(Closed) First-year teacher and bride to be…stressed to the max.

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 4
Member
2584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Well, I’m stressed with school and work… but your situation sounds pretty sucky 🙁 I’m sorry you’re so stressed. My cousin worked in a school like that for a while and struggled with those same problems, I know they’re tough. I’m sure you’re not the only teacher there worrying about those same things. I don’t really have any advice but I hope things start looking up soon!

Post # 5
Member
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I don’t have any brilliant words of advice but I can say I’ve been there and it sucks, but you will get through it.  I was a TFA corps member teaching 7th and 8th grade in a ridiculous school and also trying to plan my wedding.  It was absolute hell.  Like you, I was crying every day, had no idea what to do with my kids, was shellshocked from all the violence every day, and then had grad classes on top of that.   I’m sorry to say but the wedding took a backseat.

Some things I did to get through:

1.  I relied on as many other people to help plan the wedding as I could – my mom picked up a lot of the slack and my sister did a lot of the DIY things for me (both really enjoy it so I didn’t feel terrible asking)

2.  I cut out things from the wedding that weren’t important.  After teaching in one of the poorest/most violent communities in the country, my perspective on a lot of things changed.  Minor details became completely unimportant and it helped me just focus on the big things for our wedding.  

3.  I made time to work out.  I know it’s the absolute last thing you have time for with all the teaching/TFA/grad school crap you have to do but it is so, so important. I only went two or three days per week (one of those was usually a Saturday morning) but just to go for an hour long class (usually kickboxing for me so I could take out my frustrations!) does so much for rejuvenating you and renewing your energy levels.   That one hour you lose from lesson planning/grading papers/writing grad school assignments is not going to make or break your experience.  

4.  Set a cut off time every night.  11 pm was my cut off time every night where I just had to put my work away.  Then from 11 pm onwards, I could do any little wedding things I needed to do before going to bed by midnight every night.  I didn’t always use that time for wedding stuff but it was my designated time to get some of that stuff done.  Having a cut off time and knowing there was a time when I could deal with any wedding emails/details etc really helped alleviate that stress.  

I’m also not sure how willing your Fiance is to help you with the planning – I was in the unfortunate situation where my Darling Husband was in Australia whilst I was in the States, so whilst he was willing to do as much as he could, there just wasn’t a whole lot he could do from afar.  

Now my situation was bit different from yours in that my wedding was after my second year of TFA but I had to switch schools for my second year of teaching and it was a thousand times worse than my school the year before.  For me, my second year of teaching was no better (in fact, a bit worse) than the first year.  The only blessing was that grad school was no longer an issue.

Good luck – you WILL pull through this and everything will be just fine, promise!

ETA:  I will just add that whilst other people (in general) will say they completely understand your stress and it will be fine, NO ONE will ever completely understand the stress of a first year TFA corps member unless they have been there themselves.  I’m in my 30s and I can say without a doubt that I had never experienced true stress until being in TFA, and that’s after years of being a child protection social worker and dealing with the stress of removing children from their parents care.   TFA stress is a whole different playing field…..

Post # 6
Member
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hey girl, I totally hear ya. I taught for four years in a low income, inner city Chicago school (I quit at the end of last year and now I’m in grad school). The first year is definitely the hardest. I felt like I had no social life because of being overwhelmed with planning for school, and I was emotionally drained because of the hard lives that my students were living. I can’t imagine trying to plan a wedding on top of all that!

I don’t really have any advice for how to make it easier or better…for me, planning took up a lot of time until my 3rd year of teaching. Then, I was able to start re-using material I had already made. Just keep yourself really organized this year so you can easily look back next year. If there are multiple 4th grade teachers, maybe you guys could plan together? Perhaps you could plan the week’s reading lessons and another teacher could plan the week’s math lessons that you would both share and teach?

I hope you can find some time to enjoy planning, because it can be so much fun! Best of luck and feel free to PM me if you want to talk at all!

