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April 17, 2018

The Teaching Secret No One Talks About

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

Do you ever feel like you are a failure as a teacher? If not a failure, do you feel insecure or down on yourself? Then please know, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This is the secret that many teachers are dealing with but no one talks about it. 

I personally undergo feelings of inadequacy as a teacher all the time. If I need a break for 5 or 10 minutes and give my students busy work, I feel like I am just being lazy. If my students are chatty in the hallway, I feel like my classroom management is horrible and out of control. If a student doesn't do well on a test, it must mean that I didn't differentiate my teaching enough. All of these thoughts float through my mind all the time.

I think the best example of feeling down on myself came at the beginning of the school year. I was nominated for an award. When I got the letter, I honestly had a little panic attack. While it was wonderful to be nominated, I had the feeling that I wasn't good enough and did not deserve this honor. Deep down I was glad there were issues with our school email system which caused my recommendations not to be submitted to enter the next round of the award.

A friend of mine and I talked recently about how she was feeling overwhelmed and down on herself in her newer position. She was the first person I told about my own feelings of inadequacy. I must say she was a bit shocked that even after all my years of teaching that I still feel this way. (I'm not sure it ever really goes away.)

I've taken the time to open up and share my story in the hopes that others will start to share theirs as well. Maybe then we can all start to feel better about ourselves as teachers.

By the way, if you still need some encouragement or permission:
* Give your students busy work if you need those minutes of peace and quiet. 
* Sometimes kids are chatty. Think about all the times they were perfect in the hallways. Everyone has an off day. 
* Sometimes kids fail tests. The reason probably has nothing to do with you. 
* You are a great teacher! Hopefully you can believe it!

Can you relate to these feelings?
What do you do to overcome them?


  1. Thank you for sharing! I have been teaching a loooooong time ;) and I still battle feelings of doubt and inadequacy at times. One thing I try to do is stop and think about myself as a teacher overall. Yes, there are moments things aren't their best, but if you rated yourself overall what would your score be? I know it would be great! On the positive side, I think those feelings help to spur teachers on to keep trying, to find new strategies, to look to others for ideas, and to keep things fresh and moving forward. Keep your chin up and take a few minutes for yourself! You're great!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment. I hope you keep your own advice and "Keep your chin up and take a few minutes for yourself. You're great!" Love it!