I Feel Like a Fraud

Ever have one of those years where you feel like it may kill you. Having it. Tomorrow starts only 4th week. Not sure how to handle it. It’s weird bc lessons are going well. That’s if I can get a lesson going. Classes are huge. Behavior is taxing. Just for one day I’d like to finish a sentence or two without interruption (and I really don’t talk much). I’m tired, make that exhausted. I find myself complaining often.

I have a reading class and for the 2nd year I’m clueless what to do with it. Doesn’t help the class is a nightmare from food fights in lunchroom to completely ignoring me when I speak. Give me a remedial math class any day of the week but a reading class of 31 6th graders and I’m lost.

I feel like a fraud blogging and giving advice on teaching when I seem to get through a day without having to hold my breath and count to 10. I feel like a fraud going to the Bammy’s next weekend because I’m not feeling to confident about my teaching and worthy of being in that group. I feel like a fraud because I know my gift is helping teachers more than it is being in the classroom. But there are not many jobs around here that would allow me to do that, heck when a job does come up I can’t even get an interview.

I feel stuck. I’m not sure why I’m putting myself in this vulnerable position by blogging it but I figured this is my explanation if I disappear for a while from blogging. I know its not for pity or “bless your heart” but this is a place I’ve always been completely honest. Hopefully I’ll find my niche. Until then, well, I don’t know.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Wm Chamberlain says:

    Every teacher feels like you do at some point. Can you imagine not feeling this way in this situation? Then you would really be a fraud.

    I’m not going to give you any advice or a big suck it up speech. What I want you to know is that you aren’t alone.

  2. Julie says:

    It is going around this year. I have one of the “easiest” schedules I’ve had in 12 years of teaching, and I have zero mojo. I’m completely overwhelmed not only by the expectations from the district this year, but also by how “out of it” I feel when I’m doing what I used to love.

    I keep hoping one day everything will just click. In years past, clicking happened the first week. I hope it clicks soon for you too.

  3. Clarence Fisher says:

    This is my 18th year of teaching and I love my job. But 2 years ago, I had the same type of year that you are describing. It was the most difficult year of my career. I struggled to go in to work many days. In the end I learned a lot of lessons about teaching, about kids and about myself.

    Remember to look after yourself. Take some evenings to do things you like doing. Exercise. Spend time with your family. Set a goal ( besides survive). Save sle money and go on a trip if you can.

    Moste of all, remember that you can’t do it all yourself. You can work yourself into the ground, but you can’t change the world alone.

    Good luck. Look after yourself.

  4. Krissy says:

    Do you ever read a post and it feels lke maybe you wrote it? You read my mind. I was just thinking today that I feel like I’m one of those circus plate spinners… only a bad one.. and the plates are flying off and breaking left and right. I know none of the words I might say will “fix” that feeling for you — but I just wanted to thank you for your honesty in writing this. I think WmChamberlain said it best above, you are not alone.

  5. Melissa Edwards says:

    Oh Amanda …
    I am not sure what to say but I wanted to say something.
    Rest assured that you are not a fraud … a fraud would be not realizing everything that is going
    Taking a deep breath and counting to 10 is nothing to be ashamed of … it is a strategy!
    Love you bunches!

  6. Adrienne says:

    Hey Amanda – Chin up (in my best Charlotte voice). All extra-ordinary educators feel the way you do at various points in the school year. I would start to worry when you don’t express feelings about the job you are doing because then at that point you have just become content with the idea of being stuck.

    You are growing as an educator… growing can be extremely taxing and often painful.

    Virtual hug being sent to you…


  7. Kay Bisailon says:

    Your blog is honest, refreshing and inspiring. Sometimes, even those we view as experts, don’t have the answers. Many times I scroll through Twitter and I think, “Wow. I am a terrible teacher compared to them. How do they do it all? How do they keep up their energy level all the time? Why can’t I do more?”

    My husband was in the Navy for 23 years (he recently retired so it is still weird to say, was) and the military member is transferred or changes jobs every 2 to 4 years. As hard as that can be on the family, I see the genius in that. Doing the same job, year after year, can increase your skills but can create burnout.

    I have read your Tweets/blogs for awhile now. You will have that moment, that aha moment that reinvigorates you and puts you on a different path. Until then, realize that sharing this post and these feelings has opened a conversation to many others who needed it.

  8. Gerald says:

    Echoing some of the comments above: everyone goes through that, and the most passionate, most reflective, most thoughtful of us go through it more, so consider that a good sign.

    I’ve known you and your work on some level for a couple of years, and you are absolutely the real deal. You care deeply about your students, even when they don’t seem to care about you. You make a difference in their lives every day. They may not realize it at the moment (how many of us did when we were in school?), but I am certain that for many, you will be THE teacher they remember from school when someone asks them to name one who mattered.

    The most beautiful part about it is that because you blogged this, your network around the world can be there to hold you up. Call on us. We’re here to help. 🙂

  9. amandacdykes says:

    Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words! I wrote this and almost did not post bc I was afraid it was just a “pity party.” Ya’ll did not send “bless your hearts” but encouraging words that really mean a lot to me. Sometimes I forget how important our network (PLN) is and how awesome y’all are!! Thank you so much for giving me not only a place to vent but a place to be the real me!

  10. Diana says:

    When I saw the title of your post, I immediately had to read it and reply.
    I wanted to know who was invading my brain and stealing my own thoughts!
    I say this a lot about myself, and part of it, I think, has to do with how others see you. Ironically enough, it’s when someone gives you a compliment on your teaching that puts pressure on you to feel like you need to always be your best, have all the answers, and provide stimulating, world-altering lessons daily. William, Julie, Clarence, Melissa, Adrienne, Kay, and Gerald have said it more eloquently than I have. Celebrate the minor victories (hooray, I only sent one student to the office today!), continue to reflect on possible changes you can make, and never underestimate the power of a large glass of wine and a good cry. If you are a fraud, then I am too and there are plenty of us. You callin’ us frauds? Are you? Are you? ;>

  11. Paul R Wood says:

    So many wise individuals have all said many of the things that are so very true already. You have been at this 10 years Amanda and in teacher years that is like 100. When most leave after 3.5 years because they can’t handle it, you are still with the program, still caring about your students, still trying to figure out the best way to do things. You also need to factor in the amount of time you were out last yeat on leave for health reasons. All that matters and makes a big difference. It is almost as if you are starting over to a certain degree. I think one of the other factors is that with your network and all the ideas that get passed around, it is hard to make the change you want to make when you are swimming upstream. You have so much going for you (modeling career?) and so many ways to cope. Just know so many people are here for you. like going to ISTE to get recharged, there are people willing to help and give you even more ideas. The best is yet to come from you lady, I can feel that. Know we are here for you and just a tweet away! Wear some of those rocking shoes you have and show those boys what class is all about with Mrs. Dykes! Hang in there because you are awesome.

  12. Carrie King says:

    I saw your tweet a few days ago, and am just now not too crazy busy to write a comment!

    I think that we forget how difficult it can be to be “on” all the time. Being around groups of kids all day pushes us into various types of performances – modeling, projecting voice, animated discussions, smiling, helping, etc. There’s not much of “hanging in your quiet cubicle, streaming Enya on Pandora” going on in a school. Teachers work hard at incorporating excitement in lessons, and that takes so much energy! Reaching out to others (like you did) is such a great way to recharge. You are not alone, which is evident in your responses. I enjoy reading your tweets and so many tweets/blogs of other educators. I don’t always have time to read the blogs (so many!) but when I do, it encourages me to reflect about myself and/or my teaching.

    Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s