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Old 10-08-2012, 02:16 AM
 
7 posts, read 11,425 times
Reputation: 18

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I just cried but I suppose that is no different because I have frequently cried on my way to work.

I am miserable at my new job but I am in a contract which I will honor (I'm a special education teacher working with emotionally disturbed kids). If I break it, my license could be revoked and I would never ever get hired in any position within my district (one of the largest in the country). Within 3 weeks of the job I get a call from my old job which was in Hawaii saying that they could hire me back. I declined it due to my contract even though my last job before this was easy and ultimately my career goal (although I would want to end up in CA). The odds are very slim that once my contract is over that they will hire me back because positions rarely open. I know how this school district operates. The job I had in Hawaii was in a school but was less stressful with less accountability than my current one. Being a special ed. teacher takes a special person and well, I'm not that special!! I'm doing the best I can at this job but if I am able to get a position ANYWHERE like my old one for the following school year, I will do that! I don't know if any of you have experience with these kinds of kids in the context of a school but I regularly have kids spitting on me, insulting me, cussing at me, threatening me, and ever so often hitting me. Because of their disabilities I just need to get over this... I am not even allowed to defend myself if a student is being violent towards me. We are not allowed to restrain or touch a student at all. When I try to call the office for help, the students just unplug the phone so I cannot place a call! I discussed how to handle these things with administration and the support unit for my district and they just keep repeating that under no circumstances am I allowed to place a hand on a student but to just try to "calm them down" by talking to them (good strategy to have as a student is attacking you ). I'm going on a tangent now so I will move on.

I have had depression and anxiety throughout my life and the depression has just worsen since starting my job knowing I had to turn down the better job. While I hate my job it isn't that which makes me the most depressed, it's that I felt obligated to have to turn down the other job.

I have done pros and cons of the job thing.

Pros of staying in CA and teaching ED kids:
- family is local
- more money saved
- good entry into getting my foot into the door within the district (deep down I probably would have only stayed in HI until I could get the job I used to have in CA whenever possible)
- better dating "scene" (I'm 28 and in the part of Hawaii I lived in, there were slim pickings and most of the men were trashy)
- despite not liking my job, I do like my bosses

Cons of staying in CA and teaching ED kids:
- hate going into work each day
- job isn't the same position as my last one which was my ultimate career goal
- everything has to be planned
- my schedule has to be based around students who treat me as their punching bag
- I lose some of the independence that I had when I didn't know anyone in town
- location isn't as fun with going to the beach after work every other day or so, snorkeling and being in a tropical setting that always felt like I was on vacation
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I am really trying to move forward but I just cannot stop thinking about these things each day. I know I should be happy that I even have a job, I'm not disabled, not on the streets, etc but again that doesn't help. I am considering going to see a therapist for this to try to find ways to forget and to just move on. I have had therapists in the past who I did invest time in, but I didn't really see any progress when it came to anything. Only thing that was good about seeing a therapist is that I really don't have anyone to talk to since my parents don't like hearing me share my feelings on this (they tell me to move on, change the subject, or just walk away). I also don't have any friends which is by choice (I usually cut my ties with friends once I see that they really weren't reliable, loyal, trustworthy, or that I really couldn't be myself around).

I've been on Wellbutrin (150mg) since December of 2010 which has helped me a lot but the last 3 months I feel like I need a higher dosage. I exercise, eating healthy, etc.

I try to do things in life which make me happy like reading, watching movies, walking the family dogs, eating (I know...), and traveling but even when doing the things I love, my mind thinks about the decisions I made and the life I had.

Please tell me how I can move forward!!!!I keep trying to tell myself that everything happens for a reason, but so far I have yet to find that reason.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:50 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 11,683,871 times
Reputation: 7878
It is unreasonable that ANYONE would be placed in a situation where someone was being physically abusive to them and they could not defend themselves or DO something about it - like the kid would be expelled from school. Or the police called and assault charges filed.

