you need to talk to someone about your recent experience. All colleges should provide some form of confidential counselling so it is not as if your colleagues will find out.

We all need some help sometimes to get through the teaching day.

Send your dilemmas to Don Short at shortbuttall@hotmail.com

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