Welcome to this week’s Sunday Post. This feature is brought to you by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so swing by after you are done here and get the full list of participants!
- [13 Dec] #SundayPost: December 13th
- [14 Dec] Dream Chaser by Kristen Ashley ★★★★
- [15 Dec] Truth, Lies, and Second Dates by Mary Janice Davidson ★★★
- [16 Dec] Don't Look Back by Christie Craig ★★★
- [17 Dec] The Killer's Shadow by John Douglas, Mark Olshaker ★★★
- [18 Dec] #FreebieFriday: December 18th
- [19 Dec] Christmas themed romances to read!
I have nothing officially planned! I might read some TBR books or try to come up with something creative!
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! Happy Holidays and I hope you are safe and healthy.
So, I have been having major issues with my panic disorder. Frequent panic attacks that all seemed to be triggered around work. I have finally figured out exactly what the root cause of my fear is: I can’t do my job for 25 more years because of my hearing. I have fabulous, top of the line hearing aids. But, classrooms are loud and chatty. None of that is good for a person with hearing loss. Having to go into other classrooms with kids I don’t know adds to that fear because I know I can’t hear everything. The masks make it extra difficult this year, but even without the masks, I miss a lot of conversations. Hearing aids amplify, but accurately understanding words is still a challenge, especially in a noisy environment.
My first few years of teaching I worked with a wonderful woman (who passed away just a year or so ago). She was significantly hearing impaired and her classroom was a nightmare. She turned her back and the kids went nuts. She had the big, super high powered BTE hearing aids and still struggled to understand what was said. I now know that I will end up in a similar situation. The thought of 25 more years of fighting to do something as simple as hear words my students speak has filled me with terror.
I can continue to teach and end up like my coworker-who was not happy. My panic attacks will continue to increase as well. Or, I can consider a change of career that would be more suited to someone with hearing loss. That means more college, finding a job that would be not working with large groups, and generally just shaking my life up at 41 years old. Just thinking about either option causes the stirrings of a panic attack.
My thought is school psychology. As a school psych, I would be doing a similar job to what I do now (teaching special education), but would be in the assessment/diagnosis stages where I would only work with 1 student at a time. This would allow me to be in a field I am familiar with, but will require 2 more years of school and 1 year of internship. Yep, I would have to take a year unpaid to intern. Cue panic. Also, MORE student loans. I already have 50k. But, I can’t handle the alternative.
Or, I start over from scratch in something else. Something that would allow me to not have to interact with groups of more than 4-5. Honestly, I don’t even know what to consider. If you have ideas, I’m all ears.
On that note, this was to be our last week of school before Christmas break. We went Monday then they shut us down for the rest of the week because we didn’t have enough teachers or bus drivers to stay open. So, Christmas Break started Tuesday! I’m grateful, but I know that when I have to go back in January, I will be facing even more anxiety after all this time off.
Wow-this was longer than I planned. Sorry about that! If you read this far, you are amazing!
So, whats new with you this week? Did you read any of the same books I did? Did you find any great book deals I need to grab ASAP? Let me know in the comments!
Sorry to hear you are going through so much, but I cannot say I haven’t been there. I only lasted 12 year though. I hope you can find a solution that works for you. I know guidance needs more school too. Is there anything outside education that interests you? Maybe something that requires a shorter certification program?
You know, I can’t think of a single thing that interests me. I mean, I really like school psychology and find it interesting and the job market is good. Anything else I find interesting either requires longer time back in school or doesn’t have good post graduation hiring rate. But honestly, school psychology is something I love. Had I known it even existed when I started college, I would have totally picked it.
Samantha, first that’s very good that you identified the roots of your problem. Second, isn’t there a position in school where you could begin with smaller groups? Or like principal of a school or something like that? Or maybe half time work and study psychology in the remaining free time? I have no idea honestly.
Or maybe teach to adults, at night? Like we have her in Belgium as adults are more disciplined and don’t talk when not talked to in a classroom?
Anyway I wish you lots of courage and send you a big hug from Belgium!