Actually that is a good idea. If the school will not do anything, call the police! Or tell them you are going to do that if they are not going to do anything to control the kids.

Other than that, so far as myself, my mental health is more important than any job. I would quit and take the Hawaii job in a heartbeat. If that means you will no longer be able to work where you are now, then GOOD! (Sounds like a lousy job...)
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:58 AM
 
35,107 posts, read 42,200,171 times
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It appears you are not actually a teacher because of the children and it troubles me to read that you think having "less accountability" in your position is a good thing. I would ask for specic written guidelines on handling the situation when the children get physical but I would also call and see if the position in Hawaii is still open and break the contract you currently have if you can go back to Hawaii. After that I would seek a different profession because you apparantly feel you are not good enough at teaching to stay in the profession.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:13 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,425 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
It appears you are not actually a teacher because of the children and it troubles me to read that you think having "less accountability" in your position is a good thing. I would ask for specic written guidelines on handling the situation when the children get physical but I would also call and see if the position in Hawaii is still open and break the contract you currently have if you can go back to Hawaii. After that I would seek a different profession because you apparantly feel you are not good enough at teaching to stay in the profession.

Maybe I used a poor choice in words. The accountability I have as a teacher is much greater than my old job. I'm responsible for the time that the kids get to school to the time that they get on the bus. My students are regularly aggressive to each other, to staff, and to me. With accountability, parents are quick to blame anyone but their child. Does that make sense? I feel with this job I am responsible for ANYTHING that could happen at work even if I am not in the same room as one of my students.

I am well aware of the guidelines of when a student attacks me because I spoke to the support division and my supervisors. Under no circumstance am I allowed to lay a finger on a student even in self defense. Why? Because their aggression is related to their disability.

I'm good at my job despite you thinking I'm probably lousy at it, but is this my calling? Nope. I was told by my supervisors and other teachers that they expected day to day substitute teachers for my position because no laid off teachers in the district were willing to take this position. Only 2 people interviewed for this job and the first few weeks, they had substitute teachers each day.

There are just too many responsibilities with teaching and I am doing the best I can. I would never break a contract or quit a job without having another job. If anyone would be willing to pay my salary and benefits to get me out because you know of a better teacher, by all means, pay for it and I will be happy to resign once the school year is over. Unfortunately I am in a contract (which I will honor) and I need a job and benefits. That's the reality of it.


This really has nothing to do with my depression though and feels more like you are just attacking me for being a teacher when you don't think I should be one. Just being honest. You don't know how I teach. I'm doing the best that I can do and giving it my all. I have never slacked at any job despite not liking it because I am someone who always put forth the best effort.

I made a new City Data name because I knew I would get the "you should just quit teaching and hope you get another job right away because teachers should enjoy their job every minute of the day due to being role models." Hell I am already certain someone will comment on my typing and grammar because teachers should be perfect at everything they do.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:16 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,425 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
It is unreasonable that ANYONE would be placed in a situation where someone was being physically abusive to them and they could not defend themselves or DO something about it - like the kid would be expelled from school. Or the police called and assault charges filed.

Actually that is a good idea. If the school will not do anything, call the police! Or tell them you are going to do that if they are not going to do anything to control the kids.

Other than that, so far as myself, my mental health is more important than any job. I would quit and take the Hawaii job in a heartbeat. If that means you will no longer be able to work where you are now, then GOOD! (Sounds like a lousy job...)