Post # 7
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@katie914:  I am sorry you are under so much stress!  I know you have mentioned a lot of the difficult things going on in your life…don’t forget all the wonderful things, too!  Do your best to make time for you and the people you love, and when you have that time, ENJOY IT!  Also, I applaud you for working though Teach for America.  It is, obviously, taking a toll on you but I have seen a few of my friends who started with TFAC grow really fufilling careers.  Hang in there!

Post # 8
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@katie914:  Oh no, that sucks! I’m sorry 🙁 I’m also stressed out in the midst of trying to finish my PhD thesis by this summer (hopefully) so I can start a teaching job in the fall… bad idea to get married in October, oops. I am also considering TFA but I have heard a lot of horror stories that might push me away from that. You can get through this! At least it’s only a 2 year committment and soon you will be married to the man of your dreams 🙂

Post # 11
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I read the title of your post and said “HOLY CRAP” out loud. I locked my classroom door everyday at lunch my first year teaching and cried. I would only see my sone for 30 min in the morning, then work 8-3 then school 330-9pm at night and all day Saturdays. I really trully could not imagine planning my wedding on top of that. It DOES get so much easier. Props and kudos to yoiu hun. You are AMAZING!

Post # 12
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I read the title of your post and said “HOLY CRAP” out loud. I locked my classroom door everyday at lunch my first year teaching and cried. I would only see my son for 30 min in the morning, then work 8-3 then school 330-9pm at night and all day Saturdays. I really trully could not imagine planning my wedding on top of that. It DOES get so much easier. Props and kudos to yoiu hun. You are AMAZING!

Post # 13
Member
3120 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Sweet pea, I will pray for you tonight!  I’m in my 5th year teaching and it’s hard!  My heart’s just not in it this year while I’m planning (and a rough class!) and I can tell, so I cannot even imagine what you’re going through!  Just stay focused, do what you need for the next day, and leave your work AT SCHOOL.  Stop bringing stuff home.  Home needs to be your sanctuary. Plan smart, don’t reinvent the wheel.  Use your teammates.  Work smart during the day…bust your ass, plan during planning times and get stuff done as soon as your students leave! 

You still want to enjoy this time in your life.  I’m serious about leaving work at school!  There will ALWAYS be something you can be doing, but you can’t do it all right now.  Feel free to PM me anytime you need!

ETA:  My first 3 years were at a Title I, 93& F/R lunch school, so I feel your pain and know what you’re going through. 

Post # 14
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Unfortunately teaching isn’t what it used to be.  I’ve been teaching in the inner city for 22 years.  It is tough!  About 10 years ago I started telling everyone “I feel more and more like a security guard and less and less like a teacher.”  With my seniority I’ve taken a less stressful position at a less stressful location, but I truly understand what you are going through.  Test prep is the name of the game.  And it is a SHAME!  Test prep is not what the students need!

Post # 15
Member
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I hear you! I’m in my second year… last year was super tough.. I tought 7 different subjects to different classes (I was the teacher with the biggest course load at the school) was involved with sports (they expected me to be as a first year) and had a lot of low low students. My advice to you is.. stick with it, and do your best. It will be an extremely tough year but you will get through it. You will need to get as much help as you can from your friends and your family to help plan your wedding.

Post # 16
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I was a TFAer from ’07 to ’09 in Chicago. I wasn’t planning a wedding (I did that during graduate school), but a fellow TFAer at my school did, and I know it was stressful for her. I don’t have any good advice for you, but I feel for you, and I hope things start looking up. Thinking about this time of year during my first year, I kind of hit an emotional low. I came back after Christmas break with new plans and new energy, and I felt like my kids were worse than when we started the year. HOWEVER, it did get better and it was around March of my first year where I really started feeling comfortable. I hope that happens for you as well. 

In terms of general TFA stress un-related to wedding, but perhaps still helpful, I agree with the cut-off time each evening. I’d also say that while you may feel you need to work on the weekends, try to devote just one day to it and really take the other day off–that really helped me regain my sanity each week, and could give you some wedding planning time without feeling like you aren’t doing what you could for your students (and I think one of the things the TFA mindset might inadvertantly do is make you feel bad every second you aren’t working for your students, but if you don’t take care of your own needs, you can’t take care of theirs.)

Feel free to PM if you want to vent!

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