Sadly, in the US special education students are kept in the general education class except in the most severe of cases. So, working with small groups outside of the regular classroom isn’t an option. I can keep teaching for the first 2 years of going back to university because the courses are online. I would have to take 1 year off for internship, but hopefully I can figure something out for that time period. Teaching adults isn’t something I had considered and might be a viable option! Thanks for the suggestion!
Thank you so much for the support my friend!
I’m so glad you got more time for the holidays. While it may be difficult, it is always easier knowing what is the issue so you can look at options to resolve it. I suggest talking to as many people as you can to learn about what your options might be or reading about options. If you can take some time to decide, that is even better. Could you start taking summer or night / weekend classes so you could keep a paying job? I’d be sure to look at as many options as possible. There are many in our community who have thought about and tried different things; I hope some of them offer you some insights. It is a little scary but it is also an adventure and a chance to be more yourself. I wish you a lovely holiday with some time to relax and reflect.
If I do this school psychology program (which I am really interested in) I could teach for 2 years while doing the classwork, then only have to take 1 year off for my internship. So, it wouldn’t be too bad.
Thanks for the support!
That is a tough situation and I hope and pray that the perfect solution (or if not perfect, at least one that makes you happy) presents itself. It is a tough call. I can totally understand how that would be stressful. I have bad hearing loss in one ear and am always having to ask people to repeat themselves but I think your situation is much worse than mine from what you’re saying, so while I’m not in your situation I can definitely empathize. Best of luck with whatever you decide!
Merry Christmas to you!
Hearing loss is so difficult because it can lead to being really isolated. I struggle to understand words-so I can hear the noise, but my hearing isn’t good enough to catch what the word was. Being in a noisy classroom is just becoming too much. I get so upset when I realize I can’t understand people!
My final few years in a primary school was spent working with small groups or one to one as I dealt with children with specific learning difficulties – could you move sideways into that specialisation, Samantha? I wasn’t in the classroom with the children, but took them out into my own office where we worked together. It was lovely time in my career… Is there a chance you could explore that option? I hope you get a chance to look at that – it must be horrible for you to see your career slipping away. And having been a classroom, I completely understand – having to ask children to repeat what they are saying more than once isn’t going to go over well…
Have you a union representative you can discuss the situation with? In the meantime, I hope you are able to enjoy your Christmas holiday. Take care.x
I would love to work with small groups. I teach special education now (students with learning and behavioral disabilities), but in the US the push is inclusion in the regular classroom. So, I teach in a normal classroom with both special needs students and regular students. Pulling students with special needs for small group is frowned up (and in many cases in violation of the law that requires they be in the least restrictive environment). If I could work with students in a pull out/small group setting, that would be ideal for sure.
I hadn’t thought of talking to my union rep! Thanks for that!!!
oh Samantha I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you trying to figure this all out and find a resolution for it all. I know its been a rough time for you with teaching and hope you find the best way that works out for you.
Merry Christmas and hope that you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones!!
Thank you! The stress and anxiety has been weighing heavy, but hopefully once I figure out what I want to do next, that will ease.
It’s a tough choice to make, but very brave of you to face it. In our primary (elementary) schools mainstreamed children often have periods during the day with specialist teachers for small group or one on one instruction, perhaps a school near you has a similar program. If you know ASL perhaps a specialist school is an option, or tutoring or working with a school that operates online and provides for special needs. You could perhaps also look into social welfare programs that might have education programs in various settings, or that provide remedial courses for adults . If you have a teachers Union in your area they may be able to suggest alternatives too. It seems insane you are expected to intern for a year to gain a qualification.
I wish you a relaxed reading week while school is on a break, and of course a Merry Christmas ?
I’m sorry that the situation (and the future outlook) has you feeling such anxiety, Samantha. But I thinks it’s great that you’ve identified the root cause of your panic attacks. That’s a huge step and now allows you to consider your next steps and ways to work around it. The additional schooling and unpaid internship may not be ideal, but the eventual outcome sounds like it’s really where you want to be.
I’m so sorry you’re faced with those choices… Good luck working out your next steps. I don’t know what your path should be but I do know if you’re going to go for the career switch you’re better off doing it sooner than later.
I hope you enjoy your Christmas and I hope that being off over the holidays helps with the anxiety.