The janitor told me on my first day that the police regularly comes to the school due to students in my class. I look at it that my mental health, with or without this job, still wouldn't have been healthy.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,184 posts, read 15,755,331 times
Reputation: 18313
So, I'm guessing the OP took the job without realizing what children with disabilities are like and the situations that occur or did realize it but location, location, location was more important. As a mother of a son with developmental disabilities and most likely undiagnosed mental health issues because of his functioning level testing is difficult, I can't help but feel for the kids also and see that a lot of the issues would be worse as they sensed the feelings of the OP. I substituted in the school systems with kids with "issues" as an assistant. I am wondering if the OP received any training at all and if a teaching certification isn't necessary for that classroom. It has been my experience that kids with "issues" are very good at reading an individual so I expect unless the OP pulls herself together, therapy and/or training, that the situation will not improve. Calling the police would not be appropriate.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:29 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 11,683,871 times
Reputation: 7878
Perhaps it would be more helpful to the OP if people were to tell her what she CAN do about physical attacks, rather than everybody telling her what she CAN't do?

I'll add another thing you CAN do. That is to call your state OSHA. That is worker safety. Every other type of worker is entitled to work in a safe environment. It is law that employers provide construction workers with hard hats, safety glasses, and other safety equipment. And procedures are in place to protect workers from being injured on the job.

If they are unplugging the phone, well a "panic button" can be installed that you can press to summon help. Or there are types which are wireless and you could carry on your person.

And note the police CAN physically restrain someone. Why can they do this and a teacher can't? What if the police were told they could never touch anyone? Food for thought...

Also you might want to read about classes for prisoners held in penitentiaries. The teachers might be visiting from outside. Sometimes there is trouble. In those cases they post a guard nearby. They take steps to make sure the instructor is not harmed. I read where once there was "one bad apple" and the other prisoners came to the aid of the instructor.

Anyway there are all sorts of options for your physical protection. If the school refuses to do anything about this, then call the police or OSHA. Simple as that! It is "appropriate" for you to do something to protect yourself from a physical attack. If you can't do this yourself, then call someone who can.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,289 posts, read 3,200,284 times
Reputation: 7128
I have an autistic nephew that is prone to rages and temper tantrums that put normal kid tantrums into the category of mild fusses. The normal methods of calming or deactivating do not work with him. I find that saying something completely random that catches his attention cuts into the rages in the form of a WTF? pause that often enough breaks it up to the point that the child can hear you. For example: One of the last times I was present for a tantrum my nephew was denied something (I don't recall what) and was screaming at his father, "I hate you. I hate you. I want..." So I said, "Hey, you're going to turn into a big blueberry if you don't knock that off. You sound like Violet Beauregarde." Now in a whiny voice I said "I want it, I want it noooowwww..." That cut the tantrum right off and he said, "Who's Violet?" to which I recounted her part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He went back into the TV room peacefully.

I wonder if a squirt gun would be considered assault. A little blast of water to interrupt a rage. Or a very shrill whistle that stays around your neck or canned air horn. I agree with the others though. You should not be subject to assault as a term of employment. If you are expected to take physical abuse and you have no aid from your employer, I would get those expectations in writing and I'd begin a paper trail. Most administrators get real cooperative when they sense an employee is documenting their failures or they fire them. Either way it would be an improvement on your present situation.

Most importantly you need to take control of the situation and if that means quit, then quit.

Good luck.

Last edited by AK-Cathy; 10-09-2012 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,289 posts, read 3,200,284 times
Reputation: 7128
Another thing: You are putting yourself in a box by saying "I will honor my contract." Fine. I get that. My word is my bond and I try to make good on it if at all possible every time but a contract is a two way deal. Are your employers honoring their contract with you in the written or verbal sense? They have to have an employee handbook that tells you what you are entitled to as an employee of the district. Read it and hold them accountable. I'm sure you have a union. Write up detailed notes with incidents, dates, times and how your supervisors responded to your complaints and then call your union representative and have a sit down meeting about this issue.

You are not helpless unless you are willing to be. I'm going to quote a line from the very funny movie the Bridesmaids, "Get up and fight for your s****Y life.

Again, best of luck to you.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:35 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,425 times
Reputation: 18
Really just looking for advice on how to move on with my life and not how to do my job. Shouldn't have bothered posting. Mod, feel free to close this topic.
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