Self-Doubt Among Teachers…Why We “Feel” Bad

Tonight, I was reading a blog post featured in The Washington Post by Ellie Herman. The title, Why So Many Teachers Feel Bad so Much of the Time, caught my eye.

I clicked on it from twitter because I was curious. As a teacher who loves my job but often feels bad, I was intrigued. Was it about all the germs lurking in public schools? Old, moldy buildings? Sleepless nights planning lessons and grading essays?
 No, it was about something much more abstract, but just as pervasive–self doubt.
That fog that hangs over your mind at 2 AM as you can’t sleep because you feel like there must be something you forgot…that twinge that lurches through your stomach at 1 PM as an administrator ticks through a checklist at the back of your rowdy, over-crowded classroom…that jolt that electrifies your pulse at 10 AM as you listen to yet another pundit lay out yet another way to hold teachers accountable.

The expectations on us are high, and we are under the microscope. We are entrusted with our students’ learning, but we are not entrusted with creating the policy that impacts that learning. Instead, we are viewed as incompetent at best, political fodder at worst.

It’s no wonder that doubt pervades a teacher’s professional life.

Teachers are never just teachers. We are actors, counselors, secretaries, social workers, managers, sales people….The list goes on. How can anyone be an expert in each area?

The truth is, we can’t. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, which is why teachers’ collaborating with other teachers to create policy for the area in which we have been trained–many of us with several degrees and years of experience–is the only answer for actual improvements in education.

This will restore the public faith in teaching as a profession–and our faith in ourselves as professionals.

Sorry to wax political, but as we are undergoing the third major overhaul of teacher evaluations in my 12 year career, and I’m feeling “bad” about it, it seemed relevant.

Of course, as any teacher who’s been at it long enough understands, at the end of the day, we can go into our classrooms, shut out the noise, and teach. And underneath the cacophony, that is our primary business.

What makes you feel “bad” about teaching? What is the solution? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Get My Notes!

* indicates required
Email Format

Share on email
Email
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter

You might also like...

8 Social Studies Super Bundles

Are you constantly spending time searching for updated social studies materials? Or, are you always trying to find ways for students to have FUN while learning social studies content? Is there an anxious feeling while trying to differentiate for each student? Don’t worry–you’re not alone! It can be so hard to find engaging content that

Read More »

Year of Wonders: Lessons from Teaching in a Pandemic

I drove to work every day during the 2020-2021 school year (except for the total of 10 days that my family spent in quarantine). Something was different in the first semester. A small thing. I listened to music every morning in my car. That’s something I haven’t done in the 20 years that I’ve been

Read More »


Welcome! Stay a while and browse classroom-tested tips, strategies, and resources that will take your teaching to the next level!

Learn More

GET MY NOTES!

An occasional email from me to you about what’s new in secondary education…