Should I Feel Guilty?


I’ve been off-sick for four weeks now and I miss neither my job nor my students.

Although it may be a bit to soon for proper analysis, I have a few ideas in mind.

– 3 ot of my 6 classes were very difficult groups with no wish to learn whatsoever. I felt helpless then and I am pretty confident they haven’t changed.

– The school administration didn’t help us. On the contrary, whenever we complained in a meeting, we were told that we had to be understanding and not ask for the impossible. However it felt like a waste of public money to just have them in a room regardless of what we were doing as long as they were reasonably quiet.

– There have never been more students in education than now nevertheless the programs have not been reshaped to accomodate this new sort of pupils. This does not mean that the curriclum hasn’t changed, just that recommendations are piled upon recommendations with no clear objectives. I too often feel I am leaving the weaker kids behind while the bright ones dont get enough fuel for their minds.

– I may be tired of my teaching routine. After all I have been in the same school for 15 years and even there are a number of things I appreciate about it, it might not be enough to keep me going.

– I am enjoying my time off and the opportunity I have to read, write and do other stuff (almost) whenever I feel like it.

Does this mean I’m a bad teacher?

11 thoughts on “Should I Feel Guilty?

  1. Teaching, like other helping professions, does take a high toll. Hardly means you are “bad,” just means you should listen to your emotions and find ways to satisfy your own needs.

    In the U.S. it is fairly common for people to change mid-career in some way. No idea how easy or hard that is in France? It doesn’t always mean giving up teaching. Here, one could teach in a private school and perhaps get less money but maybe more job satisfaction. Alternatively, one could go a business route in some way.

  2. This post reminds me of one of my favorite books: “Up the Down Staircase,” by Bel Kaufman (Shalom Aleichem’s granddaughter). Have you ever read it?

  3. No, dear friend, you are NOT a bad teacher! I have taught at a grade school and at a junior high school level in the past. It is taxing/draining on one’s emotions.

    Burn out often comes soon in the teaching profession, from what I have seen. Some individuals recognize this and try to move forward in a constructive way by either changing careers, or finding ways to accept the challenges of teaching. Some individuals just bide their time until retirement (which does themselves and their students a disservice.

    Are you a bad teacher? No! It means you are human. You are at a crossroads, so to speak, and the time you have had off has given you the opportunity to examine your feelings and thoughts.

    Maybe you need to try to explore other opportunities that involve teaching, or try to find some type of job in which you can utilize your teaching skills and organizational skills.

    Maybe if you had a hobby or two in which you could indulge, after work, you might find your days more fulfilling. You like to write, you like to read…I don’t know if the libraries in France have a reading program for adults…where you could volunteer some of your time teaching adults to read and or write. This would definitely be an area where the “student” has a strong desire to learn. It’s just a thought.


  4. I think in many careers people “burn out”. A combination of creativity and luck can help turn your skills into a “second career”, if that’s what you really want. When my daughter was ill, I also took an extended delay and returned to work much later in a better frame of mind.

  5. Pingback: A Review And A Baby « Ilana-Davita

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